Category Archives: Die Mannschaft

The London Trip: Operation Jogi Autogramm

Whatever the last post of the year was about I wanted it to be Jogi related in some way. I should have written this post after I got back but somehow never found the time, and with today being the 31st I guess it’s the perfect time. I still can’t believe that it actually happened, that instead of being in my room watching that stuff on TV I was actually there. I just wish I could have gotten more pictures and video. Unsurprisingly I’m not too good with a camera, turns out twitchy people and cameras don’t mix. The cold didn’t help either, nor did the fact I was trying to keep hold of so many things at once. Should I go autograph hunting again I will definitely be better prepared next time. Still I did at least manage to get some good pictures of Jogi and video too. Unfortunately I didn’t get one of Matze, he was standing right in front of me. Whilst he was signing the shirt I could easily have snapped a picture right then but I guess I wasn’t even thinking . I was a little awed by the fact he was right in front of me and he was so much taller than I expected.

As important as getting a Jogi autograph was getting one from Matze was definitely the best part of the whole experience. That’s probably the one moment of the trip I’m actually quite proud about. It’s not a word I use often, not a word I like either. But that’s how I feel about that moment. The reason being it’s one of those rare moments in my life when I spoke up for myself and it paid off. Had I not called out Matze’s name as he walked to the bus he would have carried on walking and I never would have gotten his signature, never would have got to see him standing right in front of me.I got quite a few signatures in total, Mario Götze, Julian Draxler, Lars Stindl, Per Mertesacker and a few others I can neither remember nor identify. And not forgetting one from the DFB president and Oliver Bierhoff. As for Jogi I didn’t get one signature, I got three separate ones. One on the very special piece of paper I wanted signed (a list of every Freiburg game I’ve seen going back to September 2014), another in my book and this is the best one of all, my match ticket.

Despite not getting off to a very good start overall I think the trip went well, there’s definitely room for improvement and a few parts of it I wouldn’t want to repeat under any circumstances but the positives outweigh the negatives. Getting lost in London wasn’t fun at all, it was scary enough the first day in daylight when I had a vague idea where I was, the second time was terrifying. Yet it has it’s good points, I was alone and had no-one to rely on. So if I was going to find my way I had to ask for directions and figure it out. How I managed to do that I still don’t know.

The second day went better than the first, I spent the afternoon before the game waiting outside the team’s hotel and it paid off. I got a few autographs before the bus left (though not Jogi, he went straight to the bus) and watched the bus leave. I almost missed kick off because of having to rush back to the stadium but it was so worth it. Now on that point I had planned ahead, my hotel was close to the stadium so I had just enough time to drop off my stuff and get to the game. The part I was most anxious about turned out to be not so good. I was anxious enough about the prospect of queuing to get inside, I could have done without getting spat at by a no doubt drunk England fan who mistakenly thought I was a German. Same as I could have done without the Auschwitz chants on the underground on the way there. But they were the exception to the rule, almost everyone else I encountered was nothing like that.

On the subject of meeting people that was one of the big surprises of the whole experience for me. Now the social side of things didn’t go so well in one regard, but there were enough unplanned encounters to make up for it. Whilst waiting outside the hotel I got to meet and talk with several different people. It was cool being just a fan among other fans, not being the “weird” one for a change. And I even got to meet a few Germans, though some of them curiously enough seem to be baffled why I’m a fan of Jogi. Being the only fan of his there after the game certainly worked in my favour though. Then all the attention was on the players but I was waiting for Jogi, convinced that I wasn’t going to miss out this time around. Normally in social situations all I do is watch, this time I was able to make that ability work for me. I watched and waited, and finally got my chance. For once in my life hyper-awareness worked in my favour and did something other than make me anxious.

The day after the game I was meant to go on a pre-booked tour of Wembley Stadium. I didn’t end up doing that, having decided the night before there was something much more fun to do. And that was going back to the hotel in search of more autographs and pictures. I am so glad I did go back because that was when I hit the jackpot, getting the cutest pictures of Jogi ever. Getting an autograph from Lars Stindl made it worth it too. And the best part of all, I got to meet Uli the Sky reporter and get an autograph, that was unbelievably cool. I got to talk to him about a few things and one very important subject in particular. The night before I managed to catch up on some of the news online, seeing his report on TV I heard him mention Hansi. As it turned out Hansi was actually there, Uli confirmed that part. But he wasn’t staying at their hotel and I didn’t get to see him. Still it was cool just knowing he’d been there.

Many things didn’t go as planned and a lot of things could have gone better, but none of that matters. There will always be things that go wrong or don’t go exactly to plan, this trip was proof that things can still go right afterwards. This trip cost me a lot and I don’t mean financially speaking, it really wiped me out in terms of energy but it was worth it. Even the delayed meltdown/stress reaction when I got home was worth it. I’m already thinking about another trip, about going to Germany next time. Before that seemed the very definition of impossible, I’m not going to lie, it still feels a little daunting now. But less so, the prospect of it no longer seems quite so terrifying. And even if it is scary, the rewards are worth it.

Jogi footage – London 11/11/17

Advent Calendar Day 24: The Best of Löw 2017 Part 3

They definitely kept the best till last as far as the stickers are concerned, Toni Kroos is a pretty damn good Christmas present to get. Though I’m plenty happy with my real life gifts too. That’s one of the best things about a German Christmas (other than Bratwurst at the Christmas market that is), getting your presents a day early. It means I get a head start on playing my new PC games, at least I’ll have plenty to occupy myself with whilst the Bundesliga takes it’s winter break.

And now of course the most important part of the post, the best of Jogi from July to December, with a little bit of Hansi thrown in for good measure:

Joachim Löw & Hansi Flick at Hoffenheim v Liverpool – CLQ 2017-18

Joachim Löw at H96 v Schalke 04 2017/18

The Jogi Löw Highlights – Tschechien v Deutschland (2017)

The Jogi Löw Highlights – Deutschland v Norwegen (2017)

Joachim Löw at Leverkusen v HSV 2017/18

Joachim Löw pre-match show – Nordirland v Deutschland (2017)

The Jogi Löw Highlights – Deutschland v Aserbaidschan (2017)

Joachim Löw post-match interview – Deutschland v Aserbaidschan (2017)

Advent Calendar Day 23: The Best of Löw 2017 Part 2 – Confed Cup 2017

The Jogi Löw Highlights – Deutschland v Chile (Confed Cup

The Jogi Löw Highlights – Deutschland v Mexiko (Confed Cup 2017)

Julian Draxler & Joachim Löw PK vor dem Finale gegen Chile 01/07/17

The Jogi Löw Highlights – Chile v Deutschland (Confed Cup Finale 2017)

Joachim Löw/die Mannschaft – Tageschau 03/07/17 – Ankunft in Frankfurt nach dem Confed Cup Finale 2017

Advent Calendar Day 23: The Best of Löw 2017 Part 1

Well at least this post will be easy, putting together pictures and video of Jogi always is. And today I got a pleasant surprise too, both because I wasn’t expecting any more mail before Christmas and because of the card itself, I didn’t know it was a double-sided card. Of course the Jogi card has to come before anything else. This card just might be my most favourite Jogi card ever:

As for the players I got today well Matze’s not among them, I knew he woudn’t be but part of me still wanted to believe he would be there:

;

And for the best part, the best of Jogi from January to May, I think June and the Confed Cup deserves a post all of it’s own:

Joachim Löw Wahl des Bundespräsidenten 2017

Advent Calendar Day 22

Just one more day and I get to do the best post of all, well part 1 of 2 at least. Jogi may not have done as many half-time interviews as usual this year but I’m still sure I’ll need two posts to put together the best of his pictures and videos from this year. Plus Hansi will need a little space too anyway. Maybe then I can finally get around to uploading some of my pictures from the London trip. Whilst I was out and counting down the hours until I got back I was convinced it was the 23rd today for some reason. I guess that’s what happens when there’s no football on, I’m even worse with knowing what day it is than usual.

Today wasn’t a disaster but it wasn’t exactly a lot of fun either, I do like trains but I also like and more importantly need to know what’s going on and what’s going to happen next. I get that not everyone (even those with an autistic child/family member) does the whole list and written schedule thing but I would have expected to at least have been given an outline of the schedule, to at least know what events were taking place and when. I find not having that information very unsettling. Were it someone I didn’t know that well it wouldn’t be so bad but when it’s a person who just a few weeks ago commented “you need routine a lot more than I do, don’t you?” Bearing that in mind I didn’t think it would be an issue. It doesn’t matter now anyway, I got through it. Though the day did remind it’s a very good thing I don’t get driven places very often, 60 minutes in a cramped confined space with other people is not my idea of fun, or even my idea of a tolerable situation. I spent most of those 6o minutes trying to sit still and resist fantasizing about opening the car door and escaping. And no I don’t mean that in a death wish kind of way, I mean that in a I don’t think I can keep still longer kind of way. I spent most of the day observing more than doing anything else, not that I’m really complaining about that, I like people watching. It’s always interesting to meet a fellow autistic’s family, I like seeing if autism has a genetic basis in their family or they’re just a genetic aberration of sorts. Now I’m done for the holidays, that was my last social time, now I get to catch up on some sleep and curl up in bed with a pile of books. That is what Christmas is made for.

Advent Calendar Days 18 & 19: Still no Matze

It’s only Tuesday and already I feel like I’m out of words, and just about everything else for that matter. There’s no reason I’d be looking forward to or enjoying Christmas anyway, but still, it’s not a good way to feel. It’s the same story as always, spend time with other people, have a good time and end up paying the price and deeply regretting it afterwards. To think that last week I was daydreaming about what it would be look to be more “normal” and to do regular people things. Of course that was just a daydream, not at all close to reality. It hurts even more when another autistic person tells you they “admire they way you can retreat within your own little world and choose not to interact with other people when you know it’ll stress you out.” It gets even worse when they go on to say how they wish they could do the same and stop pushing themselves to interact with people even though they know it makes them anxious. I don’t know if there’s a criticism implied in there but it sure feels like there was. Regardless the first part hurts no less and it doesn’t make any sense either. Not least because they think retreating within yourself is a choice rather than a defense mechanism. It’s definitely not something to envy. I had an NT make a similar comment once and that hurt too, but it hurts more coming from someone who should understand.

I suppose it’s a good thing I got this far before the whole thing started feeling like a chore. Now I’m only doing these posts because leaving something unfinished bugs me. I’ve opened 19 doors now and still no Matze, I don’t think he’s in there. I think only the most popular players are in there, not necessarily the current squad. That would explain why Andre Schürrle is in there. Which just makes all of this even more disappointing. First no Freiburg advent calendar and now no Matze either. I know, that’s a pathetic problem to have but I’m grateful to have such things to deal with right now. I would like nothing more than a month without a real life major problem to deal with. December wasn’t such a month, I’m hoping January will be. It would be nice to have some peace and quiet for a change. Though with the way I feel at the moment peace and quiet feels like it might not be enough.

All this negativity I feel like I have to mention at least one good thing. Well tonight was DFB Pokal night, part one of two. I got three out of my four predictions right, so that’s not so bad. The three I got right were Paderborn, Mainz and Schalke. Unfortunately I was wrong in regard to 1.FC Nürnberg. Obviously tomorrow right I’ve predicted Freiburg to beat Bremen, at least I hope they do anyway. It’s the same with Gladbach, more hope than anything else, I don’t want Matze to get knocked out after all. Whether they can actually beat Leverkusen is another story. I know the league is one thing and the cup is another but Leverkusen did beat Gladbach 5-1 earlier this year, so that doesn’t leave much room for hope. Similarly I don’t hold much hope for Heidenheim pulling off a surprise and beating Eintracht Frankfurt. As for Bayern and Dortmund, who the hell knows.

The other positive I can glean from the past few days is the fact I’ve been reading more. Being separated from my tablet helped on that count. With less time to read internet forums on various subjects I had to find another way to occupy myself late at night when I couldn’t sleep. It’s good in another way too, read less nonsense and you have less to get angry and rant about. Well, that was the theory anyway. Then I went and read Rubbernecker and found something to rant about after all. Yet another book where an author equates Aspergers with “lacking in empathy and sensitivity.” There’s plenty I could rant about, I won’t because I’m too tired for that. But there is one point I have to mention, namely that the book concludes with the point that essentially the key to happiness for an autistic person is learning how to act normal and doing that, making the NTs around you happy, giving up your special interest and worst of all learning how to tolerate people touching you because that’s one of the normal human things you need to be able to do. Like I said, way too many things to rant about. So many that I feel more sad than angry about it; sad that people still think this rubbish about autism.

Advent Calendar Day 17: A Bundesliga Christmas

The title is slightly misleading of course since unlike the English league the Germans don’t play over Christmas, though their winter break is considerably shorter this year due to the world cup. It’s only three weeks but it’ll feel like forever, it always does. And I’m not the only who’ll be missing it whilst it’s gone, sky made this cute but very sad little video about the mascots. But it’s the only title I could come up with so it’s staying. This year is my fourth Bundesliga Christmas. Ironically enough before my first Bundesliga Christmas I saw Hannover play on a Sunday then too, against Freiburg. It was not fun, thankfully today was. Amusingly enough this game ended in a draw just like that one with a lot more goals but no less drama. All in all today saw thirteen goals with Leipzig losing 3-2 to Hertha Berlin and Leverkusen drawing 4-4 with Hannover. I love getting match predictions right but I love it even more when I’m right about Leipzig losing. The football was fun but I didn’t get any Jogi videos, not from the games or the award ceremony tonight. So it’s lucky then that Stefan popped up at Sandhausen’s game against Holstein Kiel. I’d like to think he brought Sandhausen some luck as they beat Kiel 3-1, which means the latter missed the opportunity to be winter champions.

Stefan Kuntz at Sandhausen v Holstein Kiel 2017/18