Judd Zulgad and I were entertaining the masses with a radio show on a Saturday morning in May 2014 at Deacon’s Lodge, the golf course up the hill from Breezy Point. It was a horribly late spring and no golf was being played, so we needed topics.
I had been hearing reports of Minnesotans feigning an interest in specific teams in Premier League soccer and, after a few minutes of research, my decision was announced:
“Swansea City is my team. One nickname is ‘Jacks,’ in a honor of Jack, a black Labrador, credited with saving the lives of two dozen drunk Welshmen by pulling them out of the sea in the 1930s.
Amazingly, the Swans/Jacks were brought to the National Sports Center for an exhibition vs. our Loons that summer. I really wanted to be there, but the Twins had a crucial home game on their way to a last-place finish in the AL Central.
Swansea City and I had a great marriage for two seasons, but then it started to tumble: 12th place in 2016, 15th in 2017 and, in 2018, I learned the heartbreak of relegation, 18th to the minors, and dead to me.
Recently, Germany’s Bundesliga resumed and became a hyped opportunity to watch live sports. I did extensive research and decided on FSV Mainz 05 as my team.
Why Mainz? It was home to Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, and big ups for that, Gutey. It’s also not far from Fulda, the namesake of my Minnesota hometown.
I was really hoping Fulda was in the Bundesliga, but it turns out the once-proud futbol representatives of Borussia Fulda sports club basically reek.
Fulda futbol did compete well when German soccer was reorganized at the start of the Third Reich in 1933, eventually winning titles in the Gauliga Hessen in 1941, ’42 and ’44.
Then, all momentum was lost, as explained on Wiki: “The Gauliga Hessen collapsed in the 1944-45 season as Allied armies advanced into Germany as World War II drew to a close.’’
June 6, 1944. Normandy. Great sacrifice and glory for mankind. Bad for Fulda soccer.
• Swansea fanatics were upset when star Wilfried Bony was sold to Manchester City for 28 million euros in January 2015. Soon, he went from star to bust.
• Confession No. 1: I wanted a favorite Bundesliga team because getting to say “Bundesliga’’ reminds me of “Graupenwurst’’ sausage, my favorite food product as a kid in Fulda.
• Confession No. 2: I didn’t watch “The Last Dance.’’ A 90-minute documentary, maybe; 10 hours, not unless it’s Ken Burns.