Die-hard football fans dread the summer break. It’s a strange two and a half month period with one barren weekend following the next. Obsessive followers check the transfer rumors several times a day and fans throughout the world tinker with their fantasy teams non-stop. But really it’s all just a way of making the time go by more quickly. Being prepared for that moment: The new season, full of hopes and dreams.
On July 11, 1992, Young Germany editor Alex Handcock was picked as one of several children to sing “Heal the World” on stage with Michael Jackson in Cologne. With Jackson’s untimely death, he remembers the day he took to stage with the King of Pop.
The anticipation had been building all week. Our teacher had told us we were going to Cologne to sing at a Michael Jackson concert. Our class talked of nothing else – we were going to sing “Heal the World” with the King of Pop.
There’s urban art and graffiti all over Germany’s capital. Some better than others… have a look at some impressions from the streets of Berlin:
Click through more urban art pictures on Young Germany here:
Or look at the set on Flickr here:
If you had tipped VfL Wolfsburg for the Bundesliga title at the beginning of the season, you would have been declared crazy. If you had been crazy enough to put money on it, you would have been, well, crazy rich. Even Wolfsburg’s coach Felix Magath admitted that before the season he never would have thought that “Wolfsburg have a chance to be German champions.” But on Saturday Wolfsburg won the championship for the first time in their history; sending players and fans absolutely crazy as they all danced around the pitch in a beer-soaked, chaotic frenzy.
At 15:30, when all the Bundesliga games kicked off on Saturday, the title race was talked up as a four-way battle. Anything could happen. It was, after all, the most exciting title tussle in Europe. But at 17:20, when all the matches were over, it seemed crazy to have thought that any team other than Wolfsburg could win this year’s Bundesliga title. VfL Wolfsburg had just destroyed Hannover 96 5-0 away from home. With the other results going their way, they opened up a two-point gap at the top of the league meaning they need only to draw at home against Bremen next weekend to clinch the championship.
Imagine an exiting football season. Now double that excitement. And now add a mind-boggling plotline à la Lost. Not even close. This Bundesliga season is simply incomprehensibly and inconceivably incredible. So incredible, in fact, that after a rollercoaster ride of a season, with just two games left to play; four teams at the top are separated by just two points.
As usual, we began the season knowing Bayern Munich would win all along. But then we toyed with the idea that hyper-hyped newbies 1899 Hoffenheim could do it. They were top at the half way point, played great football, but proceeded to drop quicker than Christiano Ronaldo in the penalty area. Then when Bundesliga dinosaurs Hamburg went top, we thought they could win it too.
Following the infamous Winnenden school massacre on March 11, 2009, in which a 17-year-old shot dead 15 people in the southwestern town in Germany, before killing himself, the German government has agreed to tighten gun laws. According to media reports, random checks for gun owners will be implemented and paintball and laser tag will be banned.
This has lead to a debate erupting in the paintball and laser tag scene. Paintball is a sport in which players use air guns and rifles to shoot small paint pellets at opponents; whilst in laser tag, players wear vests with sensors and shoot at each other with an infrared-emitting gun.
“They simulate killing,” the deputy head of the conservative Christian Union parliamentary group, Wolfgang Bosbach, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.