almost a diary, compulsory reading, Fußball, photoblogging, Sport

Sometimes Football Is More.

On Sunday, the definition of “tragedy” was rewritten. Mainz 05, the local football team lost the race for the third promotion spot to Germany’s premier league, Bundesliga, by a single goal, and a single second, to local rival Eintracht Frankfurt. Both teams had scored 59 points in 33 games. Befor the last, and decisive, game, they were separated only by goal difference: Eintracht Frankfurt’s was one goal better.

The race was too close to call. At half-time, Frankfurt led 3:1 and Mainz led 2:0 against their respective opponents. Nothing had changed. But then Mainz scored twice while Frankfurt got two goals. Frankfurt would have to score four goals now – or three, should Mainz get one. A rather improbable scenario 80 minutes into the games.

Nonetheless, this is what happened. After Mainz got the 4:1 Frankfurt scored three goals in seven minutes, the 6:3 literally in the last second of the game’s extension leaving Mainz’ players and supporters (like myself) in a numbed state somewhere between disbelief and denial.

 It was heart-breaking to see so many people burst into tears – again. Pretty much the same thing happened about a year ago in Berlin. It just was not fair.

But life often isn’t – despite our Hollywood inspired tendency to believe in happy ends. In life, we have to fight the obstacles without guaranteed success. But if we’re lucky, we have someone who fights with us. And I suppose the team of Mainz 05 is lucky.

They will never walk alone.

almost a diary, Sport

Still Alive.

Thanks for all your nice wishes! Well, so I did run. And I am still alive – well, I never actually questioned that ;-). Although some people did drop out and had to get treated by paramedics, which is not the most pleasant thing to see while running.

However, things did not go as smoothly as I had hoped for, which is why I had to call it a day after a half-marathon – and therefore did not get anywhere near a runner’s-high today… actually, it was more like a runner’s-low for two major reasons:

Firstly, after about two kilometers into the course, I suddenly felt sick for no apparent reason and had to force myself to empty my stomach in a movable loo. I already thought about giving up, but strangely enough, my stomach apparently had second thoughts and behaved like a good boy afterwards.

Secondly, when I was in Paris at the end of March, I apparently enjoyed running au bord de la Seine a little too much, for as a result I developed a
bone-skin infection in my left shin in recent weeks. This, in turn, significantly reduced the amount of training I had envisaged. But I thought it would be best to be really careful, given a previous knee-injury and the fact that I had been running a lot all throughout the winter and was thus not too concerned about my overall condition, even though I was sure to be slower than I had hoped I could be. So the big question was, would the shin hurt too much to go all the way?

Unfortunately, it did. So hopefully, I’ll be able to answer the runner’s high question after the Frankfurt Marathon in October…

almost a diary, oddly enough, Sport, USA

Gutenberg-Marathon Me.

In a few hours, I’ll be on the run.

Gutenberg Marathon

If I’m still alive afterwards, I’ll let you know ;-)

By the way, reader AL had an interesting comment regarding the unintended consequences of the Wal*Mart-Taleban story below:

“Part of this has to do with when Wal-Mart got big enough to move into a rural area and put all of the local small businesses out. In some western states, local businesses went with all nude female sales staffs to stay in business. Wal-Mart was blamed for destroying the local economy and the morals of the areas they opened up in.”


Important news.

Following Steven Wolfram’s “A new kind of science“, another algorythm solving one of the oldest mathematical problems, the determination of prime numbers (those which can only be divided by one and themselves), has been discovered by Indian researchers.

Mainz 05, up-and-coming football club in Germany’s second division, yesterday beat Union Berlin on their home ground. (Link).

For all those not too familiar with the second division of the German football league, Mainz05 is my home-town club and almost ascended to the premier league last season. Now they need all the suppport they can get to make it this time around. So please stand up for the (coming) champions, for the champions stand up…


I really hope she has not taken anything.

About an hour ago I watched the sports news. “Franzi is dead, long live Franziska” was today’s leitmotif. “Franzi”, or Franziska van Almsick, is a German heroine – hailing from east Berlin, she became the first common wunderkind after Germany’s reunification when she, then just fourteen years old, won four medals in the 1992 Olympic swimming competition.

She rose to the stars too quickly, far too early. And so she fell fast and deeply a few years later when she tried to cash in her early fame. Those were the days when she was seen on magazine covers and at fancy parties more often than in the swimming pool. Sydney 2000 therefor became the opposite of Barcelona ’92.

Most people thought her career was over. Another wunderkind who wasn’t able to keep up with the pressures of early success. But the humiliations of losing, ridicule and the subsequent media massacre apparently awakened the Phoenix in herself. And so she spread her wings, jumped back into the poola and began to swim. And now, after two years and a few million lanes she is back where she was once before – today she beat her own world record from 8 years ago.

But with the wisdom of years she had to pay for so dearly today’s success must have been much sweeter. And judging from the pictures of her tears after the race she must have felt the same way.

I really hope she hasn’t taken anything. If she has, her downfall will be faster and deeper than the first – and it will be permanent. If not, she will become a national icon for good. Let’s hope she’s our Lance.