So, I have managed to witness Rot Weiss Essen being relegated twice in two seasons, since I started supporting them in October 2006, I feel slightly guilty. It's obviously not my fault but I can't help thinking that my intrusion into the world of lower league German football was in some way to blame.
It had all started so promisingly with a 4-4 draw which I mentioned in a comment on the excellent Bundesbag although that game should have hinted about what supporting Rot Weiss Essen is about - the equaliser for the opponents came in the very last minute.
This season, having looked dead and buried, RWE came with a storming late run to put the issue in their own hands on the final day. Victory at Magdeburg meant they just had to win the final game against lowly Lübeck. Despite dominating the game and having many chances, Lübeck survived (and played well despite having nothing to play for) and won the game late on as Essen pressed forward.
The fans did not know what to do at the end of the game. Some wanted to attack the Lübeck fans, others wanted to attack the players while they should really have been attacking themselves because I partly hold their complacency partly responsible.
With debts of around 11 million Euros there is a possibility that the 1955 German Champions will not survive in their presnet form. Certainly the new stadium project will be put on hold and with the prospect of having to pay up to nine reserve sides in the Division 4 (North) next season there are not going to be many days at the Hafenstraße next season full of atmosphere.
I have avoided looking for another team to watch since moving to Berlin in December. I went to watch Union twice but was put off by them serving non-alcoholic beer and a general lack of atmosphere depite them having everything to play for. Other options for next season include Babelsberg, Tennis Borussia and possibly Hertha Berlin.
I'm not really looking forward to Euro 2008 with England not being in it. I may have a bet on the championships and become another nationality for a few weeks.
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