At ARD, they obviously know very well how to get me. In the absence of current football in the Corona break, the first on the website of his sports show is currently broadcasting old games again in full length, as the first the sports show showed the DFB Cup semi-final between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Werder Bremen from 1984. 36 years ago.
I have seen this game five times, I know exactly what happens when, the unforgettable appearance of the unforgettable Hans-Jörg Criens, the vicissitudes of the game from 3: 1 to 3: 4 to 5: 4 in extra time, the wafts of fog the smoke bomb, the “Now I get up” from live reporter Heribert Fassbender, I can almost pray. There is nothing in these 120 minutes of football that I am not familiar with.
Of course I watched it a sixth time.
Almost all sports channels are currently using what is called a canned food. Football games from the past, cup games from the eighties, international matches of previous tournaments, Dieter Hoeneß with the turban, Michael Kutzop and the goal post, Toni, hold the ball. Patrick Battiston on the stretcher, Thierry Henry with his hand on the ball, Diego Maradona too. Every football fan knows these scenes, and yet these retro games find their audience. Why actually?
The tension moment fails
After all, the most important thing that makes football stand out. Football lives from not knowing how the game will turn out. Even if SC Paderborn takes on Bayern Munich and it should actually be clear who will be the winner in the end, there is always a chance, however small it may be, that the bottom of the table due to any circumstances, a lucky shot, an own goal, an inexplicable turn that stumbles the great. Not everything is possible in football, but it is conceivable. The attraction of this game lies in the unknown ending.
And yet thousands watch when the sports show shows Germany against England from 1996 at the Wembley Stadium, although it is clear to everyone from the first minute that Germany will win in the penalty shootout and Andreas Möller will strut like a peacock through Wembley, the English like that storming so much in the beginning. That’s not what it is about.
Watching an old soccer game is like looking at the family’s photo album. It is ‘Do you remember what you did back then, do you still remember where you were, with whom?’ When you watched the World Cup round of 16 Netherlands vs. Portugal 2006? Of course, in the Kiki Blofeld beach bar in Berlin, I can still feel the warmth on my skin, the mild evening light after the summer day.
The smell of rubbing alcohol
Do you remember what it was like to watch the 1986 World Cup final? Burruchaga and Völler, Valdano and Schumacher. I was lying on the sofa with a fever of 39 degrees, the year after graduating from high school, social service, mobile nursing, watching the games in Mexico until late at night, then driving to Bad Lippspringe and Elsen in the Caritas company car at five in the morning to see old people who could no longer do it themselves, wash, rub and shave. The smell of rubbing alcohol, “Be careful, it’s getting cold for a moment”, immediately on your nose when a game from 1986 is on TV somewhere.
It is an assurance of one’s own childhood, of youth, yes, that’s how it was when Allan Simonsen scored 1-1 in the 1977 European Cup against Liverpool, with Grandma on the couch, nibbles on the table, these goldfish , which was always with her, the timbre of ZDF reporter Rolf Kramer in the ear, and the dog that peeped out from under the showcase, his favorite place to sleep. Images like photographs, some a little out of focus, yet incredibly present. After 30 years, 40, 50.
This Thursday evening we are ticking on SPIEGEL.de the European Championship final Germany against Czechoslovakia from 1976. Germany loses. Belgrade. Night sky. Uli Hoeneß. Everyone knows that. It doesn’t matter. But there was Black Forest cherry cake in the afternoon. The adults drank cognac.