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Comrade Marshall's Guide to the Bundesliga

[Above: Robert’s first game: November 26, 1977 — the Olympiastadion in Berlin: Schalke 04 vs Hertha BSC]

By Phil Hecken

How’s everyone doing out there? Happy first day of what was once a long, holiday weekend, where everyone has Monday off and we spend Memorial Day (most times) with big BBQ’s, watching parades, laying wreaths/wearing poppies, and generally enjoying the “unofficial” kick off to summer. But these days, with so many of us not working and those of us who are (the real heroes) probably working superhuman shifts and hours, it doesn’t quite feel like a holiday weekend. With a number of states and regions (in the US of A) “opening up,” at least it will be a little closer to what we remember. But in our new normal, nothing is the same. So, hang in there everyone…we’ll get through this together.

Although most sports and leagues throughout the world are still on hiatus, it’s been tough to squeak out any new uni news (well, other than the seven new NFL unis, which Paul covered so very well), but there is a soccer league in Germany — the Bundesliga — which has resumed play after a couple months of COVID-19-induced lockdown. And as it just so happens, my pal, and Uni Watch stalwart, Comrade Robert Marshall, is completely nuts (in a good way) about the league. So when I asked him earlier this week if he would like to pen a piece for UW, he jumped at the chance.

For each team, I have created a Flickr album, so if you click on the team name you can see all the photos in as large a resolution as possible and non-cropped (so feel free to check those out — they’re hyperlinked in the team name).

Trust me when I say, you’re in for a real treat today! I’m just gonna turn the keys over to Comrade Marshall now…and catch you on the flip side.

Enjoy!

Bundesliga
By Robert P. Marshall, III

I want to start off by apologizing to Phil, my cat (Chowderhead) died during writing this, and with covid-brain hampering my already sketchy skills, he’s a saint. I did however really want to write this. I lived in East Berlin from 1975-9 and traveled through Checkpoint Charlie every gull darn day to go to school, my first game sporting event was Schalke at Berlin when I was 7, not long before my first Brooks Robinson baseball game the summer we came home for a couple weeks. While it has been difficult to follow closely over the years, I have been watching weekly for 5 years, and since The cradle of coaching embarrassment let Urban keep his job, the Bundesliga 1st and 2nd divisions is the only sport I follow. So when it became the only game in town, I wanted to tell people about it. Here are a couple quick bullets to start.

• The one thing you must know and will love about the Bundesliga is the 50+1 rule which says 51% of every club must be owned by the fans. They have open meetings, vote for the board that runs the team, and protest the heck out of what they hate. When they put games on Monday night to help sell the States and China, thousands of tennis balls hit the pitch at Eintracht (sports community united) Frankfurt. One of many protests across all levels of German football. There will be no more Monday night games in the future instead of the gradual acceptance of what you hate because they can.

Bibiana Steinhaus is the only female referee in any of the major leagues of Europe.

• The largest selling point of the league is the fans, fan culture, fan displays, and everything that goes with it. This is a massive aesthetic missing from the Bundesliga right now. The love affair and spontaneous cheers and chants blow college football away.

All of the things above and below are put into the cauldron of German football and are stirred by their love of clubs, sense of community, and what you owe your neighbor. I know, that sounds far fetched to some, but the Reichstag has a glass ceiling, and they didn’t build monuments to hate 50 years after the fact, they own their mistakes. Instead of love it or leave it, they say never again, which is why they also don’t sing the national anthem before league games.

++++++++++

TRADITIONAL TEAMS

++++++++++

Bayern:

The one and only Gerd Müller

If you don’t know Bayern, you won’t be watching Bundesliga Fußball, but this team is positively shameless in style and substance with regards to sponsorship. There was a big uni-stink 2 years ago when they were wearing navy shorts at home, and since then they have gone, and will go all red, too bad. If you want local flair, Canadian Alfonzo Davies is an exciting talent that may just turn into a global superstar. Having consolidated their power since the 90’s, this team is any Yankees glory decade on steroids.

++++++++++

Dortmund:


The greatest aesthetic of BVB is the yellow wall, a giant standing room terrace in the biggest fußball stadium in Europe(which won’t help you now). They are going to wear hooped hose, and mismatched patterns every year. and the louder and more awful the better. BVB is in steel and coal country, have a massive fan base, and they are truly touched for winning, so they are a natural Pittsburgh Steelers. The only thing they are missing is scenic beauty of Pittsburgh.

++++++++++

Borussia Möchengladbach:

One of the traditional powerhouses, they got the nickname “Foals” for their runners in the 1970’s, and the zebra stripes they wear. Gladbach will always wear white at home with green/black accents, and light blue on the road, and usually pull it off. Their name is fun to say, they have an umlaut, have fun nom de plume like “A German Team”, and they will stay in the 1st division, but only occasionally fight for titles. They had a glory day, and can’t stay good for long because they just can’t compete with their larger neighbors; meet the Baltimore Orioles.

++++++++++

Köln:

The Cathedral City has a long standing love affair with “EffZeh(FC)” or the “Billy Goats” that has more to do with whining then winning in recent years. They have a live mascot who famously bites opponents, they always wear white, have a global name, a diverse roster to positively LOVE, and are the center of carnival in Germany. Geaux Saints!

++++++++++

Schalke:

You have to love the coal mine team entrance to the ground, and they always turn out the lights before games and shine their cells like lights in a coal mine. They love coal in Gelsenkirchen more then they do in Wheeling, and have won about the same number of titles despite being the 3rd largest club in the country, and having been successful since their dawn of time. What they do well is perform in Cups, earning them a reputation as a tournament club. They also have Winston McKennie who is an inspiring workhorse on the pitch. Ravenous fans, rust belt, never winning in the modern era, and a mascot with no eyes? Cleveland Paul Browns.

++++++++++

Werder Bremen:

100% fan owned! A famously tolerant fan base, green-white-green every year in some fashion except the pinch of orange glory years. They are as traditional as you can get, and in massive financial trouble due to the epidemic if they don’t escape relegation. This is a team we should ALL root for. For fans, I will also mention northern rival Hamburger is in the second division for the first time in their history, so as bleak as it is, at least you are not HSV. There is no team like Werder in the states. I suppose if the Green Bay myth was real, they would be an even more lovable version of the Packers.

++++++++++

Frankfurt:

The “Eagles” are also known as “The Moody Diva” because they always are so close but so far for such a big club. Another team with a live mascot, an awesome fan base, a globally mined roster of budding superstars. All you need to know about Frankfurt is to look at their unreal tifos. And remember those are always fan made and paid for by every team. It’s hard to mess-up a primal pallet, and quirkier the better. A hard color scheme to screw-up, financial center of Germany, a die hard fan base, and a close but no schnitzel ethos? New York Mets.

++++++++++

Fortuna:

This is an old school team with a history of yo-yo-ing up an down the leagues, and the type of team I love. Unfortunately this years disastrous on field visual program makes me sick with one of the kits designed by a band. They are really trying my patience, but they have a chant at the end of games that pulls you in, the drummer rolls the tom, and the crowd chants FOR! TUNE! AH! it’s killer atmosphere. No heyday to speak of, yet there quite often. They are the team in the pack of bubblegum cards you didn’t really know because they stink and are outside of your region. Seattle Mariners or Buffalo Bills.

++++++++++

Freiburg:

A lot to like about this team from a hippie college town with a stadium in the black forest. They have only been in the league 10 years, but they are now a mainstay who spends responsibly and has a plan. The crest is absolute perfection, but not just because it looks good, but because the bird head, that ain’t no bird head, it’s a Griffin! who has an eagle headed lion mascot, and only uses the head? it’s awesome! Let’s also consider that their sponsor is a local bread maker that uses a traditional Black Forest Bollenhut for a logo (unmarried=red, married=black). Since Every Year could be their last year, i suppose they are the Miami Marlins, if they were from Jackson Hole.

++++++++++

Augsburg:

In the shadow of traditional giants Bayern München, 1860 München, and and 1.FC Nürnerg; this is a Bavarian club that has no real history to speak of. What they do have is fairy tale marionnettes and the Augsburger Puppenkiste. I remember Peter and the Wolf on German TV like it was yesterday. What makes this special here is, before every game instead of the usual pennant, opposing teams are given a hand made puppet from the theater. Reminds me of how Kansas City is under appreciated arts town, and (mysteriously)dwarfed by their neighbor in baseball for wins. KC Royals.

++++++++++

Mainz 05:

A third straight club with prolonged success despite their size, and living on borrowed time. This is the club Klopp played for and learned coaching. Mainz is also another Carnival town, but instead of red-white hoops, it’s loud primary red-blue-yellow, and I included last years with the square which might be the single greatest catastrophic piece of awesome i have ever seen. If there was a team that everybody knew in Biloxi, I would go with that, but since there is not the LA clippers will have to do.

++++++++++

Paderborn:

This team is a great underdog story, and instead of parking the bus and dumbing it down like so many overmatched teams, they play up tempo attacking fußball, it’s Wunderbar! 3 years ago they were to be relegated to the regional leagues, but too cool for schule 1860 München didn’t pay their fees for the third division after being relegated from the 2nd, so THEY went to the regional league. so Paderborn stayed up, immediately won the 3rd division, then immediately won the second division, and here they are! So we might have another on steroid analogy here by calling them the 1991 Atlanta Braves, but this 1906 club sees little Bundesliga time, so just making it is something.

++++++++++

Hertha Berlin:

In every other European Capital there is at least one massive club, not here. Berlin is difficult to explain here, but I can tell you that the team is named after a steamship, steamships being the height of technology at the time. They play in the cavernous Olympic stadium, which is one of their sporting problems. but they do pull big crowds, and recently got an influx of spending money, so hope is always alive. unfortunately players always leave for greener pastures, and things always go wrong for Hertha, even when things are going right. Chicago Cubs pre-16.

++++++++++

Union:


This is unfortunately the only traditional DDR team in the Bundesliga, but to anybody who follows world football, this is the hip new team to follow I am sure. Former DDR, the fans literally built the stadium, and donated money from giving blood to keep the team from bankrupcy. There is a big Christmas carol celebration in the stadium every year, their fans are ravenous and notoriously loud and wild, and they are going to enjoy every second this small club that plays in their ground that translate’s into stadium at the Old Forester’s House. what more do you want?!!!! How about this? They were the rival of the dreaded, and all to familiar to me Stasi run club Dynamo Berlin. The perfect storm of everybody loving it driving you mad even though you love it too? Chicago Cubs 2016.

++++++++++

PLASTICS IN DESCENDING OFFENSES TO FUßBALL

++++++++++

Leverkusen:

Known as Neverkussen for never winning the league, this is a pharmaceutical company team from the good people that brought you Heroin. The most interesting aesthetic for this team is every years home kit becomes the next year’s away kit, and they alternate red or black. A well run team, respectful family friendly atmosphere, consistently decent fußball, no titles, limited character. Indiana Pacers(sorry!)

++++++++++

Wolfsburg

The home of Volkswagen, Wolfsburg is essentially the auto factory and a stadium for the workers, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, the town has little character for visiting fans, and their popularity is limited due to their unfair backing, and players only go for the paycheck and because it’s a short train to Berlin. The X on the kit is traditional, and they always have the most horrendous colours of blue and green. Look at this hot mess. Yet somehow, with that kit history, the fans had the nerve to protest the use of the blue kits above (worn once). Your Hartford Whalers.

++++++++++

Hoffenheim:


Dieter Hopp of SAP is the most hated man in German fußball. You might remember him as the guy who told the White House to kiss off about the potential vaccine. Well dig this. That guy bought his little hometown’s lowest of possible level clubs that he played for, and funded it into a powerhouse in the last 20 years. That is his crime against fußball. I am sure you are asking yourself “why”? But to Germans he is an affront to the 50+1 rule, no matter how sweet the story, because if you allow him to do that, what’s to stop any big money from buying any club, running it as his own instead with sycophants instead of answering to fan representatives like every club, thereby destroying every loved club in Germany? Baltimore Ravens leaving behind colors comes to mind.

++++++++++

RB Leipzig:

And that brings us to the most hated team in the league, RasenBallsport (Lawn Ball…gag me with a head-spoon). The club is run by an Austrian energy drink that first tried to take over and destroy Werder, St. Pauli, and 1860 before they beat up a kindergarten team, and turned it into RB Leipzig. The board is roughly 11 members compared to 75,000 at the other end. It is an affront to the 50+1, and would have been challenged in court if not for the fact that it would wind up being overturned. They have quickly become the second best team in Germany, which makes things worse. On the other hand, they quite frankly play exciting fußball, and are very well run, and their coach is a rising star. They are also in the former DDR which is tragically under-represented in what was once a cornerstone of German fußball. All this in an area increasingly reactionary that desperately needs to stem that tide. They are also starting next year on the adidas super-duper-10 or some such nonsense for merch-dumps, but that smokey number is nice for next year if i may. Love the town, hate the owner type thing, the New York Knicks.

• • •

Wow. Thanks Comrade! For anyone who now has the jones to catch some live soccer action, here’s how to watch. And here’s the list of games being played this weekend.

If you want to see how sports will look with no fans in the seats, aka the future of American sports for the foreseeable future, then you might want to check the Bundesliga out.

Jonathan Martin’s Astros Concepts

Normally the “Uni Tweaks” section is short and sweet, with only a few sentences by the designer(s) to describe their work. Jonathan Martin, who has four similar (but different) Houston Astros concepts, has forsaken brevity in his description. But they’re definitely worth a look-see, so here here’s Jonathan:

• • •

As a die hard Astros fan, while I can say that I’m actually fine with the current set I can also admit it’s pretty uninspired, if not a bit half-assed. The skewed “Astros” curve, the lack of pop, the obviously thrown together at the last minute rainbow side panels of the blue alt/bp jersey… they can obviously be improved upon, especially with the rich uni history of the team.

Also, in light of the scandal that needs no further elaboration from myself, I think the team should look forward with a refreshed look as soon as possible.

Thus, I went backwards while moving forward. I drew upon the rainbow era of the ‘Stros, while also maintaining some of the general feel of the modern era as well. What struck me was how timeless the rainbow actually is if implemented correctly. I also wanted to try two things — one I had always wanted to see done, the other something that struck me as having never been in done with the rainbow stripes. The first was to try the rainbow shoulder stripes with an updated take on the original shooting star design. How did it look? ‘Effing awesome.

Second, I realized the rainbow had never actually been used as sleeve piping before. How did that look? Surprisingly clean, and with some of the designs it really sings. Thus, also ‘effing awesome.

Here’s what you may or may not notice about the designs:

1. Every cap has an orange squatchee on top.
2. The pant striping is orange with a blue outline on all pants.
3. The font is an updated take on the 70’s – early 90’s font, with an arch acknowledging the current look.
4. For the shooting star concepts, I began the “star stream” after the A and H, which made the whole design less cumbersome.
5. The Astros on the chest is often outlined in white, which would be apparent in a physical design, but gives quite a clean look to the overall scheme.
6. Kept the serif H-Star on the hat the same. It works, despite maybe needing slight tweaking.

Finally, three rules/theories about Astros uniforms I tried to implement into this design:

1. The Astros are not a pinstripe team or cursive team.
2. The Astros are a navy blue and orange team. End of discussion.
3. Are the Astros a serif or sans-serif team? Definitively both. The quirk is the H-star hat, which works only as a serif font. But all other wordmarks are best sans-serif.

• • •

Thanks, Jonathan! That’s a lot to chew on, but the explanation certainly helps notice all the subtle differences between the four different uniform sets. Readers? What do you think?

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Bonnie Lee.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

Raffle reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it on Friday, I’m currently raffling off a whopping five Uni Watch memberships that were donated by reader Stan Sulkowski.

This raffle will run through the weekend. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern on Sunday. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winners on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, while I have you here:

• Uni Watch cufflinks, which usually sell for $26.99, have had their price cut to $16.99. You may not have much use for them now, but imagine how good it’ll feel to wear them in the post-apocalyptic world that awaits us!

• And remember, you can save an additional 15% on those cufflinks — and on all other items in the Uni Watch Shop and the Naming Wrongs Shop — by using the checkout code COMMUNITY.

• Supplies of the Uni Watch Pin Club’s May design are dwindling, so move fast if you want one. And if you need to get caught up, here are the January, February, and March editions. (April is sold out.)

• I still have all colors of Uni Watch seam rippers in stock, although green is about to run out again.

Okay, end of sales pitch. Thanks for your support! Now to Anthony for the Ticker.

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Rangers posted a graphic mashing-up their unis with the unis of other Dallas-area sports teams (from multiple readers). … A Red Sox blog has gone into the team’s logo history (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: the Collegiate Summer Baseball Invitational has unveiled new uniforms. … Ryan Tomorrow inherited this weird lucite “diamond” with the Mets’ 25th anniversary logo. He can’t find anything about it online, can any readers help him out? … Mike Williams got an advertisement for a weird Phillies mask, featuring a “Philadelphia” logo that has never existed. Bizarre. … Mike Sylvester noticed Dodgers P Tim Belcher had a tear in his hat in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. … Call to the Pen has a decent analysis on the Orioles uniforms from 1971 to 1988 (thanks, Phil). … Tigres de Quintana Roo have unveiled their 65th anniversary uniform (from Cesar Martín).

College/High School Football News: The final round of voting in the Massachusetts high school helmet tournament is open (from John Fitzgerald).
.

Hockey News: Yesterday, we ticker-linked the “cat-eye” masks Brett Hull and his teammates were wearing in the early 80s at the University of Minnesota. Jeff Ingalls wrote in with some more info on them: “These masks were made by Pro-Tec. I still have one I acquired in 1982! I played a lot of cross-border minor hockey in the mid/late 70’s and all the American kids wore these. I always thought they looked cool so I saved up and bought one through mail order, Ocean Hockey (IIRC), a company that advertised in The Hockey News. They were legal and approved for wear in US minor hockey until around the time I bought mine…. the company sent me a letter with the mask advising me not to wear it on the ice… they were phasing them out and I received one of the last ones! They had originally sent me a new “legal” cage as a substitute. But I returned it and demanded the cat-eye version! They wouldn’t have been allowed on the ice in Canada. The CSA (Canadian Standards Association) clamped down on minor hockey helmet safety around 1977. It sure saw a lot of duty as a goalie mask on the street, though!” Thanks Jeff! … USA Today has published an NHL jersey “power ranking” (thanks, Phil). … WFAN has ranked the best and worst Islanders uniforms as all time. You’ll never guess what came out as the worst! (from Kary Klismet). … NHL.com writers ranked the best current players wearing No. 55 (from Wade Heidt).

Soccer News: Arsenal’s home kit has leaked. Hate to admit it, but I really dig it (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: Atlético Madrid’s new home kit has leaked again. … Scottish side Heart of Midlothian, who were just relegated to the second tier a few days ago with the summary cancellation of the rest of the Scottish Premiership season, have released their new home shirt (from Ed Żelaski). … The NWSL’s Portland Thorns have released their 2020 kits (thanks, Phil). … Cagliari Calcio has released renderings of its new stadium (from Kary Klismet).

Grab Bag: Some flags make particularly good masks, such as this one worn by Arizona Sen. Martha McSally. this one worn by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, this one worn by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, and these ones worn in St. Louis (from Mike Judy and Billy Rothman). … The University of Oregon has released renderings of its new track and field stadium (from Kary Klismet). … Skittles is ditching the rainbow color scheme for pride month, and going with the tagline “only one rainbow matters during pride.” A weird inverse of the rainbow-washing the brands undergo in June (from Corky Gaines).

And finally…

Big thanks to Comrade Marshall for that tremendous Bundesliga post! And just to show you what a batshit crazy guy he is (and I mean that in the nicest of ways), check out this insane Bundesliga-inspired video:

How crazy/insanely-great is that?

On the other side of the coin (sad face): RIP Chowderhead von Meatsackerface (2003-2020). Robert explained to me that the “von Meatsackerface” is actually a reference to Per Mertesacker, who “took a ball in the face to save a goal.”

The man loves his fußball.

Everyone stay safe on this first Saturday of Memorial Day weekend!

Peace,

PH

61 comments to Comrade Marshall’s Guide to the Bundesliga

  • The Real GT | May 23, 2020 at 8:17 am |

    You mis-spelled Astros … should be C H E A T E R S

    • Nestor Chylak | May 23, 2020 at 11:08 am |

      The cleanest break with 2017 would be that first home alt; the one with the orange hat, socks and rainbow shoulder stripes.

  • Sleepy Joe | May 23, 2020 at 8:32 am |

    I just want to let everyone here know that if you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black.

    • Ron Smith | May 23, 2020 at 8:58 am |

      One of the most blatantly racist statements ever uttered.

      • Brett Alan | May 23, 2020 at 11:46 am |

        …is the one about how we need to stop having immigrants from “shithole countries” like Haiti and African countries, and we should have more from Norway instead.

        What Biden said was wrong, and he’s apologized for it, but if you think it’s “one of the most blatantly racist statements ever uttered”, you need a third-grade education in the history of racism.

      • VoterMcVoteface | May 23, 2020 at 4:38 pm |

        In that one utterance, here’s what escaped from Joe’s brain:
        1. I’m a racist.
        2. I think I got the black vote in the bag no matter what.
        3. I’m not coming back to talk to Charlamagne because I don’t need to.

    • MJ | May 23, 2020 at 9:11 am |

      1. Mönchengladbach
      2. Schalke
      3 ignore the trolls.

      • DJ | May 23, 2020 at 9:27 am |

        Also, Weston McKennie.

        For that matter:

        It is an affront to the 50+1, and would have been challenged in court if not for the fact that it would wind up being overturned.

        This makes no sense. If you challenge it in court, your goal would be to overturn it. It isn’t challenged because of the fear that Leipzig’s board setup would be upheld.

        • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 10:53 am |

          i was rushing, and wasn’t clear there, rather then saying take them to court, i should have said….

          what i was saying was if they try to keep them out, and make Them challenge you in court, it will be overturned.

        • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 11:45 am |

          i’m not offended MJ, my chowderhead died and i was in a rush and made some mistakes as a result in my haste, and they should be corrected. for instance i know i wrote Mönchengladbach, or Gladbach a half dozen times, that’s a mind field that i would never navigate without stopping on it at least once without a re-write:)

    • ab cd | May 23, 2020 at 2:51 pm |

      Gotta love right wingers using burner accounts on a sports uniform blog to pretend they care about racism.

  • Gary | May 23, 2020 at 8:39 am |

    The scoreboard: Indians-Senators game played on May 13, 1943. Cleveland tied the game but lost in the 12th, 3-2.

    • Gary | May 23, 2020 at 9:32 am |

      Played at League Park, Cleveland.

    • Michael Emody | May 23, 2020 at 3:41 pm |

      Anyone know the significance of the five digit numbers at the bottom of the scoreboard?

      • Gary | May 23, 2020 at 3:50 pm |

        Believe these were the day’s winning numbers from the scorecards sold at the ballpark.

      • Marc | May 23, 2020 at 4:04 pm |

        It certainly wasn’t attendance (that game was 1500 fans).

        From all of the sources (both digital and hardcopy) I have, it just looks like random leftover numbers just sitting there.

        In later years that space showed NL scores (just totals, not inning by inning).

      • Michael Emody | May 24, 2020 at 5:56 pm |

        Thanks, y’all. I’d considered some sort of ballpark lotto but back in 43… seems a bit too adventurous for the 40’s! If it was a small ballpark, the extra numbers might be a thing, but Cleveland must have had a scoreboard that hung numbers from the inside.

  • DJ | May 23, 2020 at 9:41 am |

    they are going to enjoy every second this small club that plays in their ground that translate’s into stadium at the old Forrester’s hose.

    Forester’s House. “Stadium at the Old Forester’s House.”

    • Phil Hecken | May 23, 2020 at 9:57 am |

      Thanks, fixed

  • Jamie Rathjen | May 23, 2020 at 9:44 am |

    Bibiana Steinhaus is the only female referee in any of the major leagues of Europe.

    Ligue 1 has had one (Stéphanie Frappart) for about a year.

    Also, Alphonso Davies.

    • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 11:00 am |

      !!!!! i new i put in a Z, damn it. i also hate when i pronounce emré can…chan and not john like it should be. bad habits, sorry.

      and i did not now ligue 1 hired a woman referee this year, that’s awesome! i am very happy to be wrong there as a referee whose favourite basketball running mate happens to be a woman who takes a lot of shit. but i could have fact checked that.

      • Jamie Rathjen | May 23, 2020 at 1:51 pm |

        It is pretty awesome. Have seen a few female assistant referees in men’s leagues as well (even in the U.S.).

        Really liked the enthusiasm in this piece. The Bundesliga is well worth everyone’s time right now.

  • Anthony Nuccio | May 23, 2020 at 9:56 am |

    It’s Schalke, not Shalke.

    • Phil Hecken | May 23, 2020 at 9:59 am |

      Fixed

      • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 11:03 am |

        did i seriously leave the “c” out of freaking Schalke? unforgivable, i am embarrassed by that.

        • Anthony Nuccio | May 23, 2020 at 6:53 pm |

          No worries! I’m a Schalke supporter, so I noticed it relatively easily. ;)

  • Rich | May 23, 2020 at 10:09 am |

    1. The Astros are not a pinstripe team or cursive team.
    2. The Astros are a navy blue and orange team. End of discussion.

    Thank you for understanding this. Too bad the previous owner didn’t.

    • Nestor Chylak | May 23, 2020 at 11:14 am |

      Expos were not a pinstripe, cursive team, either.

      • Flip | May 23, 2020 at 12:28 pm |

        Why the Astros chose not to incorporate the shooting star on their redesigned unis is beyond me.

        And I agree, Houston is a navy and orange team and it’s neither a cursive team nor a pinstripe team.

  • Wade Heidt | May 23, 2020 at 10:14 am |

    Thanks for the Bundesliga breakdown!

    My favourite player there is of course Alphonso Davies. He is still a teenager and the best soccer player Canada has to offer. He will be the best Canadian soccer player of all-time.

    We were lucky enough here in Vancouver to have him with the Whitecaps in MLS from 2016-2018. Really exciting highlights in that last season. He was only 15 years old when he debuted on the Whitecaps’ roster in 2016.

    https://e00-marca.uecdn.es/assets/multimedia/imagenes/2016/10/07/14758636460679.jpg

    • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 11:53 am |

      i am happy for you as a canadian, the energy is unreal, as is the speed in the runs he makes. he’s a wing back now, but i don’t see how he doesn’t play up top for canada. and what a solid kid mentally. wound out leaving out a lot of the north american references as i moved on, but there are maybe 10 quality north americans playing in the league, and one coach, i didn’t even mention that.

  • JohnMark | May 23, 2020 at 10:15 am |

    Dang, LOVED this bundesliga write up. Always thought of myself as a natural BVB fan with their fun uniforms, playing style, and Klopp, but I may have to read more into my options!

    • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 11:25 am |

      this is the thing about the bundesliga. while i tried to keep politics out of it, except for the really fumbling way i ended the intro at 2am phils time that i can’t believe i am not getting hammered for yet, you can’t keep politics out of the bundesliga since local clubs and local politics are the same, even Bayern münchen

      uni-watchers who are not dead sent against fußball, can deep dive so many intricately woven aesthetic details of every club. i could have expanded and written forever about this, but i think the second division is where it is at most years, and i didn’t touch them.

      you can do a lot worse then BVB as a team, they are always going to have the most exciting young talent, and a killer crowd, and champions league fußball. granted two of those three are dead for now, but still. i’m personally fond of Klopp because people tell me every week(when i saw people) , “you know how you look like?” and i say “yes, the normal one”.

      oh! there is a killer BVB podcast called “the yellow wall”, it is easily the best english language team oriented podcast. i don’t follow BVB, and i still listen. they guys are hysterically german too.

      • Clevo | May 23, 2020 at 1:28 pm |

        Much like you hear on all of the KBO broadcasts that we’re missing out on the atmosphere watching these games with no fans, it’s the same for the Bundesliga. Its really weird watching these matches being able to hear the players and coaches and not hearing the crowds.
        I went to Koln to see Arsenal play a few years a go and was thoroughly impressed by the home support. And despite losing to them that night, have picked them as my team to follow in Germany.

        • Rpm | May 23, 2020 at 2:45 pm |

          The best way to get a team, and a great team to pick. They are also in the uptic.

  • Randy | May 23, 2020 at 10:46 am |

    Love the Astros concepts….Exactly what they need!
    Great job….

    • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 11:30 am |

      i have to say, the first option is pretty spot on, he really nailed that racing-shooting combo..

  • Nestor Chylak | May 23, 2020 at 11:19 am |

    Whoever wrote that history of the 1971-88 Orioles uniforms is factually challenged. I get the feeling English is not his first language as well.

  • diggerjohn111 | May 23, 2020 at 11:34 am |

    I went to school on Long Island, someone tell the geniuses at USAToday that Long Island IS an actual island.

  • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 12:04 pm |

    i have to bike up north to watch a wedding from a knothole in an alley to cheer on some love, but i am going to stay on this all day to answer any questions, or explain any of my words that were admittedly choppy because i want people to understand and love what i do, i really no offense to anyone, and tried to point out both sides to the “palastics” even. but who knows, my subconscious is my subconscious.

    also, later when i get the time i am going to post some links here in the comments to the best english language sources available to you for information like “the yellow wall podcast” that i mentioned above.

    • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm |

      a 20 mile bike ride, and covid-wedding from outside is highly recommended to clear the blues. it was so cathartic to cheer! as if i would have anyway, it is impossible not to have a great day now

  • Le Cracquere | May 23, 2020 at 12:42 pm |

    Two thumbs, all the way up, for Astros concept #3. It has EVERYTHING, to the point of being the Platonic Astros ideal.

    • walter | May 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm |

      Two words which should never appear in the same sentence are “Astros” and “traditional”. Their best iconography has always looked to the future, as befits a team channeling rockets and astronauts.

    • johnnyastros | May 23, 2020 at 2:55 pm |

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed, and this too was my personal favorite out of the designs!

  • Jacks | May 23, 2020 at 12:44 pm |

    This is the only Wolfsburg shirt I’ve liked in the last 15 years. They always seem to do a little too much with their kits.

    https://www.oldfootballshirts.com/img/shirts/563/vfl-wolfsburg-home-football-shirt-2008-2009-s_33429_1.jpg

    • Rpm | May 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm |

      Yeah, they have a couple, but they are the exception for sure. I actually like this years quite a bit.

      I’m at the wedding in Logan square, this is just awesome!

  • Chipper Llc | May 23, 2020 at 12:48 pm |

    AWESOME job on the bundesliga breakdown. I usually skip “all things soccer” but that was a lot of effort and geniusly done!

    AAAA++++

    • Rpm | May 23, 2020 at 2:30 pm |

      Thank you so much, this was really special for me, which is why some of my rushed mistakes bother me. But I am happy that you could still read it. If you want to discuss anything bundesliga, get in touch! Rpmarshall gmail

  • trevor | May 23, 2020 at 1:22 pm |

    Robert, what’s the story behind living in East Berlin?

    • Rpm | May 23, 2020 at 2:24 pm |

      It was one of those East-west information exchanges. My pops worked for Dow chemical, so he was Part of the exchange. I still have zero idea of any job my father had with Dow, so I can’t be more specific then that. Sorry, he isn’t a great communicator to say the least. But My grandfather( Robert sr), who was OSS after wwll wrote then president ford to get me diplomatic immunity so I could more easily go through the border to John f Kennedy Schule in the west. I know I am the first, and quite possibly only American citizen to have this distinction.

  • Julie | May 23, 2020 at 2:27 pm |

    This was a great breakdown and super helpful to learn a new soccer league, thank you! I wish I had a breakdown like this for the EPL when I was getting into it a decade ago, even though I’m happy on the team I randomly chose to cheer for. COYS.

    • Rpm | May 23, 2020 at 2:38 pm |

      Yes! That was my goal! 10 years ago there was little English language info, which is why the EPL is what it is, but even now it is really had to find. If you want to read some great stuff, go to the bundesliga fanatic! It’s an OG source in line.

  • Michael Emody | May 23, 2020 at 3:45 pm |

    I like Jonathan Martin’s Astros concepts. I did a similar thing back in 2013, but I incorporated the star deeper into the Astros word mark.

  • RS Rogers | May 23, 2020 at 3:59 pm |

    Thanks to the Comrade for this guide. I’ve been struggling to pick a Bundesliga team. My basic criteria are:

    1) I prefer underdogs to dynasties, Twins to Yankees;
    2) Good fan culture free from far-right extremism;
    3) Good uniforms preferred;
    4) Preferably from a city I like or want to visit.

    Bayern is 2,3,4; Hertha is 1,2,3; Koln is 1,2,4. I think I may go Augsburg, which I think hits all 4 of my preferences. But darn Bayern looks good, and darn Hertha’s fans are legendary, and darn Koln is a city I love. I’d be grateful for any recommendations, especially from Comrade Marshall.

    • rpm | May 23, 2020 at 4:38 pm |

      thanks rsr, nice to talk to you again:)
      köln isn’t flashy, but they are always solid and have the badge. basically they are inverse bayern in that red is always their road colours. they also have those couple times on the road where they will randomly have red sox or shorts too, and white-white-colour socks is my absolute favourite look.

      i would say werder and frankfurt are excellent choices too for your criteria. my teams are SURPRISE! chemie leipzig and sv babelsberg 03. but i watch mostly 1st and 2nd division where i more or less root for the yo-yo’s and hard luck traditionals. there are so many mirrors between germany and the states, and i love seeing the difference in how we handle or history and current events.

      but as i think you know, i have lived in 16+(i lose count) cities, so i am reeeeal used to changing loyalty, and rooting for multiple teams. i pick a side in head to head but root for both to have success. i also don’t feel the need to hate on rivals i have no developed hatred for.

      blah blah, so nice to respond to you again!

  • Paul G | May 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm |

    Love the ‘stros concepts and the writeups! It’s always fun to see concepts from fans of the teams themselves

  • Josh Claywell | May 23, 2020 at 4:52 pm |

    The Oregon track complex isn’t a rendering.

  • Tjb | May 23, 2020 at 10:38 pm |

    Robert-thanks for putting this together. Love the matching of Bundesliga clubs to their US equivalent

  • Lindsay R | May 24, 2020 at 1:07 am |

    Sorry for the loss of your cat, Robert. :(

  • Parts | May 26, 2020 at 4:51 pm |

    St. Pauli fürs Leben