The nonsense I have to listen to every Monday…!

For football fans such as myself, the weekend is clearly mapped out. Either you go to the stadium to cheer on your team, or if you can’t make it, you watch the game live on television. If you’re forced to do the latter, you make sure that you watch with fellow supporters of the same club, avoiding rival fans and people who aren’t interested in football and will talk through the game. Essentially, you try to spend the weekend cocooned away from both fans of other faiths and soccer atheists: I manage it quite well, and it’s great!

The problem comes on Monday, of course, when I have to leave this cocoon and go to work. Then there’s just no avoiding the whole “yesterday’s game” discussion with colleagues who support other teams, or the cheeky, somehow vacuous grins of the co-workers sat opposite me whose team happened to win on the weekend. Do these people really think that they suddenly understand the full complexity of the beautiful game simply because their cruddy bunch of amateurs got lucky and put one past the post in the last minute of extra time? That doesn’t stop them mouthing off; you just wouldn’t believe the nonsense I have to listen to every Monday morning.

Like this morning, for example: Hannover won 3:0 against Freiburg. I mean, honestly: Hannover! Does anyone outside Germany even know where it is? Most people in the Federal Republic certainly don’t. And they don’t care, either, because it is the most boring of all of Germany’s federal capitals – with the worst team of any of them, too. Seriously, can anyone think of a team with less trophies than Hannover 96?

Unfortunately, however, they’re playing quite well – and nobody knows why. The team is decidedly average, as is their coach, Slomka. Perhaps their opponents are just being nice to them: “Come on guys, it’s Hannover – I mean, Hannover! Give the guys a break!” I can’t really think of another reason why they are so high in the table at the moment.

Anyway, as if the Hannover fans in the office aren’t bad enough, there’s the Bayern München ones too. Just because they’ve finally pulled off a half-decent game and hammered Frankfurt 4:1, they’ve spent most of the morning singing their own praises and explaining that only they have what it takes to be the Champions. Schalke 04 fans, too, are excruciating at the moment: the team made it into the last 16 of the Champions’ League last week, so the fans are now making fools of themselves explaining to everyone how their 0:5 defeat at Kaiserslautern was “an important step on the way to winning the Bundesliga in 2013.” Oh, come off it!

And as if all that weren’t enough to have me reaching for my shotgun already, there’s the continuous annoyance provided by the female population of the office, who almost to a woman think football is “just a silly boys’ game” and stand tutting and clucking at the coffee machine as us experts are analysing the important details of the weekend’s matches with razor-sharp precision. I wouldn’t mind if they just ignored it, but they’ll complain for three years solid, only to come in wearing t-shirts with Germany flags stretched across their bosoms whilst cooing about how sexy Bastian Schweinsteiger is come next World Cup.

When will all of these know-nothings realise that there is only one truly great team in Germany. The team that has never dropped out of the top league, which has been part of the footballing elite for 47 years and 97 days, and which swept Stuttgart out of the stadium with a 4:2 bashing on Saturday? It’s HSV – enough said.

Results Matchday 14:
1. FSV Mainz 05 – 1. FC Nürnberg 3:0
Bayern München – Eintracht Frankfurt 4:1
Hamburger SV – VfB Stuttgart 4:2
1899 Hoffenheim – Bayer Leverkusen 2:2
Hannover 96 – SC Freiburg 3:0
1. FC Kaiserslautern – FC Schalke 04 5:0
Borussia Dortmund – Borussia Mönchengladbach 4:1
Werder Bremen – FC St. Pauli 3:0
1. FC Köln – VfL Wolfsburg 1:1

1 Borussia Dortmund 37 P
2 1. FSV Mainz 05 30 P
3 Bayer Leverkusen 26 P
4 Hannover 96 25 P
5 Bayern München 23 P
6 1899 Hoffenheim 22 P
7 Hamburger SV 21 P
8 SC Freiburg 21 P
9 Eintracht Frankfurt 20 P
10 1. FC Nürnberg 18 P
11 Werder Bremen 18 P
12 1. FC Kaiserslautern 17 P
13 VfL Wolfsburg 16 P
14 FC St. Pauli 14 P
15 FC Schalke 04 13 P
16 1. FC Köln 12 P
17 VfB Stuttgart 11 P
18 Borussia Mönchengladbach 10 P

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