The Chronicle Of Publishing “Der feine Unterschied”: My Version

Now that the release of Lahm’s book has happened, I would like to write some sort of timeline of its publishing. From my point of view, of course.

March 2011 – I am very excited because I just found out there will be a book. Woohoo! I even make a post about it. I do not tell any of my friends about it, thinking they will be excited, too. (Oh, the irony of it all).

March-August 2011 – Waiting… waiting…

August 15, 2011, or so – I am pre-ordering my copy of the book. “It is going to be great”, I think to myself. It has to be. Whatever Lahm has to say very often happens to be very fascinating.

August 22, 2011Bild publishes an excerpt, and the whole German football community goes, “Whaaat?” It appears to be some criticism of Lahm’s former coach. Meanwhile, I read the excerpt, saying, “Uhm… Yeah… So what?” Even without the context, I do not feel as if the coach has been personally verbally attacked. (Could it be because that wasn’t Lahm’s intention?)

On August 23rd, I read the first two chapters of his book that are available online. Love it.

August 22-August25, 2011Bild publishes more excerpts. As they are doing so, the community’s jaw drops even more. People are going ballistic, asking themselves what has happened to the world. I mean, surely nothing is as scary as Lahm’s book. Nothing is as controversial as Lahm’s book. There are so many theories going around: Lahm is a heck of a tactician, basically a mastermind like no other, Lahm is a traitor, Lahm is a guy with the Napoleon complex, Lahm is a coward, Lahm has no character, Lahm still has no guts, Lahm has no tact, Lahm is not diplomatic, Lahm is disrespectful.  The DFB is freaked out but reserves its judgment until reading the whole book. FC Bayern basically says, “Why do we care? He wrote the book.” (I believe they actually did say that.) All this comes shortly after Oliver Kahn’s criticism. Great.

August 25, 2011 – The football world as we know it is coming to an end. I am thinking, “My goodness…” And I support Lahm. I am trying to stay calm, even when writing on different forums and asking people to think before saying something. I wonder when and what Lahm will say. Lahm issues a press release, in which he basically says, “I am sorry you are pissed off, but only for that.” Good for him! Some people start thinking that he is backing down and does not stand by this words. I am trying to emphasize the wording of his press release. I feel like if it had not been for my readers and their comments, I would have gone mental. Or something like that. The amount of people’s hate is indescribable.I feel like I have not slept in a long time. I feel the media is getting to me. I start doubting things… I am in a constant mode of counter-attack. I am asking myself if anyone else feels like there is a revolution going on.

Somewhere in between the DFB says that on Monday, August 29th, Lahm will have to explain himself to the head coach, the team’s manager, and the team’s counsel. And I am thinking, “My oh my… “

August 26, 2011 – Lahm rocks my world! He gives an exclusive interview to Merkur, in which he points out that he would not have done anything differently in terms of writing the book and saying what he said. And I say, “Heck yeah!” The media is going crazy all over again. Well, perhaps less crazy.

August  27, 2011 – Lahm makes two posts on his Facebook page. It is about the win against Kaiserslautern and… about the book. In the second post, he simply says, ” I can only say that it is a nicely written book, in which I calmly and objectively describe my career up until this point, providing examples. Am grateful for every comment. Regards, Philipp.” To my delight, people start writing messages of encouragement and support. I am in awe. So happy to see that.

August 28, 2011Bild publishes another excerpt. (They are on a roll.) It is about a gossip. (Good timing. Sarcasm.) It is about a gossip about Lahm being gay. The online community goes ballistic once again. There are jokes. There are sarcastic comments. There are, if you forgive me, very dumb questions, “Why did he write that?”  The rumor has circulated around for some time, and he has to make things clear. That is why. Sadly, famous people have to deal with gossip. So, he mentions it in his book. Duh.

August 29, 2011 – THE BOOK COMES OUT! I am eagerly waiting for people to write first reviews of it on Amazon. Some people seem to like it. (They are those who still hate him and offer no constructive criticism whatsoever.) Some of them are surprised that the book is not what they thought it would be. In fact, they think it is good. “Well, you don’t say,” I say sarcastically. Some journalists, too, are surprised that it is not what they thought it would be. It appears they have changed their mind.

One of the articles puts it this way,

The Subtle Difference reads wonderfully. Between the lines shines that Bavarian humor that we have come to know through interviews with Philipp Lahm. […] Lahm explains how a team’s life together functions, how important success is when it comes to 25 people getting along and how fragile that camaraderie can be when victories come automatically. […] After reading, it becomes clear that a top football player has to be multi-talented with plenty of toughness. And one already acquires that toughness in his youth. Philipp Lahm is and will remain Germany’s model professional and every mom’s favorite son-in-law. But he also knows how one asserts himself with hard punches. (my translation, (c) unavis)

I am amazed that Lahm’s humor has been finally noted. I am amazed at the review itself. I still wonder, what was preventing people from, first, reading the book and then writing about it?..

A user on Amazon gives the book 5 out 5 stars and writes this,

Help, what a fuss, only why?

I have never been a big fan of Philipp Lahm. To this day, I don’t think he is such an exceptional football player. I didn’t like the way he behaved with regard to Michael Ballack’s situation.

And now Lahm’s biography lies before me.

My impression: Lahm gives an authentic and honest information about his career. It is a sports biography that clearly shows that things don’t always fall from the sky, even to such a professional. Such being the case, I don’t exactly feel compassion, but me too, I don’t understand the huge hype about the book. 

Lahm doesn’t reveal big scandals, he writes about his life and does it with his co-author quite well and entertaining – good to read.

Especially for young footballers and, of course, all Lahm fans, the books should become an icon.

(my translation, (c) unavis)

I chose this review on purpose, as it had not been written by a fan of Lahm. And yet, the person has the same question: why? What the fuss is about?

August 30, 2011 – I am thinking, “Wow…” And I admire Lahm even more than before.

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4 comments

  1. I have to admit that while I was intrigued by the intrigue of the book, but I didn’t do much digging into the situation. I thought oh, dear Lahm, what does the DFB want with you? And then I thought wait this is Lahm we’re talking about right? One of the best players out there. The guy who is so logical and pragmatic that he trained on both feet enough to play either flank. The boy is well enough respected in Bayern and the National team to be captain over everyone else, sorry Ballack, so whatever he did it couldn’t be that bad. I’m glad of your preservative in this matter. It helped me to know someone else was thinking similar things.

    1. Hi!

      Thank you very much for leaving a comment! I appreciate it.

      It is interesting that you’ve mentioned the idea of respect because there are people who have been saying that Lahm cannot be respected anymore. But I agree with you in that regard.

  2. It’s so nice to see those objective and fair comments after the book’s release! I’m wondering if “somebody” should apologize to Lahm… Anyway, this time the media went too far.
    Oh, I’ll receive this book from my friend after a month. I simply cannot wait to see it :-)) [And I admire Lahm even more than before.] Yes! Me too!

    1. Hi Rui! =)

      Yeah, it is nice to read some positive stuff, especially after all this bashing :/ It’s been crazy…

      I’m happy you’re getting the book =) Should be exciting! =)) I cannot wait to get mine!

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