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Edi ´I wer´ narrisch!´ Finger died 20 years ago

By Thomas Hochwarter

Austria’s most iconic sports commentator died from a heart attack twenty years ago this Sunday.

Radio commentator Edi Finger was already a household name for some years when the Football World Cup took place in 1978. But his frantic screams when Hans Krankl scored the decisive goal against rivals Germany made him a legend.

Thirty-one years on, about every Austrian can link his expression "Tooor! Tooor! I wer' narrisch!", meaning "Goal! Goal! I’m going crazy!" to the memorable clash with Germany in the city of Cordoba, Argentina that was won by Austria 3-2.

Edi Finger appeared to go nuts when Rapid Vienna’s Hans Krankl found the net. The result meant defending world champions Germany were out of the race for the cup – that Austria had no chance of proceeding themselves did not matter to most Austrian fans, bearing in mind that the team had knocked out Helmut Schön’s men.

The phrase has become a running gag in various ways as well as the slogan of several marketing ideas.

Many, however, do not know that Klagenfurt-born Finger was only doing the radio commentary while Robert Seeger was the TV coverage’s commentator. Finger’s incomparable reaction to the 3-2 victory, however, made sure he made it into the history books.

But Finger’s son, Edi Jr., has revealed: "Cordoba put a lot of pressure on my father. Suddenly, he was in the spotlight. He found it hard from then on to meet expectations."

Finger Jr. followed his father’s footsteps to become chief sports editor for ORF Vienna operation. A motor-mouth himself, Finger Jr. even recorded a song based on his father’s commentary during the run-up to last year’s European Football Championships.

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