Wir wollen die Eisbären sehen!

That's what the fans sing - all 14.000 or so fans that fill the O2-Arena on a Friday night for an ice hockey game. WiseMan and I are trying to visit all the major league sports teams in Berlin. We've been to handball and soccer, of course. I've hit volleyball and we've both been to the basketball team.

Tonight it was the Berlin Ice Hockey club "Eisbären". We were soooo underdressed - seemed everyone else had an oversized jersey on and at least one shawl tied to a wrist. Many had a shawl on each wrist, one or two around the neck and a rather silly polar bear hat on.

We had great seats - fourth row! But you couldn't tell the players apart except for their numbers on their jerseys. They are anonymous fighting creatures, not individuals playing on a team like in soccer or handball. And oh my, fighting.... one guy got sent off for 2 minutes for an infraction + 10 minutes because he was particulary nasty about it + 10 minutes for arguing with the referee about it.

What a musical bunch! The fans sing along, they do a kind of song and echo, they jump up and wave the shawls on their wrists to the Can-Can when there is a goal. Pittiplatsch comments on the goals as well. I suppose since this club has its roots in Eastern Berlin, this is fitting.

They play three thirds with 20 minutes break between each third. I found the breaks far too long, although I suppose it is in order to sell more beer.

Anyway, they won 6:3 and the fans went home happy.

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