Ahhh, the good old days!
Back when I was a wee lad, one of my rituals on Saturdays was for my brother and I to plop down in front of the TV (yes, they had televisions when I was a kid) at 6 pm. We'd anxiously await the highlights of all the Bundesliga games of the day (back then, all the games were played on Saturday afternoon) on a program that was an institution in German sports broadcasting: die Sportschau on ARD.
Since there were no live Bundesliga broadcasts at the time, this was the main source for most Germans to catch up with what had happened each matchday. Each game would get a 3 or so minute highlight clip, and that was that.
Tor des Monats and Tor des Jahres
One of the features of the Sportschau is the Tor des Monats (Goal of the Month), a contest they started in 1971. The program presents the five most spectacular goals of the previous month. It could have been any level of German football, including the national teams and women's football, however the Bundesliga due to the extensive coverage would win the vast majority of the awards, and people would vote for their favorite.
At the end of the year, the 12 goals of the month would compete for the Tor des Jahres (Goal of the Year). Throughout the decades, Sportschau has continued this traditional contest, even when they lost the rights to report on the Bundesliga to private cable channel RTL back in 1988.
Tor des Jahres 2014
Which brings us to 2014. This year's nominees are posted online. Watch the video, because there are some absolute crackers included. My favorites are Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's bicycle kick, and of course the jaw-dropping 82 meter tally by Paderborn's Moritz Stoppelkamp.
This season, that list of nominees includes four Bayern Munich goals.
Goal 1: Thiago Alcantara's sublime scissor kick from a Rafinha cross, to beat Stuttgart in the closing minutes, 2:1.
Goal 5: Claudio Pizarro's bicycle kick over Rene Adler to complete the 4:1 trouncing of HSV.
Goal 7: Mario Götze's World Cup-winning goal against Argentina in OT.
Goal 12: Bastian Schweinsteiger's perfect free kick against Mainz 05, clearing the wall and hitting right in the top left corner, tying the game at 1:1, just minutes after Bayern had conceded a goal.
Now that you've watched the videos, be sure to vote for your favorite here and in our poll below.