I have seen VfB Stuttgart play last season twice when they played against Schalke and against Eintracht Frankfurt, however, in both games, Stuttgart lost those games which didn’t help the team down the line last season when they faced off in the Bundesliga relegation playoffs, playing against (at that time second league) Union Berlin. Union, however, pulled it off by winning the playoffs which sent the Union to the first league for the first time in club history. This left VfB Stuttgart holding the empty bag and slapped back down to the second league, where they just got promoted from the previous season. Oh well, it happens. That’s football. That’s sports – you just don’t know when someone wakes up on the right side of the bed to shock everyone.
However, I didn’t go to Stuttgart to watch the home team play. No, instead I went to Stuttgart to go watch St. Pauli play! Tickets to their home games in Hamburg, Germany are absolutely impossible to obtain as they are sold out all the time due to having a cult-like fan base (as well as more season-ticket holders than seats available!). Now granted that their home station, Millerntor-Stadion, is almost half the capacity of Volksparkstadion, home stadium of their crosstown rivals, Hamburger SV, which makes the tickets much more difficult to find in addition to all the season ticket holders hoarding all the tickets. So that was my reason why I decided that I would go to a St. Pauli away game to watch not just the team but also their supporters who are also known as hardcore leftist politics fans. St. Pauli (also known in Germany as Sankt Pauli (German spelling)), however, the team did not start off well in the season compared to last year when they were threatening to be near the top of 2nd league and attempt to get promoted. This year… not so much as they are near the bottom of the rankings. Of course, things could change over time like what happened to Hamburg SV when they were in first place one year but slowly over time lost their place and almost got the relegation treatment. I think the following year the team finally got relegated.
Because of the severe World War II bombings of Stuttgart during the 1940s, the city does not really have any super-standout attractions other than the car museums and the major football club. So, it might be a good idea to make Stuttgart one of those passing through cities or a quick stay over to go elsewhere or going to a football game. I think Stuttgart is playing a little bit better this year only because they are not going against the top talents in the first league.
In this game, I still saw the same struggles that they made last year that the team cannot pass effectively which means they can’t score effectively which in turn means that they can’t win games that well. Stuttgart had some problems getting it going against St. Pauli, which after watching the team play for awhile, appeared to be a counter-attacking team like Paderborn or Schalke in the Bundesliga. That’s how the team went up 1-0 in the first half nullifying all the other good attempts at goal scoring by Stuttgart. However, Stuttgart turned up the pressure against St. Pauli, despite the bumbling and stumbling of their offense at times, to score and equalize in the second half! Off of a corner kick which stayed on the ground instead of being airborne.
After some more back and forth, Stuttgart scores it in the last minute to pretty much wrap up the 3 points! The home fans go wildly crazy as the St. Pauli fans are in complete shock. It was just pandemonium to the max that even a fan ran out onto the field! Luckily, nothing happened as security immediately grabbed him and escorted him with force off the field. That was the first time that I have ever seen that happen in a game where a fan jumped out onto the field. I’ve seen it in the United States and on TV but never in a live game in Europe. I guess you go crazy when your team does great things…. or bad things.