Every time I travel, I ask the guys in the office if they’d like me to bring anything back for them. Scarves, jerseys, chocolate, whatever — though I do draw the line at objects bigger than a breadbox — and this is an attempt to camouflage the fact that, well, I’m out of the office in foreign lands that most people would really like to be in.
[This is the point at which I’m supposed to remind you that not one thing at all about 11-hour plane trips and all-day sits at rainy arenas at which you curse the wi-fi and wish dearly you had a fifth of Early Times, is glamorous. But I’ll skip it.]
So, the guy that runs our podcast is a Bayern Munich fan, and of course I’m in Munich. Neither of these things are a secret. Thomas Hautmann, in fact, is so over the top in his Bayern fandom that several weeks back, Warren Barton took the opportunity to poke fun at the poor guy on-air — something about him wearing Bayern underwear. And so, this trip, I was to get him Bayern underwear.
I have bought underwear for folks before. I buy underwear for my partner fairly often, but that’s partly because I have to look at it, both in the laundry and on her. Yet, I checked my diary and it turns out that I have never had to look at Thomas in underwear nor do I have any upcoming appointments to do so. But, you know, Thomas is a hard-working kid and he has to work for me, and I’m kind of an SOB so I figured, what the hey, right?
What I did not anticipate was the depth and breadth of selection at FC Bayern Munchen FanShop. Ladies and gentlemen, if there is something on this planet you would like, preferably with a Bayern logo on it, you can acquire it.
Have you ever considered owning Bayern luggage? ($150) Chocolate Easter bunnies? ($4) A picnic basket ($46) with blanket ($26) filled with Bayern wine ($35) and with glassware($15-39) to match?
Have you ever thought to yourself: huh, I really need to re-do the bathroom the Bayern way, and I really had better get some towels ($18-28) a bath mat ($22) shower curtain ($39) a set of logo bathtub stoppers ($7-12) and of course some toothbrushes, shower gel and eau de cologne ($7-45 in a variety of sizes) that unfortunately smells like what you think Sex Panther smells like. But it’s got a Bayern logo on it and anyway the stuff from Ajax ($40) smells so much worse! The rubber duck is also a steal at only $9.
So, there I found myself in the underwear aisle, and yes, it’s an aisle, with a set of increasingly perplexed expressions crossing my face. The thong was clearly the funniest but then all I could think about was this recent article in the New York Times and I had just eaten, so I put it back. The boxers at least looked like boxer shorts, which is a plus, but I was concerned they weren’t overtly Bayern enough, with their frankly wimpy little red lettering. Even Mario Goetze was giggling in the sales photos with these things on. They are really, really lame.
And then, ah, there they were. A pair of briefs that brought poor Ms. Kayla Knapp to exclaim: “WHY DO THESE EXIST?!” in a text message laced with no little panic. Undergarments that I am certain every drunken Bayern fan would be proud to pass out in. Truly, the sine qua non of Bavarian trou. As my aunt would say: “eeecccchhhht.”
I present to you, and to Thomas, for all his hard work and devotion, the leder-unter-hosen: