Berlin : Vidéos, histoire, motos et célébrités! / Videos, history, motorbikes and celebrities!

(As usual, English version at the bottom.)

Voici d’abord quelques vidéos du match de soccer de mercredi. Pas de scène du match comme tel (la Fédération allemande est très scrupuleuse quant au droit d’auteur), mais la foule et l’avant/après-match sont OK. J’utilise ici le mot « ultra » librement (plus d’info là-dessus plus loin).

  1. L’introduction des joueurs! Les fans crient leur nom de famille.
  2. Les « ultras » de chaque équipe se narguent! C’est de bonne guerre.
  3. Durant le match, les « ultras » n’arrêtent pas une seconde.
  4. Célébrations d’après-match! Les joueurs vont rendre hommage aux fans de la Ostkurve (et vice-versa).

Je me suis fait éduquer sur le sujet par Maria Köhler (@Maria_Berlin sur Twitter) qui travaille là-dessus. Désolé si c’est en anglais, je vais passer trop de temps là-dessus si je commence à tout traduire. Résumé : Pas plus de 10 % des fans dans la Ostkurve (et ailleurs) sont de vrais « ultras ». Les vrais « ultras » ont de 15 à 25 ans, n’ont pas peur de critiquer leur club, et leur performance (être plus fervents/créatifs/énergiques que les ultras de l’autre club) est plus importante que le résultat du match même. Le mouvement est né en Italie dans les années 60 pour stimuler l’atmosphère dans les stades.

– (Maria) Nice pictures! Only you don’t really seem to know what Ultras are 😉 Not the whole « Kurve » (or Fanblock) are Ultras. Actually, only a tiny portion are Ultras. Not more than 10%.
– (@Econet, un comparse fan du Hertha) Interesting, I get that the Ostkurve contains only a small proportion of Ultras but how is that 10% defined? Do they go to every match, away and home + what else? Just curious
– (Maria) It’s hard to explain this on Twitter because of the limited space… « Ultra » is a youth/subculture within fan culture. Yes, for most of them going to every game is part of it. Ultras always belong to an Ultra group. At Hertha the dominant one is called « Harlekins Berlin ». You see their banner at every game. It’s their most important/precious possession.

Ultra groups developed in Germany (origin is in Italy/1960s) in the 90s to improve the atmosphere in the stadiums. For them love and dedication to the club is everything and they want to support the team for 90 minutes without breaks. They use chants, singing, flags, banners, huge choreographies… You’ve seen it. The game itself is not the most important part for them. Their performance in the stands (and being better than the opposite Ultras) counts the most. Obviously, they need the support from the other fans to sound/look impressive.

Also, Ultras want to be critical fans. They watch very closely what the clubs and associations are doing and are not afraid to speak up when they think something is wrong. They usually use banners for that. Last night both sets of Ultras criticized the DFB (edit: German Football Federation) again. Ultras are very against the commodification of football. For example, they’d never buy official club merchandise.

So, now I’ve talked a lot and there’s still so much more to say about the Ultra movement… 🙂 But I need to work on my term paper now. Incidentally, it’s about Ultras 😀

– (@Econet) Fascinating, and thanks but before you go . . you mentioned youth culture – is there an age thing involved as well?

– (Maria) Yes, most Ultras are between 15 and 25. They just tend to grow out of it when they get older. « Being Ultra » takes up most of your time. And when you are older, have a stable job and maybe a family, I guess it’s just not possible anymore.

Alors voilà, Vielen Dank, @Maria_Berlin and @Econet for the great info and questions! You’re both awesome!

Ce fut donc notre dernière journée complète ici. Nous repartons demain. Je vais essayer d’écrire quelque chose demain matin, mais pas de promesse. Sinon, ça ira à demain soir (heure de la côte Est). CE N’EST PAS ENCORE FINI!

Beuh-bye!

Hey hey,

First, here a few videos from Wednesday’s football game. No actual gameplay (the German Football Federation is very touchy about having game footage on YouTube), but crowd shots and pre/post-game match videos are fair game. Here I’m using the word « ultra » freely (more info later).

  1. Player intro! The fans yell the players’ last name.
  2. Ultras from either team taunt each other! Fair game.
  3. During the game, the ultras don’t stop for a second.
  4. Post-game celebrations! Players salute the Ostkurve (and vice-versa).

I got a bit of schooling on the subject from Maria Köhler (@Maria_Berlin on Twitter) who’s writing a term paper on the subject:

– (Maria) Nice pictures! Only you don’t really seem to know what Ultras are 😉 Not the whole « Kurve » (or Fanblock) are Ultras. Actually, only a tiny portion are Ultras. Not more than 10%.
– (@Econet, a fellow Hertha fan) Interesting, I get that the Ostkurve contains only a small proportion of Ultras but how is that 10% defined? Do they go to every match, away and home + what else? Just curious
– (Maria) It’s hard to explain this on Twitter because of the limited space… « Ultra » is a youth/subculture within fan culture. Yes, for most of them going to every game is part of it. Ultras always belong to an Ultra group. At Hertha the dominant one is called « Harlekins Berlin ». You see their banner at every game. It’s their most important/precious possession.

Ultra groups developed in Germany (origin is in Italy/1960s) in the 90s to improve the atmosphere in the stadiums. For them love and dedication to the club is everything and they want to support the team for 90 minutes without breaks. They use chants, singing, flags, banners, huge choreographies… You’ve seen it. The game itself is not the most important part for them. Their performance in the stands (and being better than the opposite Ultras) counts the most. Obviously, they need the support from the other fans to sound/look impressive.

Also, Ultras want to be critical fans. They watch very closely what the clubs and associations are doing and are not afraid to speak up when they think something is wrong. They usually use banners for that. Last night both sets of Ultras criticized the DFB (edit: German Football Federation) again. Ultras are very against the commodification of football. For example, they’d never buy official club merchandise.

So, now I’ve talked a lot and there’s still so much more to say about the Ultra movement… 🙂 But I need to work on my term paper now. Incidentally, it’s about Ultras 😀

– (@Econet) Fascinating, and thanks but before you go . . you mentioned youth culture – is there an age thing involved as well?

– (Maria) Yes, most Ultras are between 15 and 25. They just tend to grow out of it when they get older. « Being Ultra » takes up most of your time. And when you are older, have a stable job and maybe a family, I guess it’s just not possible anymore.

So there you go. Vielen Dank, @Maria_Berlin and @Econet for the great info and questions! You’re both awesome!

This was our last full day here, in Berlin. We’re leaving tomorrow. I’ll try and write something tomorrow morning, but I can’t guarantee anything. At the latest, it’ll be tomorrow night, US Eastern time. I’M NOT DONE YET!

See ya!

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