It’s winter time so why not go watch some winter sports? That’s why I decided on going to a hockey game in Cologne, Germany to go watch the Kölner Haie play against the Fischtown Pinguins (or in English: Penguins). It’s been a long time since I last went to a professional hockey game so I scanned my sectors and found out that there was a game. It was time to get it on.
Haie in German means sharks which is actually funny considering that the city of Cologne is many kilometers away from any kind of salt water with actual real man-eating sharks in it. The Rhine River is the most prominent body of water which practically flows through the center of the city but I highly doubt that there are any sharks in it since it’s fresh water. There are some man-eating sharks that swim in freshwater but I highly doubt any of them are on the European continent. It always makes me laugh on franchises and their team name selections despite the geographical mis-matches.
But at least the Kölner Haie hockey team is quite famous among the German hockey league pundits because unlike the visiting Fischtown Pinguins (which cannot match the NHL team’s glory with the same name) are also known as REV Bremerhaven, Kölner Haie actually has a lot of history dating back to the 1970s. And the best part about these Cologne Sharks is that the team has actually won championships and trophies unlike the other Sharks team aka the San Jose Sharks in the NHL who choke every year. If you don’t believe me about the San Jose Sharks choking then just reference their multiple playoff chokes. The biggest choke of all time being the absolute meltdown of blowing a 3-0 lead in the 2014 NHL playoffs to only lose the next 4 games to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings. The LA Kings, after being outscored 16-8 in the first game, absolutely changed the momentum in the next four games by completely winning those games and outscoring the Chokers by a huge margin of 18-5. At least the Cologne Sharks have won it all! So they are not the chokers and far more worthy of the team name, “Sharks.”
Like comparing the German basketball game to the NBA game in the United States/Canada, I also compared the German hockey game to the NHL in the United States/Canada. There are a lot of similarities that any person can easily see such as the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (German Hockey League) talent level is NOT comparable even though there are some players in Germany who have played in the NHL previously. But as one hockey fan would say that hockey is hockey and they are professionals so it’s still something. And you never know that there might be up-and-coming players in the German league who might be rising stars ready to become tomorrow’s big stars at the NHL stage. Many European hockey players have gone through this road just like some of the basketball players who went from the European basketball leagues to the NBA.
The German city of Cologne/Köln has plenty to see particularly on the sports scene with the popular Bundesliga teams of FC Köln and Bayer Leverkusen nearby. That’s why I recommend tourists going to Cologne to go watch a game like locals do.