Bayern Munich’s Hinrunde was spectacular in so many ways, but let’s take a look at what players stood out in our Weekend Warm-up Midseason Awards (picture me in a tuxedo with a bow tie — but drunk and slurring out my words as I try to present these awards):
- Most Outstanding Player: Robert Lewandowski — It might not have always been smooth, but Lewandowski continues to show why he is the best in the world...no matter what the stupid Ballon d’Or results says.
- Most Valuable Player: Thomas Müller — A coach and leader on the pitch, Müller always puts his teammates before himself. Where would this club be without him? He’s the perfect “glue” to hold it all together.
- Most Improved: Leroy Sane — With full confidence in his knee and an electric style of play, Sane has wowed observers with the absolute danger he brings to the pitch. What a first half for the former Manchester City man.
- Comeback Player of the year: Niklas Süle — Another player who needed that “year after ACL surgery” to get fully right, Süle has been a dominant force along the back-line. With his impending free agency, the big defender has positioned himself to be one of the most sought-after players in the transfer market should Bayern Munich be unable to sign him to an extension.
- Biggest Surprise: Josip Stanisic — The “Croatian Swiss Army Knife” can do a lot of things well and hopefully we find out if he can do them well enough to be a starter some day. He had a scorching hot start, but started to cool off before picking up a nasty injury to close out the Hinrunde. It’s always nice to see an academy grad make it.
- Biggest Disappointment: Marcel Sabitzer — I don’t think Sabitzer can handle not being a starter — or an “alpha” on the team. He is such a good player and has all of the qualities you would want in a player...but it might just not work out with Bayern Munich unless he can figure out how to cope with his new role.
Downtime viewing — Modern Comedies
During this time of year, people often find themselves with a little extra time on their hands. If you are looking for some “modern” comedy series to watch, here are a few that might fill your time if you are looking to knock out some viewing short stints.
Many people have already seen these, but for those of you who have not, these are certifiably worth your streaming time:
Eastbound & Down (HBO): This Danny McBride led comedy is absurd and insane, but, damn, it always delivered. I still could sit down and laugh extremely hard at Kenny Powers, a down on his luck former baseball star who has no idea how to adapt to normal every day life, while trying to revive his career.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO): The most uncomfortable show on television is not for everyone. Aside of the pure comedy of the interactions between the characters on the show, the simplicity of the storylines is really the beauty. As a viewer, you are less concerned with the plotlines than the actually journey that Larry David, Jeff Garlin, JB Smoove, Susie Essman, and the rest of the cast take you on in getting from A to Z. It is absolutely one of the funniest shows to ever hit television and almost never has a joke that does not stick thew landing.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX): Completely unrealistic, absurd, and zany, this show just works on so many levels. A group of friends who essentially never mature find their way into non-stop hijinks and just one hilarious situation after another. Sure, there are some Philly deep cuts mixed in, but this comedy is for everyone who just loves funny shows. It can be crude and brash, but it all works so well.
Veep (HBO): A juggernaut of a comedy, Veep is rip-roaringly funny from start to finish every...single...episode. If you love brash, in-your-face, and non-stop zingers, you will love this show. I cannot emphasize this enough, you will get many “laugh out loud” moments from this show. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Sam Richardson, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn and a host of others combine for comedic gold, but the real star is Timothy Simons’ character Jonah, who is one of the most delusional characters ever to take the small screen.
Bored to Death (HBO): One of the hidden gems of the HBO portfolio, Bored to Death was a short-lived, absurd, but extremely funny show that somehow could not sustain a big audience, despite its clever writing and quirky cast of characters. Starring Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zachary Galifianakis, this show is criminally underrated.
Arrested Development (Fox): I’m going to caution you this with, I can only actively support seasons one through three — which were comedic gold. Like so many shows on this list, Arrested Development’s prime was cut short by idiotic network executives, but its first three seasons were nothing short of brilliant. The show has since been revived by Netflix, but it failed to recapture the magic it once had.
GLOW (Netflix): If you are old enough to remember the original “real” Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, you’ll know that the show was campy, contrived, and totally 80s. This fictionalization of the old wrasslin’ promotion is loosely based on true event, but is extremely fun and entertaining. Like most Netflix decisions, though, the streaming company unceremoniously dumped the series too early. There was not a lot left of this story to tell, but what was told was very fun and entertaining. Starring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, and a host of others, this was quality entertainment.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 30
Bayern Munich might be on break, but there was plenty to talk about as the team closed out an extremely strong Hinrunde.
During the preseason, there were some doubters unsure if Julian Nagelsmann was the right man for the job in Bavaria, but whether you like him or not, you cannot argue with the bottom line results.
Bayern Munich is a juggernaut.
This is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A brief thanks to the BFW community for all of the ongoing support.
- Lamenting that I couldn’t link up with Tom Adams for a two-man show.
- An astonishing moment recognizing I was actually alone and had an empty house (so I drank beers and did a podcast).
- A look at the coaching, defense, midfield, and attack during the Hinrunde.
- Updates on Sergino Dest, Niklas Süle, Marc Roca, and Corentin Tolisso.
Songs of the Week:
As has become a bit of tradition, here are some holiday songs to enjoy:
“Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Christmas In Hollis” by Run-DMC
“The Hanukkah Song” by Adam Sandler
“Father Christmas” by The Kinks
“Last Christmas” by Wham
“2000 Miles” by The Pretenders
“White Christmas” by The Drifters
“I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” by Blink-182
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! by Dean Martin
Christmas Time Is Here by Vince Guaraldi Trio
Here is where we are at and it’s not good!
Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 3-6
Overall Bundesliga record: 80-72
DFB-Pokal record: 1-1
DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
Champions League record: 6-0
Overall record: 88-73
Guest prognosticator record: 0-1 (Cowards)