Created on 2015-03-03 at 12:00 PM
Out on the Great Plains in the Midwest of the United States is the state of Nebraska. Known for its great fields and agriculture, it is also home to one of the largest ancestry groups of German Americans in the country along with several local breweries. Perhaps it is no surprise then to find an FC Bayern fan club in one of its largest cities – Omaha. In the fifth installment of our US fan club profiles, we talk to Omaha fan club president Matt Roberts about the beginnings of their fan club, challenges and the community aspect of their little piece of Bavaria in the heartland of America. To learn more about the FC Bayern Fans Omaha Fan Club, visit it on social media and at its home pub Brix at Village Pointe.
How did you become an FC Bayern fan?
I went to College in Munich in 1984 at the University Of Maryland Munich Campus on McGraw Kaserne, which was a US Army base that coincidentally was located just one block from the FC Bayern headquarters at Säbener Straße. I watched FC Bayern play at the Olympia Stadion and got hooked by the energy of the crowd, all the choreo, tifo, chants, etc. It was half sporting event and half rock concert.
What is your favorite part about being involved with a fan club?
The camaraderie we have among the fans for sure! Not just here with our members in our Omaha club, but all across North America! I truly feel like I could show up at an FC Bayern watch party in any city in America and be welcomed with open arms and a cold Maß of Doppelbock! And I love that!
What are some of the challenges as a fan club so far away from the team?
The only real difficulty is the early 8:30 a.m. games – it's not always easy to get fans up, dressed, and have them drive across town, and get settled in for the early kick offs. Our home, BRIX - Village Pointe, has been amazing though! We love them! They recently started opening early on Saturdays at 8 a.m. just for us, even though normal public opening is at 10 a.m.
Describe the community aspect of the fan club.
Our group suffered a great tragedy this past November, when one of our founding members, Paul Troupe, was killed by a drunk driver while on a trip away from home, and his newlywed young wife was also injured. He was just 22 years old and had just graduated from Iowa State, gotten married and started a promising engineering career with Boeing Aerospace in the prior few months! It was a crushing event for us, his friends... And of course for his young wife and his family...
Within 24 hours of hearing the news, given his love of FC Bayern, I decided to do a memorial scarf in his honor, and to raise money for his widow, Sarah. I designed the scarf and then set about spreading the word about the project to FC Bayern Fans worldwide. The response was immediate and it was completely overwhelming! In the end we sold 70 scarves around North America, with all proceeds going to Sarah. Beyond that, several wonderful people also made outright cash donations to the cause and we raised almost $2,500 in just a few weeks!
I've never been so moved. Sarah and also Paul's family were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from throughout the community of FC Bayern Fans worldwide!
Contact FC Bayern Fans Omaha Fan Club:
Home Pub: Brix at Village Pointe 168th & West Dodge Road, Omaha, NE 68118
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