„Stand up if you're a Berliner!“, came the chant from the home fans as Berliner AK put goal after goal past Tim Wiese and Hoffenheim. They had hit the nail on the head. Of the 2000 or so fans in the Poststadion on Saturday, a vast proportion were not die hard fans. Most had never seen BAK play before, nor even set foot in the Poststadion. They were simply Berliners who wanted to be entertained. And entertained they most certainly were.
After such a glorious humiliation of Markus Babbel's side, the BAK faithful are determined to make the most of their DFB Pokal adventure. Some are even calling for their side to be allowed to play in the Olympiastadion, should they come up against Bundesliga opposition again. Particularly with Hertha now out of the competition, you can see where they're coming from. A Berlin side supported by Berliners representing Berlin should play in Berlin's most impressive stadium, shouldn't it?
Perhaps. But it would be a shame, after it had played host to its first great spectacle in decades, if the Poststadion were to be abandoned once more in the name of money or even prestige.
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The fact that BAK managed to destroy Hoffenheim on their own turf made it particularly special. The fact that their own turf is one of Berlin's most iconic stadiums even more so. The Poststadion hosted the Final of the German Championship for several years in the thirties. It was the scene of 1. FC Nürnberg's surrendering of national dominance to Schalke in 1934. It was the stadium in which Hitler famously gave up on football after an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Norway. A defeat which would, in turn, lead to the dismissal of Otto Nerz as Germany manager, and beckon in the era of a certain Sepp Herberger.
If BAK's Pokal adventure is to continue – and we must admit that it is unlikely – it will be an opportunity for football fans to forget the troubles of Wiesenhof, VW and Sepp Blatter, and enjoy football as it once was: a romantic and exhilarating sport, in which the underdog can always win. It will allow us, for a short time at least, to revel in nostalgia and romanticism. Better to do that in a stadium which belongs, unbeatably charmingly, to a different era.