The club's nickname Die Geißböcke refers to the club's mascot, a male goat named Hennes after the veteran FC player and manager Hennes Weisweiler. The first Hennes was donated by a circus entrepreneur as a Cologne carnival joke. Currently the eighth Hennes is the acting mascot. Another nickname, more common locally due to its ambiguity, is FC, a common German abbreviation for football clubs. Characteristic for the dialect spoken around Cologne, this is pronounced "EF-tsay", in contrast to the high language pronunciation of the abbreviation where the emphasis is on the "C".
Like many of Germany's other professional football clubs, 1. FC Köln is part of a larger sports club that also incorporates departments playing other sports, in this case handball, table tennis and gymnastics. The club's main rivals are Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, and Fortuna Düsseldorf — all clubs from the same general region, near the river Rhine.
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