The minnows often relish their chances to take a nip out of the bigger fish but the natural order of things prevailed, for the most part, in the first round of the German Cup last week.
Podolski & Co. don't have to worry about the distractions of the cup now
Traditionally the first round of the German Cup is one where the smaller clubs get to pit their talents against their better and more financially blessed relatives from the Bundesliga. Often it all goes to plan for the big names but sometimes the script gets rewritten.
FC Cologne may be fifth in the Bundesliga table but they crashed out of the German cup at the first hurdle with second division Kickers Offenbach triumphing 3-1 on Saturday.
Cologne took a 29th minute lead through Markus Feulner but the sending-off of their Zambian midfielder Andrew Sinkala after 56 minutes changed the complexion of the match.
"We had the game under control for an hour and then came the sending off," said Cologne manager Uwe Rapolder. "It is a shame to go out and it has shown us that there is work still to do."
Qualid Mokhtari leveled for Offenbach in the 65th minute and Suat Turker then put the hosts in front seven minutes later. Former German international Christian Rahn scored an own goal four minutes from time to seal 10-man Cologne's misery.
On the following Monday Dortmund were beaten 2-1 by the second division side Eintracht Braunschweig in a match watched by a passionate home crowd of 22,200.
Jan Koller gave BVB the lead on 28 minutes, but a brilliant diving header by Jürgen Rische on 41 and a dramatic 84th-minute strike from captain Daniel Graf took the underdogs into the second round and dumped the woeful big league visitors out of the cup.
The other Bundesliga teams in action over the weekend had little trouble in securing passage to the second round and big guns such as Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen and SV Hamburg were in fine form.
Most Bundesliga sides progress at a stroll
Leverkusen crushed Rot-Weiss Erfurt Amateure 8-0 with Serbia and Montenegro star Danko Lazovic scoring a hat-trick inside ten minutes midway through the second half.
"It was a great day for me," Lazovic said. "I am just glad to have this chance at a great club like Leverkusen."
Bremen, winners in 2004, ran out 3-1 victors over Wattenscheid while Hamburg hammered Stuttgart Kickers 5-1.
Hamburg crashed out 4-2 to SC Paderborn in the first round of last season's competition although it was later revealed that disgraced referee Robert Hoyer had manipulated the tie for financial gain.
Last season's quarter-finalists Paderborn had no time for giant killing this time around as they fell 2-0 to VfL Wolfsburg.
Schalke 04 were runners-up to Bayern Munich in last season's final and they justified their favorite tag with a 3-0 thrashing of unknowns Bremerhaven.
Danish international Soren Larsen continues to shine since arriving in the close season scoring twice to help the visitors ease through.
It was far from easy for Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin who needed extra-time to defeat Koblenz 3-2. Hertha were 2-1 down at one stage but Brazilian Marcelinho equalized and Niko Kovac scored the winner to save the club's blushes.
Stuttgart let out of jail with extra-time victory
VfB Stuttgart had a scare against amateur club TSG Hoffenheim on Sunday. The home side scraped through to the second round of the German Cup with a 4-3 extra-time win. The early season crisis, in which Stuttgart have taken just a point from their opening two Bundesliga matches, looked to be going from bad to worse when they fell 2-1 behind to the regional third division side at the end of the first half.
New signing Jon Dahl Tomasson equalized in the 54th minute to send the match into extra-time, however, and goals from Croatia's Mario Carevic and Brazilian forward Cacau sent them clear. Hoffenheim defender Matthias Orum pulled one back late in the game but Stuttgart held on for a much needed victory.
Cup holders Bayern Munich made light work of MSV 1919 Neuruppin in Berlin on Sunday, winning 4-0 in their first game of their defense.
Two goals from golden oldie Mehmet Scholl sealed the win after Valerien Ismael had opened the scoring with his first goal for Bayern since his pre-season move from Werder Bremen. Youngster Andreas Ottl also got his first senior goal to ease the champions' passage to the next round.
While not such a giant force in their own league, Hanover 96 are positively enormous compared to Cologne amateurs who play in the regional third division. The miss-matched tie on Friday evening offered few surprises with the Bundesliga outfit putting four past the youth team without reply.
Vahid Hashemian, the Iranian international signed by Hanover from Bayern Munich, opened the scoring in the sixth minute. Hanover finished the game at a stroll after Cologne's Tobias Nickenig was sent off midway through the first half and completed the rout with goals from Thomas Brdaric, Chavdar Yankov and Jiri Stajner.
The other top league side in action on Friday was recently promoted Eintracht Frankfurt who won in less comfortable circumstances against Rot-Weiss Oberhausen, holding on to a 2-1 victory for their first win of the season.
New signings Benjamin Huggel and Ioannis Amanatidis put Frankfurt 2-0 up before Dalibor Gataric's reply 13 minutes from time set up a nervous finale.
Cottbus keeper the saviour and hero
The pick of the other six matches was the cliff-hanger between second division Energie Cottbus and amateurs Rot-Weiss Essen which finished in favor of the professionals from the east after a dramatic penalty shoot-out which Cottbus won 5-4.
The hero of the night was Energie's Bosnian goalkeeper Tomislav Piplica (photo, right) who saved from Lennart Lynge Larsen at 4-4 in the shootout before scoring the winner himself.