I’m extremely proud of my German heritage, and I generally root for Deutschland internationally when the U.S. isn’t playing. Yet, I have never really gotten behind the idea of following a Bundesliga side. Ladies and gentleman, that has changed.
Now, I won’t be following this team nearly to the extent that I follow Everton and Chicago Fire. That’s not to say I won’t be invested, but it might take a while to get even with my other favorite squads. Especially considering that those two particular squads have their games far more readily available on the internet and TV, in addition to the fact that most of their coverage is in English (my German is VERY rusty).
With that said, I’m proud to announce that I will become a fan of 1899 Hoffenheim.
Now, if that seems random, well, it is. I’ve been flirting with the idea of finding a Bundesliga squad for a while now, but I thought this seemed like the appropriate time to dive in and have a vested interest in the league of the country of my ancestry.
I went into the search with only one requirement, the club could not be Bayern Munich. That’s not to say I hate those guys, I don’t (yet), but rather that I would feel like a total bandwagoner hopping on the best team in the league historically and a team that just finished second in the Champions League. Well, and I absolutely can’t stand Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
So I reached out to Twitter (shouts out to @Reetz13) and Facebook and did a little bit of homework myself. After taking some interest of the club, I found out that it appears to be the closest Bundesliga club to where my family traces its roots from, which pushed it over the top.
I have to say that the history is certainly interesting. This is a club that played in the eighth division just 20 years ago, but billionaire Dietmar Hopp, who grew up in the club, came back and has invested in it to the point that it is a relatively competitive club in one of the better leagues in the world. Is that not something that every kid dreams about? Owning a major sports team in your own hometown? That just seems extra-awesome to me.
We’ll see where this goes, but I have to say, I’m pretty excited about it.