- Manuel Neuer at Bayern München v 1.FC Köln 2017/18
- Advent Calendar Day 12: The Day of Petersen
- Joachim Löw at Grêmio v Pachuca (Club World Cup 2017)
- Advent Calendar Day 11: Vampire Mondays
- Advent Calendar Day 10: Snow Day in Köln
- Advent Calendar Day 9: Adventures in Autism
- Advent Calendar Day 8: The Not so Scary Day of Doom
- New Jogi Pictures – DFB Bundestag 2017
- Advent Calendar Day 7: Double Jogi Day
- Advent Calendar Day 6: The Day of Four Cards
I wish I could come with a better title, Nils certainly deserves one. Also because the title makes it sound like I got Nils’ card in the DFB calendar, something which of course is never going to happen. Maybe Christian Günter will be in there one day but not Nils. That doesn’t matter tonight anyway, they didn’t win a trophy or promotion but you wouldn’t know it from the players and Christian Streich’s reaction. It was a big game, three points would see them out of the relegation zone. For some reason at home they don’t lose against Gladbach and tonight was no exception. It may not have been a performance as terrific as the one which saw them beat Gladbach 3-1 last season but it was good in it’s own way. They only scored the one goal and that was a penalty but it so easily could have been more. I’m kind of glad it wasn’t though, it would have made a dent in the goal difference which obviously is important but I would have felt bad for Matze. Gladbach aren’t having a very good week, last weekend they got a penalty wrongfully taken away and scored an own goal. And this week Jannik Vestergaard isn’t any happier, the penalty was debatable to say the least. And once again it showcases how annoying and intrusive VAR can be. It took them close to a minute to stop the play and tell the referee. If they are going to keep VAR they need to make it more responsive and communication needs to be better. In the end don’t think it would have mattered, the way the second half went I think Freiburg would have won anyway. That won’t make Vestergaard feel any better of course.
I could rage against everything that went wrong today and all the things I screwed up, not least about the fact I need to take better care of my stuff. This time it’s my tablet and the USB port needs replacing. Being without it makes me feel like I’m missing a part of me, I’m so used to it being at hand it actually feels like an extension of me. Having a laptop in front of you is just not the same at all. But it’s my own fault and now I have to pay the price, not just the cost of the repairs but the waiting. I keep going to get it thinking it’s there. It’s only been 24 hours and it’s like I’m going through a withdrawal of some kind. One thing is for certain I’ll be careful not to mention this to any so called “professional.” Lest they give me yet another lecture about being “overdependent on technology.” You know because normal people aren’t over reliant on technology at all. I’m not going to rant about that or anything else. Freiburg won, Nils scored a goal and just as importantly I got the Jogi video I was expecting to get today.
Nils scored the only goal of the night but he was far from the most important man on the pitch tonight, in fact everyone but Alex was. He for once didn’t have a lot to do, which makes a pleasant change for him I suppose. Of great importance tonight was Çağlar Söyüncü. This was a game made for him, several times he got partake in the monster tackles and interventions he thrives on, earning himself a much deserved equally monster hug from Christian Streich after the game. Apparently some Premier League clubs are interested in Söyüncü, I hate to say it but I can see why, he would be great in the English league. But he’s not going anywhere, not yet.
Sometimes I think maybe things are predestined, today of all days I get the sticker of Jonas Hector and the card of Marco Reus. The connection of course being Peter Stöger who up until last weekend was Hector’s coach at Köln and is now Reus’ coach at Dortmund. There’s another interesting connection in the sense that tonight was his first game in charge of Dortmund against Mainz, the team of former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel. As well of course as being the former team of current Dortmund player Andre Schürrle. Well Dortmund won their first game with the new Peter in charge. As for Köln tomorrow night will be their second league game without him and there is no way in hell they are going to win it or even draw with Bayern. Last season they got a very respectable point at the Alllianz arena, a feat which is the very definition of impossible now.
Despite getting out of bed whilst it was actually still morning today didn’t go as I wanted it to. Even though I was out of bed and doing what I was supposed to be doing it didn’t feel right, half the time I felt like I was still asleep and the rest of the time I was wishing I were. It was only late in the evening that I actually felt awake, something which doesn’t bode well for my efforts at straightening out my sleeping patterns. I’m doing everything I can to resist a nocturnal schedule but evidently the rest of me does not agree. Come night time that old familiar feeling returns, a feeling of invincibility almost. Like I can do anything and I have a million and one ideas. Which of course I don’t actually do anything about, that’s all anything is these days, ideas and thoughts. Hardly anything is real anymore, most things don’t get beyond my head. I plot stories, come up with ideas for posts and projects. Yet I don’t do any of it. When it comes to writing stuff down the words aren’t there anymore. And when they are it’s not right, the stories are more complete when they’re in my head. Like something gets lost when I try to put them down on paper.
Things aren’t happening as they’re meant to and these posts are no exception. I thought I might use them to get back on track. And of course I had plenty of ideas, like digging some stuff out from my archives and making videos for the players whose cards and stickers I got on that day. Something which never materialized, not because I forgot about the idea. It was just the thought of all that work, what is usually fun felt like a chore. Almost everything feels that way these days. Forget about actually getting anything done by the time you’re out of bed, showered and dressed it feels like that’s half of your energy gone already. Yesterday was a lot of fun, maybe too much fun.
Not a lot happened today, other than what seems to be the now mandatory Playstation marathon (the game of choice being Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood this time) the main event today was the Champions League draw. Bayern have got what on paper is a not so difficult draw, having been drawn with Turkish team Besiktas. I find it funny myself, because Besiktas are from RB Leipzig’s group. The best of the bunch though is obviously Real Madrid v PSG. I don’t care about the Ronaldo v Neymar competition though. What I care about is German being pitted against German, well Germans since PSG have two in the form of Julian Draxler and Kevin Trapp. And of course Real Madrid have Toni Kroos. I can’t really root for either, I don’t like PSG because of where their money comes from yet I can’t root for Real Madrid because I can’t stand Ronaldo. As for picking who I like better, I don’t know if I can do that. My first instinct is to say Julian, though I think that might be Matze’s fault. Either way it’ll be brilliant to watch, I just hope that Julian actually gets to play. On the subject of Germans being pitted against one another the draw of Chelsea and Barcelona does just that. This time it’s Antonio Rüdiger against Marc-Andre ter Stegen. And this is the point where I say I’m staying neutral. Between those two I really can’t pick.
Despite the excitement of the Champions League draw the highlight of today was a new video for my collection, not Jogi of course (I’ve never gotten one of him from a 2.Bundesliga game – besides they’re in Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup) but Stefan instead.
Of all the things I expected to happen today that wasn’t one of them. I know it doesn’t sound good when you go into a game like this unsure if your team can win or not, but I didn’t want to curse anything by thinking about winning at all. I honestly thought they would draw and well they almost did. Were it not for Nils Petersen’s last minute penalty it would have been a 3-3 draw, and quite a spectacular one too. Freiburg came back to win 4-3 and that’s great, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be relegated. Those three goals they conceded are exactly why relegation is still a very real threat. That was their way of playing in the 2.Bundesliga in 2015/16, don’t worry if you concede two, we’ll just go and score three more. They’ve always been partial to a very open style of play, which isn’t to say they can’t be disciplined defensively. Their 0-0 draw against Dortmund earlier in the season proves that, a result all the more impressive for the fact they played the majority of the game with ten men. That open kind of play worked when they had players like Maximilian Philipp and Vincenzo Grifo around. But they left in the summer for Dortmund and Gladbach, taking some of the magic. their goals and more importantly their assists with them.
I don’t even know what today’s game was, it was crazy that’s for sure. And it’s proof that whatever they do Köln are doomed, they threw away a three goal lead, you can’t draw any other conclusion. Then again this game didn’t doom them, that was already done several match-days ago. There remains only one question, can they really go a whole Bundesliga season without winning a single game? Today’s game brought back a lot of memories, like the equally crazy (but much better to watch) snow game against Leipzig in the 2015/16 season. And of course their first game of that season against 1.FC Nürnberg. which was Nil’s first league game as a proper Freiburg player. A game in which he scored a hat-trick and just like today two of them were penalties. In fact Nils scored a hat-trick in his first ever game for Freiburg as well, against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Speaking of memories there was a very familiar face at today’s game, though not a very happy one obviously:
As happy as I am they won I don’t feel like I can celebrate, not only because they’re still in danger of relegation but the game seems to be reflective of how their season is going and life in general. They can’t go on conceding goals at the rate they have, not even if they start scoring some themselves. On the subject of unexpected events the confirmation of the sacking of Peter Bosz wasn’t one of them. The announcement of his replacement the very same day however was, not just the fact they did so quickly but who it was. They’ve switched one Peter for another, Dortmund’s temporary coach until the end of the season being none other than former Köln coach Peter Stöger. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.
I still can’t find a word other than crazy to describe today’s game but I know one thing, I really needed today. It was exciting, infuriating and intense. But most of all it was fun and for those two hours the game was on things felt like they used to do, like when I first started watching them. They were struggling then and they’re struggling now, so it’s not that they’ve changed, it’s me. But I don’t want to reflect on that now or anything else serious or real life related, today was fun and that’s enough. For once I just want something to be simple. Today’s game was anything but simple but the joy I derived from it was exactly that. No obsessing over what I’m doing and why, no wondering if maybe I’m not too obsessed and shouldn’t I be spending time with other people instead of stuck in my room alone. Today none of that mattered. Today there was the game and nothing else.
With the way I’ve been feeling lately I’ve not really seen the point in doing anything and that includes writing, though I doubt myself when it comes to writing a lot anyway. I don’t find it easy to let other people read what I’ve written, especially when it’s fiction. Every once in a while I think what’s the point in writing anything when most of it is destined to go unread by anyone but me. Today I was provided with a very good reason as to why it’s important to keep writing a certain kind of story, that is the autism themed ones. Earlier I got sent a link to a post about a very offensive book about autism. A book which I’m not going to name, though I don’t really need to, the details will unfortunately make it clear. For there aren’t many books written by such a despicable human being who somehow manages to combine self centerdness, child abuse, hatred of disabled people and eugenics. The worst thing of all is the book isn’t fiction.
Before I read the link I thought “great another autism book written by one of those parents” but didn’t really expect it to be any worse than the many terrible articles and books I’ve read in the past. I was wrong, very wrong. I’ve read several articles and tweets about the book, enough to know that I’m not going to be able to read it without physically destroying the book in the process. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but not that much. It’s all too depressingly familiar. You live in a world where a parent of an autistic child murders that child and they are somehow the one who gets all the sympathy – then you can’t be surprised about stuff like this. Even so being sad their child is autistic is one thing, openly mocking them and writing a book in which you call them names and share their personal information, that is so far beyond the line it defies description. To think a few days ago I was ranting about the tv show The A Word and how terrible his parents are. In doing so I said “I’m so glad Joe is fictional because the thought of a kid having parents like that in real life is unbearable.”
Well, now it’s the other way around. I wish this boy were fictional. I wish as his evil mother thinks that autistic people like him and me didn’t have feelings and thoughts, that we didn’t understand that people like her hate us. What’s most disturbing about the book (I know, try and pick) is the review from a newspaper praising it for it’s “refreshing honesty.” You mean you’re glad this parent wrote this book saying how disabled people like her son are a burden, that they shouldn’t reproduce, openly making fun of them and terrorizing them? Are they glad because they think that way too but the constraints of civilized society prevent them from openly expressing their views? And now that a parent of a disabled child has said it they feel like it’s validated their views somehow? I’m so disappointed that Jon Stewart had anything good to say about this book, more disappointed than I can even put into words.
Anyway, the point I was going to make before getting lost in my rant is that without even actually reading it that book reminded me of why it’s important for people who actually understand autism to write about it. My stories are always realistic in that sense and sometimes that means they are a little depressing, but I write about the good and bad sides of autism. I don’t shy away from writing about difficult stuff and I don’t oversell the positives. My own situation has provided me with a perfect viewpoint as to how autism can mean very different things for different people. But when “those parents” rant at you about how you don’t understand autism because you’re high functioning they fail to realise that. Somehow their “normal” brain doesn’t register the fact that an autistic person like myself is highly likely to have at least one autistic sibling. Point that out and they’ll probably foolishly assume they’re “high-functioning” like you. Same as they foolishly assume that being able to type makes you capable of everything you need to do in order to function in the real world. With all their stupidity and rigid views maybe they have something wrong with them.
All that ranting and I haven’t even mentioned football once, that doesn’t happen often. It’s not like nothing has happened on that front today either, two coaches sacked in one day. Well only of them of them officially, Dortmund haven’t officially confirmed it yet but that’ll no doubt happen in the morning. It’s no surprise and I don’t mean because of the terrible streak Dortmund have been on lately. I’m not enjoying someone else’s downfall, just enjoying being right and winning my bet. They should have kept Thomas Tuchel. Ironic thing is in winning today Bremen helped me win my bet. All the same I would have preferred they not win, it’s put even more pressure on Freiburg tomorrow morning to beat Cologne. Thanks to Bremen winning Freiburg drop back down into 17th place. With only two match-days left it’s looking like it’s going to be another Christmas spent in the relegation zone.
I should be relieved that the worst didn’t happen, yet I’m only partly relieved. Mostly I’m still angry, angry that some people seem to continually get away with not taking responsibility for themselves and their actions. They think it’s fine just because the worst didn’t happen, that because it turned out to be something of a misunderstanding and disaster was averted it means they don’t need to take responsibility for their mistakes. The fact the more serious consequences of their careless mistake was avoided doesn’t make it ok, not by a long shot. But it’s impossible to make them see that. I guess on this one I’ll just have to take the advice I got, time and time again I’ve been told “you can’t always change what other people do or think, all you can do is decide how you’re going to react to it.”
Actually in a way it’s worse that what I was worried about didn’t actually happen. Because they screwed up and put me through all this for nothing, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I know I need to let go of this but it’s not easy. I’ve got plenty of my own stuff to stress out about, I don’t need idiots like that adding to the list. It’s ironic that’s for sure, today was destined to be the worst day of the week yet it’s actually the day in which I’ve gotten the most done. Not only that but I somehow managed to be up, showered, dressed and to have eaten breakfast all before lunchtime. And right now I’m writing something which isn’t depressing. Even so it’s not an all’s well that ends well sort of thing. It’s yet another reminder that you can’t trust anyone but yourself, and sometimes I don’t even feel like I can do that. I’m supposed to be thinking of a few things that I can work on to make my life better, they don’t have to be big things, just something that could potentially make my life more bearable. I still don’t have anything for my list, nothing that’s realistic anyway. There are no big strong centre backs like Antonio Rüdiger to protect you, no Hansi either to help keep you out of trouble. I have something for my list but it’s not realistic, at least I don’t see a way it can be achieved. I’d like for life to not lurch from one crisis to the next, for things to just be settled and quiet but that never seems to happen, something always has to go wrong. I don’t have any solutions except to run away and hide, whether that be in a story of my own creation, books or yet another TV show, in this case Grimm on Netflix seeing as how I’ve watched almost everything else in my own collection. In the show the main character Nick can see monsters whereas other people just see regular human beings, that would be great, if you could really see people for who they are. That way you’d never get taken in, lied to or taken advantage of ever again.