We’re in the final days of the international break, and there’s currently nothing I won’t do to keep myself entertained. I’ve tried the Nations League, following the NBA draft, and I’ve even tried reading books (scoff). None of these were able to pique my interest. However, I did hear word of a magical place on the internet called BVB TV. What is this place, you ask? On the surface, it’s a repository for various interviews, skits, and games featuring various Borussia Dortmund players. In reality, it’s probably an excuse for Borussia Dortmund to promote their sponsors in various ways while justifying paying full-time salaries for a PR team. Luckily for us, however, a side effect of this venture is that it gives us the opportunity to get to know our favorite players through really, really awkward five minute clips.
With nothing else to do, I thought I’d heat up some popcorn, throw back my armchair, and take it all in. Here’s a sampling of clips I found:
Grande triple-shot almond milk sugar-free vanilla lattes (light foam) with Marwin Hitz
If you’ve ever wondered what Marwin Hitz does on the sidelines while the rest of the team is playing on the pitch, you now have your answer. Apparently Hitz is quite the wizard with an espresso machine, as shown by this interview with BVB legend Patrick Owomoyela. As a former Starbucks employee, I know a master beverage maker when I see one, and Hitz has everything, from the way he places the cup under the machine and presses “pour shot”, to the way he stands waiting while the machine does it for him. Brilliant.
Once that is done, Hitz gets into his interview with club ambassador Owomoyela. While it’s pretty silly and light-hearted, it’s also kind of funny how many times Owo openly roasts Hitz to his face. He straight-up calls him old or implies that he’s old like three separate times in the span of only a few minutes, and also asks him what it’s like when nobody can understand him speaking Schwiizerdütsch.
In all seriousness, Hitz seems like a pretty cool guy. They talk about his family and his dream vacation. They even make references to a private Whatsapp chat that the players all share. I wonder what the dynamic is like in that? You know, how there’s always one person who is in the chat nonstop, like [redacted] in the FTW Discord. You know who you are!
Dortmund Triathlon - Thorgan Hazard vs Thomas Meunier
You’re probably wondering right now:
“Hey Sean, what is a Dortmund triathlon? Is it like a normal triathlon, with a biking segment, a swimming segment, and a running segment? Or a trio of soccer skills like shooting, dribbling, and passing?”
No, and no again. Whatever you’re imagining, it’s infinitely more ridiculous. You know those weird hand-made table games at your aunt’s house that haven’t been played since Eisenhower was in office, but kinda just sit around the living room collecting dust? They basically play three different variants of that. Maybe these games are popular in Germany, but I have never heard of any of them before.
The first is a game called Sling Puck. Basically there is a small board with a pair of slingshots on either side, and in the middle is a little wall with a slat in it. The object of the game is to sling pucks through the hole so that eventually all the pucks are on the opponent’s side. It actually seems like it could be pretty fun. Meunier eventually wins this one; I’d go into more detail about the game, but the camera was mostly pointed at the two players’ faces instead of the board, so I can’t really tell you what happened. I assume that because no objections were made that Meunier’s victory was fair and square so, a point for the right back!
The next game is something straight out of the fires of hell. It’s called Kroko Doc, and it’s essentially a horrifying, serial killer-looking crocodile head with eyes of the devil hovering over its open maw:
The game is basically a battle of courage and luck. There is a row of teeth protruding from the bottom of the crocodile’s mouth, and a randomly-chosen tooth will send the croc’s mouth chomping down onto your finger. With each tooth that gets pushed, the odds that you will trigger the trap get higher and higher, and the suspense gets greater and greater. Hazard employs an interesting strategy of trying to feel out each tooth before triggering it, but Meunier calls him out. He says what every Kroko Doc veteran knows by heart, “You feel, you push.” With Hazard’s first push he immediately triggers the croc’s mouth, and Meunier gets two additional points.
The final game is called Klask. It’s kind of like air hockey, but instead of a big board it is tiny, and you use a magnet to control a peg on top of the board to try to knock a ball into your opponent’s hole. The game starts, and Hazard jumps out to an early 2-0 lead. Knowing he needs to make up some ground, he runs a high press and tries to attack the ball, while Meunier takes a more Mourinho-esque approach and sits back to defend his hole, but to no avail. Eventually, Hazard wins, and is given three points, which brings the game into... sudden death.
Eden Hazard actually proposes the game for the tie-breaker. The premise of the game is that each player leaves a finger on the table, and on the count of three, either lift their finger off the table or leave it on. Whoever guesses the correct number of total fingers left on the table, either zero, one, or two, wins the game. It’s a bit like Rock, Paper, Scissors, where you have to be able to get into the head of your opponent and try to decipher their thought process.
Meunier starts off and immediately blows it by saying “two” and lifting his finger off the table like a total fucking smoothbrain, ensuring there can’t be two fingers remaining on the board. It’s clear that Meunier doesn’t possess the same level of cunning as Hazard, as he easily outsmarts Meunier to win two of three and take home the triathlon trophy.
Wraps with Gio Wreyna
Everybody loves a good cooking show every once in a while, and luckily for us, BVB TV has a video series that will have your tummies rumbling. Dennis Kocht! starring Dennis Rother, the Borussia Dortmund team chef, rides right on the line between silliness and pure, unadulterated cringe. Every episode, Rother is joined in the kitchen by a BVB player or two to do some unbelievably awkward cooking. Most of the players are really camera shy, and none of them know how seriously they should take the show, so it makes for some pretty funny moments.
The latest episode stars Giovanni Reyna, and it’s pretty great: Gio and Dennis are gonna show us how to make wraps. I don’t know about you guys, but I never thought making a wrap was particularly complicated. I always thought the basic steps were that you 1) acquire a wrap, 2) put something in it, and 3) eat it, but apparently it’s sufficiently complicated that it requires an instructional video.
So the video starts out with Dennis asking Gio if he likes wraps, to which Gio thankfully replies “Yes.” (Good thing, too; imagine how awkward it would’ve been if he said no?) Dennis begins by making the tortilla by hand by mixing, cutting, and rolling the dough. My immediate response to that is: fuuuuuuuuuuck that. I’d rather buy a bag of 12 at Harris Teeter for $3.99, thank you very much. It should take me 30 seconds at most to make a wrap. There is no way I’m ever gonna devote the time to make a tortilla by hand, so thanks but no thanks, Dennis.
Next, they start cutting vegetables. Dennis takes a head of lettuce and just powers through it like a pro in roughly the same amount of time it takes Gio to cut a single cherry tomato in half. Then, Dennis shows Gio how to take the inside of an avocado out of its skin using a big spoon, something that I always thought was fairly intuitive.
The best part is undoubtedly the tortilla. Gio took the dough and rolled it out with a rolling pin. I don’t want to show the picture because it might be a copyright infringement. Instead, here’s a picture of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which will give you the general idea of what Gio’s tortilla looked like:
Once again - get it in the store, people! Then, they sauté up some boneless chicken thighs which, in all honesty, actually do look pretty good.
Finally they get to the one part that could conceivably be helpful in some way: the part where they explain how to properly roll up a wrap like a burrito. But here’s the worst part - they don’t even do that! They end up just folding them in half like soft tacos and eating them while manually pinching them shut. Like, WTF? I could’ve told you how to do that! Should I have a cooking show too? Maybe we could make it a series in addition to the Daily Bee. Let me know your thoughts below.