Season 1973/74: Bayern celebrate their third title in a row with an "alcohol evaporation hour" and a swatter at Borussia Mönchengladbach. But then there was an angry Schalke player and an astonished referee.
This dismissal from the 1973/74 season is not only legendary - it was also (with all due respect) stupid. On the 34th day of play, Schalke's Erwin Kremers only had to survive the very last few seconds after a rather rough game at Kaiserslautern's Betzenberg. Then a long season would have finally come to an end and the 1972 European champions would have been able to prepare for the World Cup with the German national team started in your own country. But things turned out differently. Or as Lothar Matthäus would say: "Would be, would be, bicycle chain."
With a hopeless 4-0 lead for Lauterer, Kremers couldn't control himself in the 90th minute. With a red face, he yelled at referee Max Klauser: "Shut up, you stupid pig!" He tweaked an imaginary hearing aid a little, patted his ears and then calmly asked the still mad Schalke whether he had heard correctly. It would be so terribly loud on the Betzenberg and you could hear yourself wrong. The golden bridge for Kremers was designed. But instead of coming down slowly and taking a deep breath, Kremers went one better: "So you're deaf too, you stupid pig!"
His coach Ivica Horvat commented bittersweetly on the dismissal: "Now Erwin has finally found a referee who isn't afraid to send him off. I've been predicting that for weeks." And as if all that wasn't malice and mockery enough, things got even more bitter for Schalke shortly afterwards. Because Kremers was then thrown out of the national team squad for the 1974 World Cup and subsequently never again played an international match for Germany. A dismissal that could not have been more stupid.
There was high spirits again this season in Munich. The 1973/74 season brought Bayern not only their third Bundesliga title in a row, but also winning the European Cup. On the night of the international triumph, keeper Sepp Maier had already joked enthusiastically: "If I'm in the goal in Gladbach tomorrow and three balls whiz at me, I always take the one in the middle!" And so the Munich team got over the 0: 5 at Borussia Mönchengladbach with a tired smile on their faces. Coach Udo Lattek: "This game was an alcohol evaporation lesson for us!"
After the Bundesliga scandal (match-fixing by Rot-Weiss Oberhausen and Arminia Bielefeld), the spectators slowly trudged back into the stadiums, and in addition to spectacular games they were also offered small circus acts. When FC Bayern met at home against 1. FC Köln on matchday 16, Hannes Löhr and Bayern keeper Sepp Maier performed a show act that they had wanted to try for a long time. It was agreed: "I'll throw the ball to you once during the game and then you'll play it back to me!" So Maier to Löhr. Mind you: The Munich goalkeeper wanted to throw the ball at the Cologne striker in front of his own box - in the hope that he would not take advantage of the situation and the ball would go straight back to him.
But that's exactly what Löhr didn't do - at least not immediately. The man from Cologne wanted to corner Maier six meters from the goal before playing the ball back to him. But then the situation became a bit too confusing even for the otherwise always so funny Bayern goalkeeper. Angry, he snatched the leather from his friend's foot and shot the ball far into the Cologne half. Nevertheless, the spectators were very impressed by this staged spectacle.
And then Cologne goalkeeper Gerd Welz wrote another special, painful and sad chapter in Bundesliga history. His injury misery already hurts to read. At that time he lay in his sick bed more often than in his home marriage bed, and for many months the rehab became his first living room. On matchday 24, the Cologne keeper collided with Peter Hidien in the game against Hamburger SV. Shortly before, Welz had suffered a kidney rupture and now he suffered a severe concussion. But he continued playing dazed at first. Then he hit his head against the post during training. Welz suddenly complained of a frontal sinus infection. When a doctor examined him again thoroughly, a swelling pressed on his brain so badly that he spent days in intensive care in mortal danger. Welz fractured the base of his skull. The "Bild" newspaper wrote: "Germany's bravest goalkeeper paralyzed forever!"
But Welz got up again. Too early, as it turned out. The goalkeeper was keen to go to the World Cup and said: "You can't get rusty. You have to stay flexible as a goalkeeper." And when he suffered a severe relapse: "I only want to feel the three bars around me, then I would feel much better." When he finally approached the team again later in 1974, the next accident happened: "A harmless little training game. I stepped into a hollow and the ankle on my right foot broke." His coach Tschik Cajkovski was desperate.
And indeed, Gerd Welz never really recovered from his injuries. After 89 Bundesliga appearances, his career at FC ended in 1975. Incidentally, his successor in Cologne was a certain Harald "Toni" Schumacher.