Sunday saw an historic event in Germany.
After failing thrice before, football club FSV Mainz 05 achieved promotion to the 1. Bundeliga for the first time ever. Tobias is doubtless rapt with joy even now.
To honour the stalwart lads from Rheinland-Pfalz I have composed a wee verse:
Climb whither thou couldst not before, now
Freed at last of gravity’s restraints,
To the Empyrean on eagle’s wings,
O thou heroic FSV Mainz!
I’m no Alfred L. Tennyson, but I think that’s pretty good, if I say so myself. If you think the rhyme doesn’t quite work, well, you’re wrong (and Tobias can tell you why). There’s terror and pity in there, too, if you know where to look for it. The eagle, you see, is the symbol of Eintracht Frankfurt, who were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga the day before, effectively swapping places with Mainz. One year ago, it was Frankfurt that achieved promotion to the top flight, pipping FSV at the post at (literally) the last minute. Now, as Mainz erupts in celebration, the Eintracht walks the walk of shame (though never, one is confident, alone). To continue in our artsy-fartsy poetical mode, let us imagine a discarded scarf lying in a gutter, emblazoned ‘Eintracht Frankfurt 2002/2003: Look on our works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
In other news, Germany elected a president or something yesterday.