Tag Archives: Football

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

DFB Pressekonferenz 17/05/2016: Joachim Löw nominiert EM-Kader

Manuel Neuer - EM 2016 Kader Bernd Leno - EM 2016 Kader Marc Andre ter Stegen - EM 2016 Kader Die Mannschaft - EM Kader 2016 - TorJerome Boateng - EM 2016 Kader Emre Can - EM 2016 Kader Jonas Hector - EM 2016 Kader Benedikt Höwedes – EM 2016 Kader Mats Hummels - EM 2016 Kader Shkodran Mustafi - EM 2016 Kader Sebastian Rudy - EM 2016 Kader Antonio Rüdiger - EM 2016 Kader Die Mannschaft - EM Kader 2016 - AbwehrKarim Bellarabi - EM 2016 Kader Julian Brandt - EM 2016 Kader Julian Draxler - EM 2016 Kader Mario Götze - EM 2016 Kader Mario Gomez -EM 2016 Kader Sami Khedira - EM 2016 Kader Joshua Kimmich - EM 2016 Kader Toni Kroos - EM 2016 Kader Thomas Müller - EM 2016 Kader Mesut Özil - EM 2016 Kader Lukas Podolski - EM 2016 Kader Marco Reus - EM 2016 Kader Leroy Sane - EM 2016 Kader Andre Schürrle - EM 2016 Kader Bastian Schweinsteiger- EM 2016 Kader Julian Weigl - EM 2016 Kader Die Mannschaft - EM Kader 2016 - Mittelfeld-AngriffDie Mannschaft - EM Kader 2016

A Lazy Sunday

In this heat I have no intention of taking a stroll anywhere. I’m not a big fan of summer. The only thing I like about it is that international tournaments are held during the summer, though I’m not particularly looking forward to this years. But today none of that matters, this is not a Jogi day or a “die Mannschaft” day. No, today belongs to Freiburg and to them alone. Today they celebrate not only their return to the Bundesliga but their status as champions of the division. And it just had to be Florian Niederlechner who scored the goals against his old team Heidenheim. Double joker today because the goals were scored and created by two substitutes, providing the assist for both was Lucas Hufnagel who himself scored a very important joker goal against Bielefeld earlier in the season.

Florian Niederlechner’s goals:

Florian_Niederlechner_first_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_HeidenheimFlorian_Niederlechner_s_second_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_HeidenheimThe summer is far from over, there’s still the DFB Pokal final and the Euros of course but as far as I’m concerned I have the thing I wanted the most. I’d like to see Dortmund and Matze beat Bayern in the final but that would just be an added bonus. All that matters to me is Freiburg back in the Bundesliga, Dortmund coming to the Schwarzwald Stadion again, more importantly Matze going there.

Seeing all the celebrations after the game was wonderful but there’s one thing above all that I found amusing. That was Christian Streich going back to the team after his interview. Him celebrating by himself as he made his way back over there and the commentator saying that he’s a very special man. Indeed he is and I just had to make a GIF of that moment. To me it sums up why Freiburg. Like Christian Streich they march to their own tune:

Christian_Streich_celebrating_promotion_2015_16Also amusing was Vincenzo Grifo wandering around bare-footed having given his boots to a fan. That is one lucky person, I hope they appreciate what they’ve been gifted, a pair of boots from a true artist.

After celebrating I’m going back to my second play-through of Mass Effect 3, it’s way too warm to do anything else. I have stuff to do but it can wait till tomorrow. Ironic that part of having a lazy day is saving the galaxy, but to be honest I don’t really care about that. I don’t even like Mass Effect 3 that much, the main reason I’m playing it again is so I can make my character Thomas fall in love with Kaidan. But before that it’s party time, well a real party for them, more of a virtual one for me:

SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 1 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 2 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 3 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 4 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 5 Nils Petersen interview - SCF v 1.FCH Alexander Schwolow interview - SCF v 1.FCH

Share Your World – 2015 Week #26

The questions.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

In real life I’d have to say a passenger, partly because I can’t drive and partly because I like to watch other people drive. In another world, a different reality, like in video games I love to drive. Especially in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I love to drive around the countryside at night in a old junker of a car called a Clover (if I’m remembering correctly) listening to country and western music like I Love A Rainy Night and Crazy. Or in GTA 4, driving around the city at night listening to the radio station that plays Phillip Glass music.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

If it were for an opera in Vienna I’d probably go, especially if they were for Wagner’s Ring. Otherwise I’d probably sell them, I have no real interest in opera or any wish to sit through such a thing.

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE:  does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)

There is almost always a silver lining.

Or alternatively: Books, football, Jogi, Hansi. All you need.

Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

I’d prefer the latter I think, well part of it anyway. I think I’ve had enough adventure and trouble for a lifetime. It would be nice to enjoy boring and predictable for a change, I’d welcome a little security right now. As for being surrounded by family and friends, not so much, they are part of the problem. The only excitement I want is football related, in regards to everything else a quiet and predictable life would suit me just fine. I want nothing more than to go to work in the week, to do what I have to do and be left alone. And at the weekend, books and football whether it be at the stadium for a home game or at home in front of the TV if it’s an away one. And stickers of course, there always has to be stickers.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I got plenty of reading done, and that I got lots of nice new pictures of Hansi. And that it wasn’t quite so unbearably warm all the time, at least in the night it was cool enough to get some writing done, I’m very happy with the ending for my DFB Pokal chapter.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Minions film today and the Niki Lauda documentary at the cinema. I’m also happy at the prospect of finally being able to buy some stickers, and maybe checking out a second hand bookstore I found online. I don’t have a great deal of money to spend on books right now, but I’ll be happy if I can just find the place to check it out and to look through the old books. Looking through shelves of old books is in a way better than new ones, there’s something more special about it.  I hope that I can find the place and that I like it. If so I plan on going back there once the summer’s over with my backpack and a wad of notes, imagine all that money to spend on books.

Goals of the month

Today’s daily prompt asks you to write a list, well I didn’t feel like writing a list but seeing as how the prompt says your list can be about whatever you want I thought I’d make a list of another kind. I have to admit my first thought went to Jogi Löw, I thought about making a list of his strangest moments, well a list in video form anyway. But then I thought I devote enough time to that already, in fact I’ve already made four videos of him this week and have another one to make tomorrow, so I figured I should spend some time on something else, so here are my favourite goals of the month from the Bundesliga and around the world:

Freiburg may have lost last weekend, but Admir Mehmedi did win the honour of having his goal voted as the goal of the week on bundesliga.com. Given that it was only his second goal this season and that it ended 1077 minutes without a goal for him, I think it will be pretty special to him regardless of the loss.

Firsts up is Sebastian Kehl’s super strike in extra time against Hoffenheim in the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal:

Jonas Hector’s fantastic run and subsequent goal against Hoffenheim:

Christian Gentner’s terrific strike against Bremen:

Miro Klose – once more proving he is still the man:

Robert Lewandowski’s first goal against Eintracht Frankfurt:

Thomas Müller against Eintracht Frankfurt,  Mehmedi’s goal aside this is my personal favourite:

Valentin Stocker – Hannover 96 v Hertha Berlin:

 Alex Soares – Boavista vs Maritimo:
Pierre-Emil Höjbjerg – Paderborn v Augsburg:
Germain Denis – Atalanta v Sassuolo:
This has to be the most unusual, goalkeeper vs. goalkeeper, not a penalty shoot-out either but a free kick. Rogerio Ceni – Sao Paulo v Red Bull Brasil:
Andre Simoes – Moreirense v Vitoria Guimaraes:
 And also this goal from Franck Ribery’s little brother Steven, I guess technical excellence does run in the family:

I have to find space for Jogi Löw somewhere, so here he is, some of the goals from his career:

Defining the undefinable

I Want to Know What Love Is

We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal, or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”?

Can love be defined? Should you attempt to define it? Is it not one of those things were logic does not apply, where one of the things that is great about is the fact that it doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t require a rational explanation or any kind of explanation at all. That doesn’t sound like me at all, I think there’s a reason for everything, that you can always find an answer for something if only you look hard enough.  I’m kind of out of my depth here,  you couldn’t pick a more difficult or uncomfortable topic for me to write about if you tried, so this is just my random ramblings on the subject.

You can love many things,  a person, a football team, a place or in my case an activity, like the process of collecting football stickers. I think one thing that unites them all is a feeling of completeness, a feeling that there is nowhere else in the universe that you would rather be. When you are with that person, watching your team or in the place that makes you so happy then it’s as if all is right with the world, you couldn’t be happier if you tried.  The kind of happiness that makes you feel like doing this:

Jogi - goal celebration - Germany v Turkey 2008

Also relevant is the notion that you would do anything for them, commit to watching games at awkward times, spend 51 Euros on a pair of football boots that you can’t even wear, not only agree but don’t flip out when a friend has to alter the plans you made slightly. Sticking with them when things are difficult, not abandoning them when things start to get tough, not finding another team just because yours is seventeenth in the league and has only won four league games out of twenty-four this season.

I think the absence of logic is probably the one single thing that unites all varieties of love, it’s the thing that frustrates me so much but also it’s most likely the best thing about it.  As much as it troubles me I like the fact that you can’t always explain how and why you fell in love with something. For example when it came to picking a team to follow, I went through each and every team in the Bundesliga and I made a short list of possible choices. True, Freiburg were on my list yet I had envisioned them being a second team, but they had their own ideas about that. I like the fact that there was a random moment in which all of a sudden I decided, not really decided, more became aware of it that they were the team for me. I like it even more that I not only know the exact moment but that I can picture it, it was the 2-2 draw with Mainz on the 22nd November.

I don’t think things like this are meant to be explainable, like this picture for example, I know that this pictures makes me as happy as I can be, not only can I not say why but I don’t even know if I know why, all I know is it does and sometimes that’s enough:

Jogi und Hansi 6

Agree to Disagree

Agree to Disagree

Do you have a good friend or close relative with whom you disagree on a major issue (political, personal, cultural)? What’s the issue, and how do you make the relationship work?

Both of my friends in real life think football is the most tedious game known to man, but I’m not sure that counts as a major issue, though it’s major to me. How do we get around it, with the first, the answer is simple, the light of Löw. They may think football is boring and for brain dead idiots (they didn’t say that, but they didn’t have to) and they may be unable to fathom my interest in the game or indeed in sports at all, but they can and do appreciate the perfection that is Joachim Löw. Talking about the game in any way is off limits, however talking about Jogi’s newly observed oddities or discussing his latest attire is always a popular topic of conversation.

With the second person it’s much more complicated, I can’t share my appreciation of Jogi with them. Not when they feel so threatened by his existence. I just try not to talk about football too much, which I know is impossible, but I can at least try.

Like I said, I don’t think people would consider that to be a major issue, but it’s major for me. I could write about the rift between us on the subject of religion and how me being interested in Judaism and them being an anti-Zionist naturally led to some very awkward conversations, but I could write an essay about that and still not be done with it. Some things are better left alone.