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Weekend Warm-Up: Former Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski is not a bad guy; Throwing it back to Alice in Chains; Bundesliga predictions; Some cool notes on Stranger Things and Breaking Bad; plus MORE!

Ah, I love the smell of the Bundesliga in the morning.

FC Barcelona v New York Red Bulls Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

Let’s get this out of the way...Robert Lewandowski is not a bad guy.

When the Polish striker left Bayern Munich, there was a lot of bitterness on all sides at times. Fans were unhappy because Lewandowski had rejected the club and became a wee bit petulant (via statements to the media). The club was unhappy because there is simply no way to replace Lewandowski or even get a requisite transfer fee that would cover the loss. Lewandowski, himself, was unhappy because he decided he wanted to move on, but had no clear pathway to make it happen without Bayern Munich lowering its asking price. FC Barcelona was there, too, adding fuel to the fire whenever it could.

At times, the whole thing was a mess.

Through it all, though, Lewandowski did not change. Always an excellent player, but never the most personable chap, Lewandowski’s privacy and aloofness hurt him at times during the transfer saga. Despite those now-infamous TikTok dance videos, the Pole is never going to be buoyant personality that Thomas Müller is or have the energy of a Joshua Kimmich, so things he said almost always came off worse than they really were.

Moreover, to try and expand his brand after his move to FC Barcelona, Lewandowski did an interview with ESPN in English and things were undoubtedly lost in translation — as acknowledged by Bayern Munich, the subject of some of the controversial statements.

Everything that makes Lewandowski so successful on the pitch — the desire, the non-stop drive to get better, the hunger for success, the insane attention to detail, the ability to quickly process failures and smother their after effects, the high expectations for everyone around him — are some of the same traits that make him so poor at handling these off-the-field predicaments.

I can’t and won’t tell fans how to feel. I am sure some of you are scorned and many are unhappy with how it all played, but for Lewandowski the decision to move during this transfer window was simply business and wanting to move on.

By all accounts, he still likes Bayern Munich as a club and professes to have a strong connection to the fans. He put in a ridiculously successful tenure where he broke all kinds of records, won a sextuple, and was always one of the players who left every drop of effort out on the pitch.

And not to make excuses for him — because I won’t — but he is a guy who was playing in Poland’s third division with blokes like #EnglishTomAdams before he got his big break. Lewandowski didn’t have it easy, he had to grind for EVERYTHING on his way to success. Along the way, he undoubtedly picked up a few things that helped eventually lead to those aforementioned traits above:

1 - An incredible work ethic.

2 - A permanent chip on his shoulder.

3 - A laser focus on completing tasks to achieve success.

4 - A massive sense of insecurity.

Lewandowski was not groomed, nor coddled along his path to stardom. He had to figure out how to become a star, then how to handle being a star all on his own. It does not excuse him from not always knowing how to handle situations, but it does show he’s just a vulnerable human like the rest of us.

Nope, Lewandowski is not a bad guy by any means. He is really a good person, living in a world he was probably never supposed to be in. Sometimes that is just really hard and there is no roadmap to guide you along the way.

Given all of that, how do you feel about Lewandowski’s exit and his legacy as a Bayern Munich player?

Poll

How do you feel about Lewandowski’s exit and his legacy as a Bayern Munich player

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Great player, great guy, was sad to see him go.
    (192 votes)
  • 32%
    Great player, a bit of a malcontent at times, but an important part of the club’s history.
    (151 votes)
  • 4%
    Great player, but soooooo high maintenance.
    (22 votes)
  • 18%
    Great player, but how he left really ticked me off.
    (86 votes)
  • 2%
    Good player, but created a lot of headaches.
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    Overrated player, who was full of drama.
    (7 votes)
469 votes total Vote Now

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 5

Here we are! Bayern Munich is all set for its Bundesliga opener against Eintracht Frankfurt and now it feels like things are finally starting to turn up!

With all of the excitement brewing, let’s take a look at what is on tap for this week’s podcast:

  • A look at the Bundesliga and why this could be a fun season in terms of competitiveness.
  • Leroy Sané’s tenuous position on the squad and why it might be difficult for the Germany international to be patient with a reserve role.
  • Why it is not the worst thing in the world for Bayern Munich to pass on Konrad Laimer right now.
  • Some wariness about Julian Nagelsmann points system.
  • Some thoughts about why it has been hard to Matthijs de Ligt and Noussair Mazraoui to break through at Bayern Munich so far.


Song of the Week: “Grind” by Alice In Chains

Ah...90s grunge music. While I might not have the same fervor for it as I used to, I do admit to loving this track from Alice in Chains — who really towed the line between hard rock, grunge, and metal in a way that not many other bands could.

In its prime Alice in Chains was an absolute power behind Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell. Go back and listen to their work from the 90s if you don’t believe me, but in the meantime, enjoy “Grind”, which was released way back in 1995:

Truthfully, I always had trouble classifying Alice in Chains as grunge because “Man in the Box” had come out before Nirvana and Pearl Jam really pushed grunge to the forefront. Whatever you classify AIC as, they were one of the great bands to emerge in 90s.


Entertainment Rundown

One of the breakout stars during season four of Stranger Things was Joe Quinn, who played Eddie Munson. One of Munson’s biggest moments (if not the biggest moment of season four) was the “Master of Puppets” scene, which was captured here and was f-ing awesome (Warning — if you have yet to watch the season and plan to, don’t click below):

Anyway, Quinn was able to hook up with Metallica and it was so, so good:

Almost as cool, Albuquerque, New Mexico unveiled a statue of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, which is both awesome — and odd (statues of fictional meth manufacturers? Okay, I’ll go with it because the show that good):

As of now, I am still working through Better Call Saul and have not broken into something new as of yet. I have been contemplating breaking into HBO’s We Own This City, but have not been able to commit myself to starting it yet.

Better Call Saul continues to live up to its massive hype (at least to me) and I am psyched to see how it ends in just a couple of weeks.


Predictions

Bayern Munich showed some good things — and a few bad things — last weekend in the DFL-Supercup against RB Leipzig.

It has become clear that Bayern Munich’s offensive prowess is going to be too much for many teams to keep in check. Defensively, though, the Bavarians still look a little susceptible from a team standpoint. Against Leipzig, there was a clear loss of focus and a tendency for the forwards and midfielders to stay too high up the field once Bayern Munich had a lead. That played a part in Die Roten Bullen coming back and making things interesting.

Eintracht Frankfurt will no doubt learn from that match and look to slow Bayern Munich down. All things considered, I think Die Adler would be willing to make this game boring, force Bayern Munich to take chances, and then just wait for one or two good opportunities to take advantage of Julian Nagelsmann’s high line.

For sure, this could work. However, Bayern Munich — at this stage of the season — is just a little too advanced for Frankfurt. The thinking here is that Bayern Munich will be able to apply pressure early, build a lead, and fall into a bit a of the same trap as last week with allowing some late goals.

Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 2-4 Bayern Munich

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • FC Augsburg 1-2 SC Freiburg
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-2 Hoffenheim
  • VfL Bochum 0-1 Mainz 05
  • Union Berlin 3-2 Hertha Berlin
  • Wolfsburg 2-0 Werder Bremen
  • Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen
  • VfB Stuttgart 1-3 RB Leipzig
  • FC Köln 1-1 Schalke 04

Prediction Records

We are off to a great start here.

DFL-Supercup record: 1-0

DFB-Pokal record: 0-0

Bundesliga record: 0-0

Champions League record: 0-0

Overall record: 1-0

I should quit now, right?

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