Fußball Fever

6 Jun

Near Erlangen is a unassuming town called Herzogenaurach (which I promise when pronounced by a local sounds utterly beautiful, but when pronounced by foreigners like myself….well we mostly save ourselves the time and embarrassment and just call this place  Herzo).

Whilst Erlangen hosts companies like Siemens and Areva as well as a well respected University, Herzo hosts the headquarters of not one, but two of the worlds biggest sportswear brands. Both Adidas and Puma have Herzo as their base of operations. Now I always thought this was a little weird,  maybe it’s to keep an eye on the competition, maybe neither wants to give up Herzo, so I did a little digging and and to an extent both are actually true.

The Dassler brothers, Rudi and Adi, did what good German boys do and joined their father in his shoe factory. When they inevitably took over the company their sports shoes became very famous, in part down to the pair they gave to Jesse Owens in 1936 who went onto win four gold medals (wearing said shoes). Now this is around the time the Nazis rose to power, both brothers were members of the party (as was the vast majority of Bavaria) and words were had, sibling rivalry raised it’s ugly head and the brothers went their separate ways.

Rudi named his brand Ruda (a combination of his name Rudolph Dassler), which soon changed to Puma and Adi imaginatively named his brand Adidas (a combination of his name Adolf Dassler). Considering their lack of imagination creating their names, the fact that their brands are still up there in the top 5 sports brands now is pretty impressive. The fact that they were brothers, competing hard in the same market, might just explain why they are still such remarkable and recognisable brands today and why the offices are still within walking distance of each other, got to keep an eye on family!

At this point it’s worth mentioning the benefits to having Puma and Adidas in the vicinity, the jobs for a start, lots of English speaking jobs, at good companies who take care of their employees, practically every third person in Herzo works for Adidas. There are also outlets for all you bargain hunters out there, Adidas, Puma, Nike and other various sporty brands, be aware that whilst they close at 7 or 8pm in the week on a Saturday they close at 6pm!  If you want to see what it’s like living around here, Adidas careers have a few super glossy super positive videos out to convince you, and I’m not saying that it’s not great here, but everywhere has it’s negatives right?

Well after that history of Herzo I can get back to the original point of this blog, with the World Cup around the corner Germany is reaching almost fever pitch excitement. Now Germans, like the English, aren’t usually very openly nationalistic (I guess history is to blame for that) but when the football is on all that internalized love for the country explodes into every aspect of life. I don’t know what it’s like over there in England at the moment but Germany looks a little like this…

Tri coloured everything!

Tri coloured everything!


lighters, flags, fake moustaches….

Yes ladies fear not you can get football themed fake eyelashes ;)

Yes ladies fear not you can get football themed fake eyelashes 😉

It seems that you can get just about anything in Schwarz, Rot und Gelb, sorry Gold. Yes Gold NOT Gelb or yellow! Germans get a little uppity about their national colours, but only as uppity as I get about people saying Union Jack when they should be saying Union Flag (FYI it’s only a Union Jack when the Navy are using it) fairs fair.

Noise makers, that kind of look like grenades!

Noise makers, that kind of look like grenades!

My favourites Marzipan and peanut M&Ms

My favourites Marzipan and peanut M&Ms

One of the most random bits of tat of the selection of nationalistic country supporting pieces I found were these, how have I ever lived without tri-striped plastic hands to attach to my windscreen wipers? That wouldn’t be distracting at all.

It’s true! who wants some?

It’s true! who wants some?

There is also a vast selection of kit and WAY more expensive ‘proper’ goodies to buy if that’s your thing. So far I’ve only seen an England shirt in Intersport and at 80 plus euros that’s where it will be staying! (I was looking for him not me)

Proper kit for proper fans

Proper kit for proper fans

So whilst the food and randomness made me hungry and entertained me I actually stumbled across some useful products. Hidden away on a low shelf in Mueller I found these little hand creams.

“My heart beats for ‘insert you team or country here (as long as it’s one of these selected 7)'

“My heart beats for ‘insert you team or country here (as long as it’s one of these selected 7)’

Obviously I went for the England one first, Oooo smells like tea (proper black tea not that fruity rubbish ;). I was hoping that this meant each country would have it’s own specific smell (ok so it doesn’t take a lot to excite me, it’s the small things in life, don’t judge me), Italy was next, no cheating and looking at the back, what would it smell like? Pizza? Bolognese? Tiramisu? No, Cappuccino was the scent they went for, and not a nice one, who wants their moisturiser to make you smell like you work in a cheap coffee shop? yuck

I didn’t hold out much hope for the rest of the line but I did what a good blogger does and took one for the team, I suffered so you don’t have to. Ha, ok so it wasn’t that bad but I was very suspicious about the scents for the other countries.

  • Netherlands – Cheese? Tulips? No, ‘neutral scented’, just smells like moisturiser, disappointing
  • Brasil – Sea water? exotic flowers? Half right, ‘Acaii berries & blossoms’, lovely fresh fragrance
  • France – Baguette? Stinky cheese? Wine? No, ‘Apple lemon Tart’, nice fragrance but why not the classic French Tart Tatin?
  • Spain – Paella? Sangria? Closeish, ‘Pomegranate and Buckthorn’, which actually smells good but I’m not sure of a Spanish connection with the fragrance
  • Deutschland – Sausage? beer? No, total cop out of ‘flowers and Herbs’, bland

At 6.95 a pop these little hand creams aren’t cheap but the England one has done great things for my dry (from bike riding and washing up) hands, and I really love the scent. It’s really as close to buying anything world cup related (that isn’t food anyway) and it’s actually useful.


They got me at Easter, now at football time, what next Dickmann’s?

I’ll be mostly avoiding the World Cup altogether and probably just waiting until the inevitable happens and I have to cheer up a miserable husband with beer tea and sympathy. At least I’ll be full and have beautifully soft hands anyways.

Who will you be supporting?



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