How the Steigerlied unites football clubs | free press

Our author has already experienced a lot of unpleasant things in fan curves: abusive songs, fists, middle fingers. But then came this moment in the Erzgebirge Stadium.


The first reaction: dislike. The second: volume. The third: abusive songs, fists in the air, occasionally even middle fingers. You shouldn’t weigh everything that happens before, during and after a football match in the fans’ corners of the clubs that are facing each other on the field.

Football is then above all an outlet, a simple game that is completely exaggerated week after week in an almost grotesque way. Grown men who can touch a ball with their foot particularly sensitively are suddenly heroes. Sad unlucky people who have made a mistake are sometimes attacked. If they have the particular misfortune of having a part of their body touch the playing equipment last, which then ends up in their own goal, players in Colombia have even been killed – as actually happened. But football is also identity, passion, emotion. Some fathers, one hears their wives tell, shed no tears at the birth of their children. But when the beloved football club had to relegate. Football is therefore often: inexplicable.

And anyone who has never been part of such a curve, who has never been able to experience the special fascination of this total devotion, not only lacks a good portion of life experience, no, they will never understand all this circus that takes place around a match day.

Sometimes, however, things still happen in the stadium that amaze or even touch even the hardened supporters, those who have always been there. Things on the pitch that are reserved for Lionel Messi. Things in the stands that happen all of a sudden in the third division.

There was such a moment in FC Erzgebirge Aue’s last home game against Rot-Weiss Essen. The guest block, whose concrete gray week after week stands like a silent accusation, a sad reminder that Aue is currently not where it belongs according to its own self-image, was finally well filled again: almost 1000 people from Essen had traveled to the Ore Mountains to to support their team colorfully, cheerfully and loudly with a multitude of flags. The first, expected reaction from the home fans: dislike; As soon as the guests dared to greet their team loudly for the first time as they warmed up, the fans across the street whistled through the Erzgebirge stadium, making their eardrums whistle as well. The second reaction: resist! So the violet fans got all the louder when their players stepped onto the lawn for the first time. And then, the closer the game got, there was always a counterattack as soon as the red-white Esseners dared to hold their flags in the wind and start chanting: abusive songs, fists in the air, occasionally even middle fingers. Just like later on the field, the fan groups didn’t give up a millimeter without a fight, you could literally see the purple-white and red-white sound waves, how they met at the level of the center line in the air, maltreated each other, boxed, mutually forced the ground and didn’t give up there either, but wedged together, rolling wildly in the blades of grass and disappeared.

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This spectacle went on until the stadium management – as in every home game of FC Erzgebirge – sent the Steigerlied over the boxes. A homage to tradition, to history, to so many buddies who helped in this town, in this area, to work their way deeper and deeper into the rock, whose sweat is still in the shafts and hills of the Ore Mountains – just like in passion for their BSG bismuth. What happened next was epic: the sound waves, launched from both corners with so much fervor and hostility it seemed, suddenly stopped on their way to the center line. Just stand still. to look around. Both curves, together they sang the first words, the first lines, the first tones, the melody.

The sound waves, they now found themselves in the middle, they almost hugged each other, they began to pick up speed in an impressive step and to encompass the whole circle more and more together: luck up, luck up, it echoed, the climber is coming; and it has its bright light at night… Also in the grandstand, even where the press is sitting, the first people got up from their seats and sang along. Like a wave that flooded the grandstand and swept away everything that was standing, sitting or crouching there. For that moment, it didn’t matter what color the scarf, the robe, the hat was, they all found themselves and what they had in common in the Steigerlied for 144 seconds. And it seemed as if all the hills and shafts, maybe even the sky, were singing along, very softly.