Mid 90s Gonzo Bundesliga Newsletter

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Texan, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Texan

    Texan New Member

    Jan 8, 2001
    Back in the mid-90s an American, living in Germany, put out an email newsletter on the Bundesliga and Kaiserslautern, his favorite club. It was very funny and included such useful features as rating the beer of the month and various German bar/pub reviews. IIRC, it sorta ended when he was transferred to England.

    Anybody remember it and if so do you know if there is current newletter or perhaps an archive of the old one's?
  2. jonam

    jonam Member

    Aug 27, 2003
    i got your man!! his name is dan and a friend of mine knows him. he forwarded your posting to him.

    jonam, http://www.schwatzgelb.com
  3. Texan

    Texan New Member

    Jan 8, 2001
    Much appreciated! When I moved back from Switzerland I lost all my email and web addresses and the newsletter was one of the casualties. But if I recall correctly I think it was on its way out anyway. It's be interesting to see if there is an archive.
  4. jonam

    jonam Member

    Aug 27, 2003
    Grab some beer, sit back, relax and ENJOY!!!! :-D


    archives, artworks, beer reviews....


    GonzoLiga was created on September 20, 1994, when I came home well after midnight, drunk and unable to sleep after watching one of the all-time classic German Cup matches live. My team, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, had just beaten BvB Dortmund 6-3 at home in extra time. I posted a match report to Usenet on September 25th, which you can read here.

    This was the first of 126 GonzoLiga Usenet posts. The "e-zine" ran on Usenet until November 8, 1999. The name "GonzoLiga" was first used in a Usenet post on February 24, 1995.

    Later, the first of several web sites were created through a dialup ISP in Berlin, because Kaiserslauten had only fledgling Internet service,. The site was moved to a hacker's ISP in New York, then to a commercial ISP in Stuttgart, and then to England after a generous offer from Simon Chapman. It turned up briefly on Newsguy in 2001. Its present incarnation is the sixth, and you can see earlier site artwork here.

    In about 1997, a free email subscription service was added because a lot of readers used dial-up connections, and this saved them money.

    GonzoLiga was a fun, creative outlet that involved another fun outlet: beer. The e-zine required massive amounts of brew to maintain it, so in 1997 I began reviewing beer with an homage to Faxe, the Danish beer you can get in oilcans for real cheap at German gas stations. You can read that first beer report here. Click on the icon on the left to see all the beer reports.

    As web pages became more sophisticated, and my graphics software got better, I began doing artwork. Some were humorous, some were attempts at seriousness, and some were parodies of issues of the day. Artwork was the most satisfying part for me. You can see some of this art by clicking the icon on the left.

    In 1997, I thought it would be fun to make a T-Shirt and sell it for cost. I hooked up with a printer in Stuttgart and then held a logo contest for e-zine subscribers. I made the soccer skull for "1.FC GonzoLiga," and used Robert Freeborn's "Death Before Detox" on the front side and CJ Herrera's "You'll Never Drink Alone" on the back. They got free T-shirts out of the deal.

    The same year, I got a job in a cold, ugly foreign country and left Germany for good. I spent three years suffering through a Napoleon-like island exile and it became difficult to keep up with the BundesLiga. Even with a satellite dish pulling in all the free German TV channels, it was hard to keep an eye on current events from which I could make creative reference. There's nothing like standing in a soccer stadium to give one soccer material to write about. So in 1999, I stopped writing the e-zine. I thought about writing a GonzoLiga novel, but the idea was lame and there were plenty of "I Was There" football novels on European shelves. The idea wouldn't sell.

    In 2000, I moved to Belgium, which brought me closer to Germany and its magical football stadiums and rambunctious soccer culture. I made occasional, and mostly uncreative, soccer posts to Usenet.

    The value of GonzoLiga in the early days was that the World Wide Web was in its infancy, and it was difficult for people outside of Europe to get current BundesLiga information. It was a news source with drunken asides.

    At the same time, German media reporting on soccer was incredibly constipated, journalistically conservative and artistically boring, consisting of a vocabulary of about 300 words. You can see remnants of this style in the paper edition of 'kicker' magazine today. So I thought more color was needed in order to properly display the German soccer world as the fun it really is. I used what I knew: the USA. This made for a unique combination of fact and first-person. The tough, grinding German midfield game, exemplifying everything you know about Germany -- determination, seriousness, angst -- sampled through full-bore, alcohol-fueled views from the unhinged edges of American culture.

    It was mostly successful, although there were criticisms from some German fans over lack of respect to teams and players, or of the e-zine's default use of American English dialects, or over vague cultural references understood mostly by Americans.

    The gonzo journalism style limited GonzoLiga's popularity. At its peak, about 300 people subscribed to the e-zine. I don't know how many viewed the Usenet posts or the web pages. Some liked reading next-day German match reports or the updated league tables; some were morbidly fascinated by the mixing of German soccer and US culture; and a few liked gonzo journalism, no matter what the subject.

    Now, in 2002, I've cobbled together all the old and new GonzoLiga material and put it on this latest web site. I've also begun a GonzoLiga Blog, the technology for which only became efficient in the past year. The GonzoLiga Blog, on the home page, will be updated with the same take on German soccer that the old e-zine had. I hope you enjoy wandering through this site, whether as an old reader stumbling drunkenly down memory lane, or a new viewer.

    jonam, at your service ;-)

  5. Texan

    Texan New Member

    Jan 8, 2001
    More than I ever expected. Thanks a lot!

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