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m88 that’s fine. They’ve got a fun team with a young and exciting core group, and they’ve got a crazy manager. They play delightful football. Everyone’s hate for them is unfounded and stupid, but you should also not choose to support them unless you’re a massive troll.

If you’re in Canada, Sportsnet has the rights, while BT Sport has it in the U.K.

If you hate defense, this league is for you

Is the “pragmatic” defensive approach of many Premier League teams putting you to sleep? The Bundesliga might be the place for you. They also probably won’t stick around long.

Werder Bremen: Their recent history is actually pretty great, but they’ve fallen off a cliff recently. He does magical, jaw-dropping things every game, like this.


Champions: Bayern Munich

Hamburg: A risky but potentially inspired long play. Learn from our mistakes, ignore or simply reply “OK,” and move on with your life.

Bayern wrecking everyone is fine

The first thing most critics say when they try to play down the quality of the Bundesliga is “Bayern always win it, how can that be interesting?” It’s definitely a fair point and an understandable complaint, because in most cases a single dominant team is pretty dull — but in this case, it actually works out just fine for the Bundesliga.

Darmstadt: Newly promoted team who has spent huge chunks of their history in the fourth and fifth divisions. They might be a good team to pull for if you like reclamation projects, but be ready for some pain in the short term.

We have an alternative — a league where everyone is pretty good, teams rarely play negatively and the press doesn’t search high and low for excuses to trash people. Here’s what this monstrosity looks like once they’ve established possession.

Eintracht Frankfurt: If you’re extra-glory hunter averse but don’t want your club to get relegated this year and want to go see a game, this is your team! You can get a direct flight to Frankfurt from basically anywhere in the world. It’s a sensible 3-4-3 with actual defenders, midfielders and wingbacks without the ball, but they either have the ball, are in a transition phase or in a dead ball situation for like 85 percent of games, so it’s rare that they actually look like their listed formation. If you like unpredictability, this might be the team for you.

Bonus — Kevin De Bruyne: He might get transferred to one of the Manchester clubs before the deadline, but if he doesn’t, you should watch every Wolfsburg match just for him. Bas Dost, Andre Schrrle, Luiz Gustavo and company are ready to bring the noise to the Bundesliga once more. They never get handed the title, of course –they earned every bit of their success through constant innovation — but that doesn’t help anyone feel better. Same with Barcelona or Juventus. Plus, they’re in a city a normal person would feasibly want to visit and they’re in a big enough market that they could get really good someday. Bad idea.. There will be lots of games on Fox Sports 2, about one per week on Fox Sports 1, plus more onFox Soccer 2 Go andFox Sports Go. It feels good to be a fan of a team that wins things. The two really strange things here are Alaba sprinting forward from his central defense spot to become a (usually attacking) midfielder and the unbalanced, left-leaning alignment. When Chelsea loses, no one cares but Chelsea fans and whoever beat them. It’s moved off GolTV and onto Fox Sports platforms. And you think to yourself, “maybe I’ll support Schalke/Leverkusen.” But you should not do that, because they will break your heart into pieces every single season, without fail, until the end of eternity.

Bayer Leverkusen: Don’t do it.

football formations

You’ll see fairly normal back three and four setups from Bayern this season, but a lot of this unbalanced 3-4-3 jumble. Having said that, they have a badass stadium, fun players and compete for trophies without being the “front-runners.” A perfectly sensible choice.

Stuttgart: It wasn’t that long ago that Stuttgart were good. He was voted the best player in the Bundesliga last season after racking up 10 goals and 20 (!!!) assists. Now 26, Reus is entering what should be the prime of his career. The original Illuminati was founded there, so, again, a club that you should only support if you’re a troll.

Champions League playoffs: Borussia Mnchengladbach

Hoffenheim: A totally made-up team that lots of people hate. AmericanAron Jhannsson plays here, but no defenders do. Bayer have the nickname “Neverkusen” because of their 2001-02 season, when they finished runners-up in all three competitions, and second in the Bundesliga for the fourth time in five seasons.

Bayern Munich: Okay, so you’re a glory hunter. The town they play in has 3,000 people and the nearest big town only has 35,000. Watching Bayer sober is like watching any other team on amphetamines. Only two teams failed to average at least a goal per game in Germany’s top division last season, with two above two goals per game and three more at at least a goal and a half per game. If winning immediately is not important to you, this is a solid choice.

Kln: Great city, great logo, nice stadium, huge potential. But if he can reach pre-injury levels and dominate from the wing, Schalke can get themselves back into the Champions League. But this is the fairest representation of a starting XI we have right now. They have a recent history of mismanagement and could get themselves relegated, but they’re a slightly less embarrassing team to follow than Hamburg.

Wolfsburg: They were a thrilling side a year ago, going on an incredible run that included a titanic victory over Bayern to start the second half of the season. FOX is also going to carry the season openeron their YouTube channel, something that’s hopefully not just a one-off occurrence.

Augsburg: A pretty solid, well-run club in a perfectly nice place that’s a short train ride away from Munich. Only pick Werder if your idea of fun is 5-4 losses.

Despite being two of the biggest clubs in the league, Schalke and Leverkusen have never won the Bundesliga. They were great last season, finishing fifth, but it’s hard to envision them making the Champions League. Due to Franck Ribery’s fitness troubles and the fact that Alaba, Philipp Lahm, Javi Martinez, Arjen Robben and Thomas Mller have played multiple positions in this same formation (Mller’s played four, Alaba and Lahm three each), you never really know what you’re going to get. He’s constantly involved in their attack, having a hand in many of their goals and using his near-bottomless energy to disrupt defenses and demand attention to create space and openings for his teammates.

Mainz: They’ve been a yo-yo in the Bundesliga standings for the last year, bouncing between just under the top four and just over the relegation zone. What matters is that the vast majority of these teams don’t give a rip about pragmatism or being defensive stalwarts or any of that. This will probably never happen, but it’s not impossible.

football formations

Timo Werner: Stuttgart have recently been a strange, talent-sucking black hole of awfulness. They also have American international Timothy Chandler, and their games are pretty high-scoring.

Julian Draxler: Once Schalke’s biggest star, Draxler’s stock has dropped thanks to injuries and the rise of Max Meyer. Schalke have the best group of Under-23 talent in the league and they’re going to give all of their kids major playing time this season. Borussia Mnchengladbach: They’re in the Champions League. So if you are only interested in watching a soccer league because of the title race, the Bundesliga might not be for you. 10 or you may miss something amazing.

Just getting into the Bundesliga? You’ve made a very good choice. You look at their squads and think, hey, I’ve heard of some of those players, they’re pretty good! You watch some highlights and see how fun they are. You just have to develop thick skin over people calling you a glory hunter, which is what you are.

Hannover: USMNT legend Steve Cherundolo captained them, they have some solid Germany Under-21 players andJapanese attacking midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake is really fun. HSV are the Bundesliga’s resident tire fire and might get themselves relegated due to their awful internal politics, but if they ever end up run by someone who knows what they’re doing, they’re going to challenge for trophies and firmly establish themselves as the second-best team in Germany. Outside of the league winners, there are only two spots that go straight to the group stage and one more that has to go through qualifying to get there — and there are a lot more than three teams capable of winning those spots.

Granit Xhaka: While you don’t see a lot of central midfielders on lists like this, Xhaka is well worth making special mention of. All of Schalke’s league titles came before the top teams were brought into one league system in 1963, and they’ve been runners-up six times since. Alaba might be the world’s first true endline-to-endline central player, while the extra numbers on the left work for two reasons. They recently achieved back-to-back promotions and have a lot of players who came up with them from the third division, so that’s cool. While largely a set-piece specialist with a lethally accurate shot from long range, he also has a subtle and wonderful creative presence in open play, with an understated but incredibly effective style on the ball that guts opposing defenses. If you watch Leverkusen, don’t take your eyes off No. The question isn’t “why should you support Gladbach,” it’s “why wouldn’t you support Gladbach?” They’re even nicknamed “the foals” for crying out loud. This year, they’ve already kicked things off with a shocking comeback win to upset Bayern again in the German Supercup. When Bayern lose, you notice, because you know it took an incredible performance to get the job done.

Hakan Calhanoglu: While the Turkish international is just 21, Calhanoglu already had a profound influence on the Bundesliga the past two years. Here’s everything you need to know.

Welcome to the Bundesliga, where you can check your narratives at the door and enjoy some fantastic soccer.

Things like a fullback pinching in and a defensive midfielder going between two center backs to pick up the ball are not strange. Plus, Bayern had a pretty serious injury crisis last year and still won the league easily. They have a lot of good players, but they can’t get any of them to play well. Back and forth they go, where they stop, no one knows. A good choice, even if it kind of exposes you as a noob.

An expansion on Schalke and Neverkusen

You look at Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen’s recent league positions. There’s a lot of moralizing and everyone who has a bad game is branded “crap,” until they do well, when they become “brilliant.” The average Premier League player cycles between crap and brilliant about five times per season. Neither of these things is impossible, but they are unlikely. One, Lahm is good enough to command an entire flank by himself. The competition between Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Gladbach, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund and other clubs over the last few years has been intense to watch unfold, with fierce battles taking place as teams struggle for position. The first, is that when Bayern lose, it’s actually notable and fascinating and must-see action. When Wolfsburg took Bayern down to open up the second half of the season last year, everyone stood up and took notice, suddenly realizing just how good Wolfsburg really were. But they’re the only team in the Bundesliga that plays crap, sleep-inducing football every year. They will lose nine-goal matches in which they had a multiple-goal lead, probably more than once, and you will not enjoy those matches if you support them. These things also make it occasionally unpleasant to follow. He’s a lot more talented than his three goals in 19 games from last season suggests.

But goal-per-game numbers are boring. Be it the thunderous and versatile attack of Bayern, the dynamic lethality of Wolfsburg or the jaw-dropping free kicks of Hakan Calhanoglu at Bayer Leverkusen, you will be entertained.

But if you do not have any emotional investment in the outcome of their matches, Schalke and Bayer are extremely fun to watch. The way the players move when they get the ball is unique.

Get all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans in your inbox every day.

Of note, Bayern rotates heavily and does not have a set first choice starting XI. There will not be a title race unless they have a catastrophic injury crisis or Pep Guardiola goes insane and tries to fire everyone. But the guy who started SAP wanted a successful club, so here they are. The question, though, is how healthy he is — last season was largely wasted for Reus because he spent most of it either sidelined with injury or playing hurt. Their teams will let you take your shot, but try to find a way to break it up in progress so they can take their own. After a bad 2014-15 campaign, they’ll be hoping their 19-year-old SuperProspect starts scoring goals from the wide forward spot. One of the best choices.

Schalke: Don’t do it.

Relegation playoff: Hamburg

The English Premier League is easy to follow in the United States because it’s on channels most people get and everyone speaks English. The Bundesliga: for people who think sports should be fun.

First thing’s first: How to watch this

While it won’t be as easy to watch the Bundesliga as it is the Premier League in America, we’re getting a giant upgrade this season. They won the Bundesliga in 2007 and have been competitive both in the league and in Europe since then — except for the last few years, when they have stunk. He’s young and really starting to come into his own, serving as a workhorse presence in Gladbach’s midfield who pops up all over the pitch to make plays in attack and defense. Sorry!

How’s that? Well, it comes through two different ways. It’s all exhausting.

Borussia Dortmund: They are no longer the top soccer hipster choice, but are not far enough removed from that era to have washed the stink off. In England, four teams failed to reach a goal per game, with only one bettering two goals per and four more over 1.5 goals per game — and that top group represents a wide gulf in scoring that doesn’t exist in Germany.

And besides, Bayern being able to win the league with ease creates other fun opportunities as well, not least of which being because …

They play a pants-on-head crazy style that no one else uses

Obsessing about the merits of one formation over another isn’t fascinating, but Bayern’s most commonly used tactic when David Alaba and Juan Bernat are both healthy is so totally insane that it needs to be addressed. They want to score spectacular goals, and that’s exactly what they do. Based on what he’s done so far, if he can stay healthy this could be an incredible season for Reus.

Hertha Berlin: They haven’t been able to get their ducks in a row and turn into a juggernaut post-reunification, but the possibility always exists that the biggest team in Germany’s biggest city could someday become a Champions League regular. Sometimes, to ill effect against top teams who know how to exploit the holes in it.

Who to support

A handy guide based on what you’re looking for in a team.

As an aside, if you wade into Bundesliga Twitter, you will inevitably run into Bayern Munich supporters who hype up their competition, because no one wants to be “handed” a title. If you tell long-time Bundesliga followers that you support Borussia Dortmund, they will roll their eyes at you. They also have top American prospect John Brooks. That leads to a lot of exciting, back-and-forth battles that you couldn’t tear your eyes away from if you tried.

So we already know who wins, right?

Yep, Bayern Munich wins. Why rob yourself of entertainment? Pick a different club to root for and watch these guys as a neutral.

Five non-Bayern players to keep an eye on

Marco Reus: One of the most dynamic attacking players in Europe, Reus can single-handedly turn around the fortunes of Borussia Dortmund after their year of struggle. If he doesn’t, they’ll be kicking themselves for not taking the money that was on the table for him two years ago.

Relegated: Ingolstadt, Darmstadt

Unlike other leagues where the focus is on preventing attacks altogether, or absorbing them and slowing them down, the Bundesliga takes a different tack. Do not let anyone disparage you for making this choice. There are worse choices, but we certainly can’t recommend them.

Champions League: Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen

Ingolstadt: They’re in the Bundesliga for the first time in their history and they have American midfielder Alfredo Morales. Two, it draws defenders away from Robben (or Mller) and creates more space for him to operate in.

Speaking of Champions League qualification, Bayern’s dominance makes Germany’s other Champions League places a much hotter commodity

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The biggest loss to Manchester United was their captain Vidic, at the start of the season, its always a blow to loose any first team regular but the fact it was their captain and rock at the heart of the defence clearly had a big impact, as United ultimately lost the title by conceding a greater amount of goals than their rivals and their inability to hold onto leads in the final games of the season, as epitomized by their 4 – 4 draw with Everton after leading 4 – 2, which most people attribute to be the moment their season turned for the worse.

Manchester United have begun their pre-season training in South Africa for the fourth time in EPL history, the other three times they then went on to win the league in that same year, could this be an omen for the future.

Vidic is now back and United have overseen a small overhaul, as Fergie is determined to improve the squad in order to get revenge on their neighbors, Fergie thrives off a challenge and will have been wracking his brains all summer about how to compete. Since its formation in 1992, they have won a staggering 12 titles in 20 attempts and if not the winners typically finish as runners up, much as they did in the thrilling end to the 2011/2012 campaign, which saw Manchester United uncharacteristically throw away an 8 point lead in the title race, loosing twice to rivals Manchester City before finally loosing to them on the final day of the season, at the final kick of the ball, on goal difference. De Gea now looks a lot steadier than at the beggining of the season and his Shots against to Saves ratio is the best in the league. United have a much smaller transfer budget and it is public knowledge that the Glazier family have left their finances in a very poor state, this has led to them no longer being able to compete in the transfer market, with the likes of super rich Chelsea and Man City and they recently lost out to the purchase of Eden Hazard. They are the most decorated English club in Premier League history. New transfer Shinji Kagawa was bought for a very humble 12-17 million and looks a hot prospect having scored in pre-season already, the fact that he has transferred from a team which won the Bundesliga last term, shows that Manchester United still hold their reputation and therefore can still attract high calibre players, despite a disappointing season all round, where they only won the Community Shield and rather feebly limped out of the champions league, F,A cup and League cup.. Nearly everybody in the Footballing world was certain that United would seal the EPL no problem, at 8 points ahead, with only a handful of games remaining but City obviously hadn’t read that script, most pundits identified the experience of the United players, in this kind of situation and a superior ability to do what needs to be done under pressure, a winning mentality which has been evident in the majority of the previous campaigns, however last year this failed them and many people deem the current crop of players to be low down in the rankings compared to other squads under the rule of Sir Alex. Fergie has been shrewd as always this season and has been looking for bargains or ‘Market Value’ as he calls it, clearly aware of how inflated the transfer market has recently become and the ridiculous fees thrown around on players such as Fernando Torres and Andy Carrol, which are arguably over priced.

With the exception of the 2003-2006 era, Manchester United have never gone two seasons without winning the EPL and will be desperate to ensure that of all people it is not their bitter rivals City, that deprive them of it. Manchester United will come back with a new found motivation and players such as Jones, Smalling and De Gea will now be a year older and a year wiser. Fergie doesn’t seem content on stopping there, he has also purchased the 18 year old promising attacking midfielder ‘Nick Powell’, who looks like one for the future and is busy trying to sign Brazils young prodigy ‘Moura’, he looks determined to forge one last strong team, with enough youth for his legacy to last well after his retirement.

Manchester United finished 2nd in the 2011/2012 campaign. People are likely to view the negatives from the 2011/2012 season but i’m sure a different tune had of being sung, had Aguero not managed to slot home in the dying minutes vs QPR. United for most games had the youngest team on the pitch and this shows a promising future, Scholes’ return was masterful comeback and Rooney despite much criticism still managed to bag 27 EPL goals, only 3 behind RVP

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Then some stuff happened, he met the Beatles, and he became part of a band “bigger than Jesus.”Avril Lavigne dropped out of high school in 11th grade to pursue her musical career.Not so much a “hall of shame,” but Jack White almost became a priest. Yes, the guy that danced on the treadmills. Petersburg Junior College, then transferred to Florida State University, and then transferred to University of California Los Angeles where, alas, he finally graduated with a major in Film.Dexter Holland (of The Offspring) is a funny one. Got his degree from Imperial College London. Or even finish school.

Sir Elton John dropped out of high school so he would be a weekend pianist at a Pub.Ringo Starr (of The Beatles!) apparently had a horde of medical troubles that led him to drop out of school. He coulda gone for his Ph.D in Molecular Bio at Cornell University, but chose not to so he could focus on The Offspring. After that, he was so freakishly behind in school, he chose to just quit. Similar to Dexter Holland, he could’ve gone for his Ph.D in Physics but Queen got big in the middle of his studies.Lisa Loeb graduated from The Providence Institution with a degree in Comparative Literature.Damian Kulash (of OK Go) graduted from Brown University. However, she dropped out to pursue music, ironically, because she got signed to Columbia Records.Pete Wentz (of Fall Out Boy) went to DePaul University and majored in Political Science, but dropped out senior year.Davey Havok (of AFI) went to University of California Berkeley for a double major in English and Psychology, but alas, he dropped out.Mick Jagger (of The Rolling Stones, fool!) went to the — ha, ha — London School of Economics for Accounting & Economics.

Don’t you ever wonder if these people that make much more money than the college-educated people you know ever went to college? Well, here’s some musicians that went to college.

Albert Hammond Jr. proof you don’t need to go to college. Holland!Rivers Cuomo (of Weezer), on top of growing up on some farm and having a brother called Leaves (Rivers! Leaves! Dinner!) also went to Harvard and graduated with honors.Brian May (of Queen) is — let’s see if I can say this without messing up — a bachelor of science in both physics and mathematics. Thank you, Mr. After he was all better (but not completely), he fell off the hospital bed, and had to spend an extra 6 months in the hospital. Ooh.Chris Martin (of Coldplay) went to University College London, majored in ancient world studies and graduated with honors in Greek and Latin. (of The Strokes) went to New York University’s Tisch School of Fine Arts. True story, according to my research — he ruptured his appendix, and was hospitalized and in a coma for 10 months. He dropped out freshman year, though.John Mayer went to Berklee College of Music for Guitar, but dropped out sophomore year.

Finally, we all love other people’s failures, right? Time for a hall of shame! Or, if you wanna look at it this way… He decided against the seminary, though, because they might’ve not accepted his guitar amp that he had just gotten.

Thanks to the Yahoo! Answers people, HowStuffWorks.com, the countless biographies of musicians on the web, and ilXor.com for keeping us entertained for a bit.

. (Can he be more perfect?)Jim Morrison (of the Doors) went to St. The man who brought us “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” actually holds a bachelor’s in Biology and a master’s in Molecular Biology from the University of South California. He majored in Art Semiotics, of all things.

After those smarty-pants, here’s some honorable mentions:

Alicia Keys did graduate as high school valedictorian from New York Professional Performing Arts School, and got into Columbia University

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Tens of thousands participate in this annual event to help work off some of that rich German food and beer. This year the Oktoberfest welcomes a very special guest, as Homer Simpson himself arrives in Cincinnati to lead the dance.

Germania Society Oktoberfest, 27-29 August 2010

The Germania Society of Cincinnati has held its “original and most authentic” Oktoberfest since 1971. The festival serves authentic German beers, German wine and schnapps.

Further Information

The Germania Society of Cincinnati was founded in 1964 to provide a place for Germans and German Americans in the Cincinnati area to meet and celebrate their heritage. Festivities begin with a keg tapping ceremony and there is plenty of German and American food, beer, music ranging from traditional German to rock and country, and over 90 arts and crafts booths on offer.

A parade of lederhosen-clad German American representatives and the traditional tapping of the kegs officially opens the Oktoberfest on Saturday. Not called the Worlds Largest for nothing, the Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati found its way in the record books in 1994 with 48,000 participants. The festival has been held in downtown Cincinnati since 1976 and has grown steadily over the years. For dessert there is plenty of strudel, pastry and cream puffs.


Cincinnati is proud of its German heritage and during the months of August and September, the entire city celebrates the German tradition of Oktoberfest with not just one but three festivals taking place in and around the city. Today, it covers an area of six city blocks, from Race Street to Broadway, devoted to German music, food and beer. Streets are lined with tents selling beer and German food of all varieties including brats, metts, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, pretzels and potato salad. On Sunday, the Germania Oktoberfest holds a Tug-O-War competition with teams of burly men (and women) trying to win the honour of this traditional show of strength.

Mainstrasse Village is a German-style neighbourhood rich in history. It has over 30 shops, restaurants, hotels and pubs and hosts special events throughout the year, including a popular German-style Maifest, antique markets, wine festivals, a Christmas market and of course, Oktoberfest.

GermaniaSociety.com/site2007/main.html. Taking place at the clubs headquarters, Germania Park on Kemper Road, the festival features plenty of German food and beer, including full dinners that can be purchased at the clubhouse, as well as food tents selling sausage, limburger cheese and other German food. For those looking to experience some authentic German culture and fun, Cincinnati is the place to be during Oktoberfest season.


Entertainment includes polka music and dancing and, of course, the Worlds Largest Chicken Dance. It holds events throughout the year and also sponsors and promotes cultural programmes in the area, including German language schools and German radio programmes.

Mainstrasse Village Oktoberfest, 10-12 September 2010

Just across the river from Cincinnati in Covington, Kentucky, the historic German neighbourhood of Mainstrasse Village hosts its own annual Oktoberfest the weekend after Labor Day. The winning dachshund receives a prize and spectators get to enjoy German food and beer as well as a world-class sporting event.

There is plenty of entertainment on hand, with German music and dancing, and magic shows for the children. Over 500,000 people attended Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in 2009.

Enjoy Oktoberfest in CincinnatiWhen the people of Cincinnati start measuring their dachshunds for hotdog bun costumes and practising their Chicken Dance moves, it can only mean one thing that it is time for Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati commences with what has become one of its most popular events, the Annual R