The 2017/18 Bundesliga season is well under way and teams are battling for vital points in the title race. But with another international break on our hands, what can we do to kill some time? How about a knock-out competition between the club mascots to see who has the best one?
Let’s get ready to rumble! Ding, ding seconds out for the ‘Battle of the Bundesliga mascots’.
Werder Bremen are seemingly the party-poopers of the Bundesliga with no official match day mascot. Not since the sad passing of their seagull Werdi has the Weser Stadion got involved in the whole Maskottchen business, so it’s an early elimination for the Grün-Weißen (but after Sport Freude Lotte last season they are used to it).
Augsburg (Jim Button) v Mainz (Johannes the clown)
As we’ll see, the majority of the Bundesliga sides have gone down the animal route for their mascot, so it seems only fair to keep the humans out of this epic battle as far as possible. Mainz may be known as the Karnevalklub, but they fall short on the mascot front as Johannes the clown can’t even be arsed turning up on match days.
Scary clown he is not and he loses to Augsburg’s Jim Button- a puppet that Jim Henson would have had only as a back-up on the Muppet Show. His likeness to Bayern Munich’s David Alaba however works in his favour.
Round of 16
Hamburg (Hermann the dinosaur) v Mönchengladbach (Jünter the foal)
Dinosaurs may be extinct but the sheer size of Hermann counts in his favour. The fact that Jünter is a young horse and not a fully-fledged stallion works against the Gladbach mascot.
Hermann should think himself lucky to have been drawn against such an immature opponent. Not sure if he’d have triumphed against Barney the purple dinosaur (an anthropomorphic T-Rex no less).
Hertha Berlin (Herthinho the bear) v RB Leipzig (Bulli the bull)
The capital club have the city’s famous bear as their mascot, but they’ve gone for the rather Brazilian Herthinho as its name. Something more Germanic would have been better like Gottfried or Mannfred, but the bear still has decent chances here.
The Bull is also a contender and we all know that ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ so with the added power of flight, Bulli comes out on top in this match up. The fans won’t like the financially advantaged cow overcoming the more traditional bear, but that’s modern day mascotting (and football) for you.
Hannover (Eddi the dog) v Köln (Hennes the goat)
Real live goat against a man in a dog costume seems a bit unfair. Just what breed of dog is Eddi anyway? He’s not your famous German breed- an Alsatian, Rotweiler or Doberman, but rather a Hannoverscher Schweißhund– never heard of it? Thought so. Not so much Scooby Doo but Scooby Don’t.
Hennes showed no fear a while ago when Anthony Ujah tried taking him for a ride, so in this mascot battle the goat wins.
Frankfurt (Atilla the eagle) v Schalke (Erwin the miner)
The eagle, the pride of the birds of prey, takes on a Ruhrpott industrial worker in this clash. Certain world leaders (or is it solely Mr Trump?) may not believe in climate change, but the fact that scientific facts back it up and from my window I view a polar bear floating down the river on an ever shrinking ice cube leads me to be a tad anti-Erwin. C’mon Erwin fossil fuels have had their day.
If Schalke had Erwin the solar panel installer as their mascot then maybe the eagle would be defeated, but for now the Adler wins.
Augsburg (Jim Button) v Wolfsburg (Wölfi the wolf)
The Alaba doll made it through the prelim, but it has met his match here. C’mon, a puppet on a string against a wolf driving a Volkswagen? Wölfi would take out Jim much like Floyd Mayweather took down Connor McGregor. Nice try from the puppet, but he should stick to what he’s good at.
Freiburg (Füchsle the fox) v Stuttgart (Fritzle the alligator)
Being drawn at home is a definite advantage for the Freiburg fox. Had the contest taken place in the swamps of Swabia the gator may have had the upper hand, however on the lush Breisgauer grass of the Schwarzwald Stadion, the fox wins.
Don’t ask me how the fox will take down an alligator, but it would involve cunning. Yes, the fox’s cunning would win inspired by the club’s very own cunning fox Christian Streich.
Hoffenheim (Hoffi the elk) v Borussia Dortmund (Emma the bee)
What’s the difference between a reindeer, a moose and an elk? I don’t know either. If it had been Marvin the Moose, or Reinhardt the Reindeer, I would have perhaps swayed Hoofenheim’s (sic) way, but the bee wins here.
A sting in the tail, job done, and our only female competitor wins (unlike the German women’s team at the European Championships).
Bayern Munich (Berni the bear) v Bayer Leverkusen (Brian the lion)
Lion, king of the jungle, and Brian quite possibly the best name you could have for a lion against a cute looking Bavarian bear called Berni. It is okay for a child’s cuddly toy, but in this fight club-esque Arena, Bayern’s bear just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Brian, still hurting from his failure to get a part in Disney’s Lion King, will take solace from defeating Bayern Munich’s bear. Brian is Tyler Durden.
Hamburg v Leipzig
The clock at the Volksparkstadion is still ticking showing that HSV are still (how?) a Bundesliga club, but like last season, Public Enemy number one Leipzig are no respecters of tradition and the energy drink fuelled Bull takes down the rather insipid dinosaur in this heavyweight clash.
Köln v Frankfurt
This is a close one, but the goat takes it. Okay so the swooping down to land on the hand is impressive the first few times you see it, but then Hennes struts his stuff on the sidelines with a certain je ne sais quoi. He’s got horns and he can make his own cheese. Straight through to the semis you go Mr Goat.
Wolfsburg v Freiburg
Wolf vs fox in at the quarter final stage. This is a close one in the battle of the four-legged near-canine beasts. Like the relegation play-off last season, Wolfsburg and the wolf just edge it against the wily old fox.
Dortmund v Leverkusen
Sadly for the bee it lost its stinger in the previous win over Hoffenheim so is devoid of weaponry to take down a lion. To be honest a bee sting is probably insufficient to down a lion anyway. That would take one of those cowardly tourist/hunter types with a high powered rifle and a very small brain. For Brian, he’s through to the semis with a chance to shake off the Neverkusen moniker.
Leipzig v Köln
One step away from the final and sadly it is the end of the road for the Leipzig bull. Hennes is a wily old goat and with the bull overdosed on caffeine, taurine, sucrose and glucose (other energy drinks are available), he uses his horns to ram his opponent out of the competition while the bovine is high as a kite. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey bull?
Wolfsburg v Leverkusen
This is a real heavyweight semi-final with the wolf facing the lion. However, it is just one fight too many for the wild wolf who has to trudge back to the forests of Lower Saxony. Actually the sweaty bloke inside the costume will go back to his real weekday job and be grateful he doesn’t have to fight an actual goat in the final.
Köln v Leverkusen
So we reach the final. We started with seventeen Bundesliga mascots and through rounds of not so mortal combat we have our two finalists. The legend that is Hennes versus Brian the Leverkusen lion.
The final was a rather one-sided affair with Hennes winning inside the first few minutes. The goat was faster, fitter and stronger than Brian and used his hors with expert precision.
Brian just wasn’t up to the standard of previous rounds and looked a pale imitation of his self. Rumour has it that a mysterious delivery of a couple of crates of Kölsch beer could have had something to do with the poor performance of the lion.
While Hennes spent the build-up to the final munching on hay and carrots, Brian it seems spent the night before downing bottle after bottle of the amber nectar that it Köln’s finest pilsner. A lion with a hangover was clearly no match for a finely tuned goat and so the winner of the Bundesliga mascot title goes to 1FC Köln and Hennes VIII.