BVB 09 America - How Don became a Dortmund supporter
Only recently Don from the US of A became a football fan. Whereas his boys decided to go along with the mainstream, Don decided his club would be mighty Borussia Dortmund. He started a blog (check it here - BVB 09 America) to write about being a BVB fan from stateside. He was kind enough to let us publish one of his blog posts on how he became a Borussia Dortmund supporter. Sometimes strange things happen to you. This is what happened to Don.
"I've been wondering how soccer became so much a part of our lives here in America. For me, it clearly is a recent phenomena. I grew up a baseball player, and I still follow baseball and love the game within the game that baseball provides. I tried to teach my kids the game, mainly because thats what Dad's do in America, right? Somehow, I failed. Somehow, baseball failed or soccer won, but regardless soccer has taken over.
I know, I heard all the jeers from my baseball friends about kids that played soccer and couldn't commit 100% to baseball. "I can't be at the practice on Saturday 'cause I have a soccer game" a kid would say. "Well, he must be one of those soccer kids then" one of the Dad's would say, and the other coaches would laugh. I wonder who will be laughing in the end?
Years ago, my oldest son proclaimed his love of soccer and his allegiance to Bayern Munich. "Who?" I said. Soon we were getting him Bayern Munich jerseys and scarfs and posters, etc. He enrolled in German language classes in high school and eventually became the President of the German Club. Can you see where this is going? I couldn't yet. I think I was in denial. My other younger boys were still playing baseball. There was hope. We had lost the first born, but the other two sons would save the family and continue the American baseball tradition. The American Pass Time - Baseball. The Field of Dreams - Baseball.
I began to notice that our DVR was becoming full of soccer shows: soccer games, soccer highlights, soccer documentaries, soccer news, etc. And when I mean the DVR was getting 'full' I mean FULL! How can anyone watch this much soccer? How can there be this much soccer to show on TV? Now, I was getting mad. This was going a little too far, and was getting close to being just weird. It was about this time that our oldest son enticed us to host a German foreign exchange student. We actually were excited and very open to it. The period was for only a couple of weeks but the experience was awesome. The culture we experienced was palpable. We discussed many items of American culture and German culture. Yes, we discussed soccer. Now can you see where this is going?
We hosted our friend from Germany in the Spring of that year and by the end of the Spring, my oldest son had come to us to suggest a trip to Germany for our family. We had never been to a foreign country, but the experience of the student exchange had influenced us a lot and we decided to look into it. I was given the duty of planning the trip...so soccer never entered my mind of things to do or see. We had precious few days in this country and soccer would not be one of them. We made the trip that summer, and what a trip it was. What a beautiful country. I had researched my family heritage during this time and learned that my Great Great Grandfather had immigrated to America from Prussia in the 1850's. The records we have are spotty, and so where exactly in 1850 Prussia is tough to pinpoint.
After that summer trip my eldest went to college and so things with soccer would return to normal, right? Not really. My other two sons had quit baseball, and soon I found myself coming home to soccer balls being kicked around the house. Soccer balls were everywhere, under every table, on every floor. The backyard grass yard where the boys would often play 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 soccer was more like a worn pad of dirt instead of a lush green field. Soccer on TV was still ever present and new shows and new games were constantly added. Another piece that fueled the fire for soccer in our household was the love of soccer in my brothers family. He also had two boys who played baseball, and soccer. Soccer won their too. My boy's cousins from across town played soccer at a higher level. One of them was presented with an opportunity to play soccer for the IMG school in Florida. He left home for a year and played soccer year round and traveled to international tournaments. Their cousin, my brother's son, eventually signed to play for a Major League Soccer team. Now you see where this is going?
Of course we had to get season tickets. We were excited for him, the soccer was a by-product of the effort to support the family. Yet, now for the first time we watched the soccer with more interest, or at least I did. I really enjoyed myself and I know the whole family did. Now I found myself watch the soccer that filled my TV and DVR. One day I noticed a Bundesliga Magazine show about a young soccer star for a German Bundesliga team. I liked the story. I liked following prospects, more then superstar veterans, and this kid looked like someone who I might follow for his career as I might follow my nephew's new career. I remember thinking to myself, "This is could be my favorite team." This team: Borussia Dortmund. You know, maybe this was where our family was from. I can pretend, right? As the MLS season came to a conclusion, the European leagues were beginning. Soon, my other boys had switched from their favorite MLS team they had been following to new teams, both Barclay's Premier League teams.
Conversations at dinner were often about soccer stars, soccer scores, soccer teams, soccer transactions, and soccer injuries. I felt left out a little. When I mentioned things about our local Major League Baseball team, the conversation would tail off and return to soccer. Baseball still held my interest, but soccer held theirs. If I was going to continue to be able to converse and be relevant, I had to pick a team. As the Bundesliga season of 2011-2012 progressed, my new favorite team was actually once again a top contender. After winning the championship in 2011, Borussia Dortmund were again on fire and I was able to rub it in when they bested the Bayern Munich team my eldest son loved so much. Now, along with our favorite MLS team from America, we all had favorite teams in other leagues, and those teams were all very good teams.
So, that brings us up to today. As I researched more about Borussia Dortmund I was surprised to find such a rich heritage of excellence. With all the ESPN and sports news, sports highlights we get here in America, it appears we haven't found the excellence of soccer played in longstanding clubs in Europe. I hope to change this. In the coming weeks and months, I hope you follow this Blog and learn more about this awesome team and talented group of players and coaches. Thanks for reading."
Do you have a blog or website on Borussia Dortmund we don't know about, let us know!