About the Abseits Guide to Germany

"Abseits" is German for "offsides", which certainly is an accurate description of this site. The inspiration for this web site basically comes from having too much time on my hands. You obviously are in the same situation, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. But, if you're going to surf, you might as well get info about the best soccer league in the world instead of something like Serie A, Primera Liga or "Premiership". If you want to read about those, you'll have to roll your own or surf somewhere else.

This site is loosely based on the style from the superb book, "European Football", from The Rough Guide. My only gripe was that the book wasn't long enough, and definitely needed more info on Germany. Thus, Abseits.

Aside from personal experience, I have consulted many publications and had help from many individuals. Here is a partial list of sources.

Why German soccer?

I find German soccer fascinating, not just because of personal experience. Germans tend to be obsessive about statistics and history (only the Germans would have kept detailed records of how many Jews they were murdering), and the history of the game in Germany is well researched and documented. With the influence of two World Wars, the uniqueness of the 3rd Reich, occupying other countries, the split between East and West, great beer and horrible pop-music, German soccer offers something that other countries can't match. Finally, German soccer clubs were really founded on the basis of community, as virtually every single club started as a member based club open to all, unlike the British clubs which essentially were intitially exclusive and soon professional entities. You can never play for Arsenal or Manchester United, but you could probably play for Bayern München, albeit in the 15th division. Or you could represent the club as a chess player.

In the end, what prompted me to embark upon this (aside from having too much time on my hands) was the fact that German soccer is somewhat less accessible to most folks due to the inscrutable German language. So I decided to decipher the mysteries for english speakers, and get my own soapbox upon which I could pontificate like some windbag in the U.S. senate...

Now despite all the jokes and fascination with the 3rd Reich, it is important to note (and you readers of the British tabloids pay attention!!) that today Germany is a civilized, democratic peaceful country that respects human rights and decency among nations - certainly more so than my own country, the USA. But their food sucks, which is why they invade France all the time.

As for myself, I once was a decent soccer player, having learned my craft on the fields of Am Gelben Sprung and Windhornstrasse in Wuppertal. I spent many a happy day slamming dozens of goals for "WSV" past the "Rot-Weiss Essen" keeper (my brother). Of course, when I got older, play got more serious. Here's a recent photo of me in action. Pretty neat, eh?


If you would like to participate in the task of spreading German soccer in cyberspace or if you have info you'd like to contribute, please feel free to drop me a line. Criticism is welcomed, but ignored :)

e-mail: John Dwyer (jtdwyer@sonic.net) .

Technical stuff:

OK, the quality of the HTML on this site is lame. When I started, I just wanted to learn enough HTML to be able to get the web version of printf("Hello, World!"). And I've never progressed since then. So despite all the sophisticated tools available, I still use a plain ascii text editor to do the whole site. That's why it looks like crap. Of course, I tell myself that the lack of all the fancy stuff and graphics allows folks with a 9.6 modem to load it fast, but in fact, I'm too lazy to improve it. Maybe someday. I started with Internet Explorer and am at least trying to make sure it looks the same in Mozilla Firefox, but that's about it.

Legal Stuff:

This site is presented "as is" and for the private use of our audience. You may freely copy any section, but I would appreciate a reference to www.abseits-soccer.com. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information on this site. If, by using this site, you go insane or otherwise cause damage to yourself or others, that's your fault.