Tag Archives: Nils Petersen collectibles

Enjoy it while it lasts

Most things in life are fleeting, feelings good and bad. Indeed life itself is fleeting. This weekend served up two reminders of this fact. The first was the death of a Darmstadt fan, a boy named Johnny who had cancer. He lived long enough to see them get promoted to the Bundesliga and to celebrate with the team. Sadly he didn’t live long enough to see them stay there, there’s still eight match-days to go. But he continues to be a source of inspiration for the team and their fans in the fight to stay in the top flight. They marked his passing with a minute of silence and banners with his picture on. His motto was “You must fight.” Words which Darmstadt will need to remember in their bid to remain in the Bundesliga.

Sunday unfortunately also served up a similar event. Dortmund’s yellow wall found themselves silenced during their game against Mainz. Not because their team was losing, that won’t stop them singing. Their silence was a mark of respect for a fan who died during the game. At the end they sung “You’ll Never Walk Along” in his honour and instead of their usual lap of honour the players stood in a respectful silence. Understandably at the end of the game neither Marco Reus nor Thomas Tuchel wanted to talk much about football. Thomas Tuchel saying that there are some things more important in life than football. I actually disagree with him there, I know what he’s saying but I can’t agree. Partly because of the story mentioned above. That boy Johnny lived and breathed for Darmstadt and they meant everything to him. Freiburg mean everything to me, sometimes they’re the reason I get out of bed. Maybe to some people that’s sad or whatever but I don’t care. Life’s too short to worry about what other people think of you. They provide a center, something to build everything else around that I really need right now. They are a point of consistency, no matter how bad everything else is going I know I get to see them play at the weekend. Win, lose or draw they’ll always be there. Some things are fleeting but others like loyalty and love aren’t.

This weekend’s game was a little bit of comedown after the excitement against Leipzig. They beat Frankfurt 3-1 but that scoreline is a little misleading. On the matter of things being fleeting my excitement on Sunday certainly was. The reason being for a few short minutes I got to enjoy the excitement of Freiburg being league leaders again. And then the inevitable happened, Leipzig equalised against 1860 and then went on to score the winner. Business as usual and Freiburg go back to second place. I was a little unhappy about that, until I saw Dortmund’s game and then today saw this prompt. The combination of the two set me straight. Freiburg are still in second place, that’s still an automatic promotion spot. Besides I have nothing to complain about, I got to see the game, including the pre and post-match shows. I got a new interview with Nils Petersen and he got to score two very important goals. I shouldn’t take that for granted, just getting to see the game is something I should appreciate. Thinking about Johnny and Darmstadt certainly puts into perspective. Whatever happens at the end of this season at least I’ll get to see it. I know I complain sometimes about having to get up early on the weekend because the 2.Bundesliga kicks off earlier, but I really shouldn’t. It could be so much worse. Look at Paderborn, relegated from the top flight, their coach and most of their best players gone. On their I think third coach of the season and struggling just to stay in the league. They face the possibility of being relegated twice in a row. It’s in stark opposition to Darmstadt who in the past two years did the opposite, getting promoted twice in a row, first from the 3.Liga and then the 2.Bundesliga. Impressive stuff, even more so when you consider it’s their first season in the top flight in about 30 years.

Monday’s are always a slow day, writing this post will most likely be my only achievement of the day. But I’m still in my anything goes kind of mood from last week so I’m not being too hard on myself about it. Instead I’m focusing on how happy I am at the latest additions to my collection:

Nils Petersen - signed Bremen 2012-13 card Nils Petersen - Bremen 2012-13 card 2 Nils Petersen - signed Bremen 2014-15 sticker Christian Günter - signed SC Freiburg Match Attax card Florian Niederlechner - signed Mainz Match Attax card Matthias Ginter - signed Dortmund Match Attax cardThere is one other thing I have to mention, last night whilst I couldn’t sleep I ended up watching a re-run of Law & Order: SVU. It was the episode Robin Williams guest starred in. He plays a man who lost his wife and child in childbirth, he didn’t argue with the doctor, trusting him to make what turned out to be the wrong call. As a result he’s obsessed with conformity and because of this he makes calls to fast food restaurants posing as a police officer. Long story short he asks them to commit crimes and the managers do as he asked, because he’s a police officer. The way he sees it he’s making a point about non-conformity, about how people do what they’re told. How people just believe what the government tells them. I don’t agree with his methods but I can certainly see his point. The other reason the episode sticks with me is because at the end his character vanishes without a trace, the police assume he must have jumped in the lake. But it makes no sense, he had a plan, he blew up the building. Everything was perfectly planned, if he was going to commit suicide he would have done so whilst making a point. Obviously the fact Robin Williams committed suicide in real life makes the episode a little more disturbing somehow, for lack of a better way to put it. He was one of my favourite actors when I was younger, Jumanji and Jack were two of my favourite films ever. I haven’t actually seen either of them since then, for some reason I can’t talk myself into watching them. I’ve gotten away from my point now, which was that strangely enough somebody else wrote about him today for this prompt. I found the picture at the end of that post especially fitting, it’s a picture from Jack with the words “What do I want to be when I grow up? Alive.”

I spend too much time worrying about whether I’m grown up enough or not, whether I should be moving faster or doing more. I probably spend too much time worrying about lots of things. Time worrying is wasted time, it’s time that could actually be spent doing something. Like I said above, life’s too short to worry about what other people think of you. I don’t really know what I want to be or what I want to do in life. Right now I have a reason to get out of bed, I would say in the morning but that’s not very accurate these days. It’s usually a feat I only achieve on match-days. Point is I have a reason to get out of bed, I have something to look forward to every week. For now that’s enough.

November – the month of Nils

I’ve been putting off writing this post all month, telling myself that I didn’t have enough time. That wasn’t really true, I could have found time. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want to put down on paper (well virtual paper) my thoughts about this month. But I had to, for three reasons. Firstly if I didn’t Nils wouldn’t get a month named after him and if there’s anyone in the Freiburg squad who deserves a month named after him then it’s him. Secondly it would bug me, the incompleteness of it, every other month has a post, which means November needs one too. Regardless of whether or not I wish I could wipe all memory of the month from my mind. But I can’t do that and I can’t pretend it didn’t happen which is the third reason for needing to write this post. Pretending it didn’t happen won’t help, I need to accept that it did and writing this post is part of doing so.

It’s strange how it all worked out, at the start of the month I wasn’t that enthused by the prospect of the international break which is odd in itself. They are after all my favourite times of the year, but not this time. It was partly for football related reasons, I just didn’t want to have to wait two weeks to see Freiburg play again. As things turned out the break was good for them, they put an end to their streak of three games without a win. It wasn’t so good for me. How it went is mostly likely related to why I’m not at all looking forward to the next one which thankfully is not until March, so at least I’ve got some time to work all of this stuff out. At the start of the month I was musing over what would happen if I put a stop to my current obsession, if I were to pack up my collection. I sort of feel that way right now but for different reasons. One thing is the same however, I’m not sick of them. Not Freiburg, Jogi, Hansi, Matze or Manuel. Not any of them. It’s not that. It’s just if I’m not interested in them then I won’t be bothered by what’s currently bothering me. I’m trying to think of this logically which of course when it comes to obsessions and special interests simply does not work. The strangest thing of all is I worry a lot about pretty much everything, but never before have I actually been given a reason to really worry, to really be afraid. And the most confusing thing of all is it wasn’t myself I was worried about. I’ve never experienced that before, being so concerned with someone else’s feelings and their safety. I realise that must make me sound like a bad person who doesn’t think of others. But it’s true, I never have been so scared for someone else. I’m still trying to make sense of that part of it.

Obviously other stuff happened in November but everything is overshadowed by all of this. I would have had an easier time of letting go of it were it not for the reminders at every turn. Some of them coming in the most unexpected of places. Like asking Nils Petersen about it in an interview he gave before the game. Now if I had been watching an interview with one of the players in the Germany squad then I would have expected such a question, hence why I actively avoided any of those videos. But Petersen wasn’t there, he wasn’t on international duty. Why ask him about it? Freiburg were meant to be my escape from it all, and it should have worked. Because at the moment they have no German internationals in the squad, not in the A team, they of course have plenty of players in the youth ranks.

Since then I’ve just been pretending none of it happened, which of course is not the way to go. Not only was I pretending that it didn’t happen but that I didn’t feel the way I did. After wanting to talk about it I then avoided doing so, even when I could have. I’ve finally had part of the conversation I needed to have back then, plus I wrote several pages working through it all which I think helped somewhat. But it was the conversation which was most helpful, admitting and saying out loud that I was afraid for them. For reasons I don’t entirely understand that was important.

The month started out with me in not such a good mood, partly because I was still obsessing over a mistake I made, an error I made in a social situation. That situation is never going to be resolved and truth is it doesn’t really matter. I’ve made mistakes like that before and I’ll most likely make them again in future, that is if I ever allow myself to talk to people I don’t know that well again. Point is such things don’t really matter, not in the grand scheme of things. There are after all things which are so much more important to worry about. Words aren’t meaningless, most certainly not, but in this one case they are.

Seeing as how I ended up with quite a bit more free time than I anticipated I got to watch a few more films than I expected. First up was Burnt which I only saw because Daniel Brühl was in it. I didn’t like the film that much but then I didn’t expect to, I just wanted to see Daniel doing something different, he didn’t disappoint, he rarely does. Spectre on the other hand was disappointing. I’m just glad I’m no longer a fan of Christoph Waltz, were I still a fan of his I would have been hugely disappointed. In both the film and his performance. Usually I hate the film but like him, not so here. I also took the time to revisit an old favourite, James Spader in Two Days in the Valley. Some things never disappoint and James Spader is one of them, the film is quite good too which is a bonus because I’ve sat through many a bad film in my Spader quest. It’s right up his street, a creepy psychopathic hitman. And of course even though he’s the bad guy I still root for him, every single time. Along with Burnt and Spectre I also saw Bridge of Spies at the cinema which as forgettable in just about every way possible. My film of the month would have to be What we do in the Shadows, it’s quickly becoming my bad day film. The film I watch when I don’t know what else to do, when I need cheering up. I wish I could explain why I like it so much, I’ll have to try and do that some time. So far all of my attempts have failed, it’s hard to put into words and to pin down just why it amuses me so much.

Naked Among Wolves is also worth a mention. I watch a lot of Holocaust and WW2 related films, too many in fact. After watching so many and finding fault with a lot of them it’s hard to imagine coming across one that’s any good or that stands out in any way. This one did, though it may have been because of the time I watched it at and the reasons I watched it. I picked it thinking it would make me feel something, it didn’t work that way. But the film stuck with me, the main point of the story. If we can’t even protect a three year old child then what are we. Sometimes you have to sacrifice one person to save more, but they couldn’t do that, not here. They risked an uprising which had several thousands of people’s lives at stake, because sometimes the little things do matter. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most of all.

Reading wise it was not a good month at all. I read just two books but I did enjoy both of them though in very different ways. Oddly enough they were both connected though it wasn’t deliberate. The first was Savage Continent, it’s a book I’ve had in my collection a while, since January in fact. I kept meaning to read it and just never got round to it. Part of the reason I kept putting it off is because I knew it would make depressing reading. Which makes it odd that I chose to read it in the middle of November and to keep reading it. It’s about the aftermath of WW2, about how it wasn’t the neat picture of reconstruction that some documentaries and books make you think. It certainly wasn’t how certain governments portrayed it and a lot of thing got swept under the rug. Not just the way Germans were removed from Poland, Czechoslovakia and other countries but how some of those countries treated other minorities. One fact is made clear the war did not end on VE day, not for a lot of people. In Poland for example there still fighting going on in relation to Polish troops and Ukrainians. It’s a fascinating read, if not a thoroughly depressing one as you would expect.  Only now do I think I understand why I kept reading it. I wonder if I kept reading it because it was a reminder that bad things have happened before and will happen again. That what happened in France was a terrible thing to happen but it was just one of many. That bad things happen but you can’t hide away forever. I don’t know, it’s just a theory, I’m really not very good at making sense of such things.

The other book I read was Grobar Partizan: Pleasure, Pain and Paranoia. It’s about a man who for work moves to Serbia and it charts his journey of picking a team to follow whilst he lives there and of watching said team, he chose Partizan Belgrade. Like I said it’s related to the previous book in that the book whilst being about football is also about politics and how the two of them are connected. It’s kind of an odd concept, for sport to be so politicized. It’s not something I’m at all familiar with. It’s certainly not the case here.  Here most fans are so apathetic they don’t do anything about rising ticket prices, sure they complain and grumble but most people don’t actually do anything. But in Serbia it’s very different, there’s a very different relationship between certain sections of fans and their clubs. It’s not necessarily a good thing either, whilst the author admires some of their dedication to their club and recognises some of the positives he also doesn’t shy away from noting the negative sides of the situation.

Football wise of course it was not a particularly good month, for one thing the football was not really about football, not in relation to international games anyway. As for the play-offs for Euro 2016 I got neither of my wishes, Freiburg defender Mensur Mujzda and his Bosnian compatriots will unfortunately not be going next summer and neither will Denmark, which also ruined a second dream I had in relation to the group draw. I would have loved it for Denmark to get drawn with Germany again. On a Freiburg front they played three games in November. First they drew 1-1 with Duisburg in a game they obviously should have won. After the international break they beat Paderborn 4-1 in an outstanding performance. In their third and final game of the month they also took all three points but their performance was overall rather forgettable, they got lucky. They didn’t deserve to win, not really. As disappointed as I was with their performance I have to admit it was kind of a thrill, winning with a last second winner like that. The game whilst being a derby was not a classic, not by any means. It was in actual fact a rather unpleasant watch, but that last second goal, it was special. And I’m happy that it was Karim Guede that scored it, very happy. I just hope next season that Freiburg will once more be facing Stuttgart in the Baden-Württemberg derby. Not that facing off against KSC and Sandhausen wasn’t fun, it was. But I want revenge for that 4-1 defeat at home last season.

Collectible wise I got quite a few good additions, some great tickets both for my Freiburg and my Jogi collection, a signed Nils Petersen trading card and finally the most special piece of all, a match worn SC Freiburg shirt of one Matthias Ginter:

Nils Petersen - signed SC Freiburg Match Attax cardIMG_20151222_190515IMG_20151222_190704


Advent Calendar Day 14: The Captain, the Unknown Keeper & A Painful Reminder

Behind door number 14 in the Freiburg calendar was midfielder Julian Schuster. His appearance is most ironic and just a little bit painful coming the day after Freiburg’s loss to Nürnberg because it was Schuster who scored the sixth goal against them back on MD1. Unfortunately worse was to come because in the DFB calendar was the card of H96 goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler. I suppose I should be grateful that it’s today his card appeared and not next week, that would have been a most unpleasant occurrence given what happened last Christmas. To make it worse Freiburg will be playing on a Sunday again this year, home to 1860 München. H96 themselves have the unpleasant task of hosting Bayern. Last year Freiburg played in the last game before the Christmas break, despite the result I liked that theirs was the last game I saw. This year it’s Gladbach who play the last game before Christmas, in a nice kind of symmetry Hertha Berlin are playing Mainz in the first game that day. Last year Hertha also played in the one but last game before the break. It was a most fun game, not because of the game itself but because of the weather. In fact it was a terrible game for Hertha, they lost I think 5-0 to Hoffenheim and shortly afterwards they sacked their manager. How things have changed for them, they’re currently sitting third in the table.

And finally in the Dortmund calendar was the unknown keeper, Hendrik Bonmann, unknown because until today I didn’t know he existed:

Ron-Robert Zieler - DFB 2015-16 card 1 Ron-Robert Zieler - DFB 2015-16 card 2 Hendrik Bonmann - Dortmund advent calendarToday was the draw for the first knock-out stages of the Champions League and the Europa league, both draws served up some very interesting ties indeed. Bayern will be facing last season’s finalists and runners up Juventus. Dortmund in the Europa league got drawn with Porto. In different competitions but still connected. It was Juventus that knocked Dortmund out last season, and it was Porto who of course beat Bayern 3-1 in the first leg before losing the second one 6-1. Wolfsburg were drawn with Belgian side Gent. As for the other three sides in the Europa League Leverkusen will face Sporting and Schalke face Shakhtar Dontesk who won’t have pleasant memories of their last trip to Germany having being comprehensively beaten by Bayern 7-0.

But it’s Augsburg who have the best tie of all. In a real quirk of fate Jürgen Klopp in his first season in England finds himself drawn with a German team, I was kind of hoping it would be Dortmund, but if they both go through then that can still happen.

German defender Shkodran Mustafi and his Valencia side face SK Rapid Wien. Mesut Özil and Per Mertesacker at Arsenal were not so lucky, they face Barcelona. No doubt Arsenal will continue their tradition in recent years of not getting past the last 16:

Champions League draw results - last 16 - 2015-16 Europa League last 32 draw results - 2015-16 1 Europa League last 32 draw results - 2015-16 2Today also served up two other good things, a new picture of Hansi and a signed picture of Nils Petersen in the post:

csm_flick_koch_22384d2420 Nils Petersen signed Bremen photo

Ticket Collection Update 3

The latest additions to my ticket collection. A real mix again this time, some from Bayern and Dortmund, some Freiburg ones, a few Stuttgart ones from Jogi’s time in charge, a few Nils Petersen related ones and two Germany ones (including a very special one). Unfortunately nothing Hansi related this time, at least not directly, there is a Sandhausen one (Sandhausen being who he played for before moving to Bayern).

The Bayern ones first, a ticket from the very first game of this year’s Bundesliga campaign and then Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern from last season:

FCB v HSV - 2015-16 ticket Eintracht Frankfurt v FCB - 2014-15 ticketFor Dortmund first is a Europa league ticket from their qualifier in Austria and a league ticket from last season from the Hoffenheim game:

Wolfsberger SC v Borussia Dortmund - Europa League qualifier 15-16 Borussia Dortmund v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - 2014-15 ticketThe Freiburg ones, first one from this season, unfortunately it’s from the 3-1 defeat to Bochum. The rest are older ones, from the 2.Bundesliga, the Jena and Cottbus ones being particularly special because they are both former teams of current Freiburg striker Nils Petersen:

SC Freiburg v VfL Bochum - 2015-16 ticket SC Freiburg v Carl Zeiss Jena - 2. Bundesliga 2006-07 ticket SC Freiburg v Karlsruher SC - media pass 2005-06 SC Freiburg v Karlsruher SC - media pass 2006-07 FC Energie Cottbus v SC Freiburg - 2. Bundesliga 2005-06 ticket FC Energie Cottbus v SC Freiburg - 2. Bundesliga 1997-98 ticketThe two Stuttgart tickets are both from when Jogi was in charge and one of them is a DFB Pokal ticket from the 1996-97 season. This is one is extra special, not only is it an SC Freiburg ticket but it’s the season Stuttgart won the trophy, Jogi’s first trophy. The second is a Bundesliga ticket from his first real season in charge (he was only interim coach in 1996-97):

SC Freiburg v VfB Stuttgart - DFB Pokal - 1996-97 VfB Stuttgart v Hertha BSC - 1997-98 ticketAnd now to Nils Petersen, one from Carl Zeiss Jena and two from his time at Werder Bremen, amusingly one Bremen one is against a Hansi team (Hoffenheim) and one against a Jogi team (Stuttgart):

SV Sandhausen v Carl Zeiss Jena - 3. Bundesliga 2008-09 ticket SV Werder Bremen v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - 2012-13 ticket VfB Stuttgart v SV Werder Bremen - 2012-13 ticketFinally the two Germany tickets, the first is a very special one, it’s from Jogi’s first game in a charge, the friendly against Sweden on the 16th August 2006. The second is from the San Marino Euro 2008 qualifier:

Deutschland-Schweden friendly ticket - 16-8-06 Deutschland-San Marino - EM 2008 qualifier ticket

New beginnings

A new month and the beginning of a new collection. This time it’s the 2015/16 autograph cards for Freiburg. I’ve only gotten two to start with,  but there’s no better place to start than with Alexander Schwolow and Nils Petersen. In the spirit of new beginnings I’m also about to embark on a new sticker collection. An album entitled FIFA 365: The Golden World of Football. An album which I’m happy to say has Manuel Neuer on the front cover.

The cards:

Alexander Schwolow - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardOne addition I won’t be adding to my collection is the new cards from the DFB and it’s not because I don’t know exactly what they are. Normally I would snap anything and everything DFB related up, no questions asked. Especially when they’re so fairly priced. The reason for my hesitation is that it’s the first set of cards without Hansi. Some things take a little longer to get used to. Obviously I’ll have to get over this in time for the sticker album for next summer’s tournament. I’m not getting to let my dislike of Schneider stand between me and a sticker album.

I did at least get to have my lazy day dedicated to doing nothing but playing Fallout New Vegas. And did it help, a lot. It helped to clear my mind somewhat and to give me some time to make some sense of some things. Though it was more helpful with some things than others. It was helpful with my story related problems, leaving it alone was a good thing to do. Now I’m certain it’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. It was just me obsessing too much. A bonus effect of taking a break was that I also came up with an idea for a new story, a Christmas themed adventure for Jogi, Hansi and Matze. A bit surprising given my dislike of Christmas and it’s no doubt a little early. But I guess even Christmas can be fun when my favourite Germans are involved.

It’s good timing to get everything straight schedule wise, for coming up next is another international break. Which is weird because the last one was only  a month ago, it just feel strange when they’re so close together. You know you’ve had too many late nights when someone comments that it’s the first time in a while they’ve seen you in daylight.

Another advantage of actively trying to not stress out about things, like the fact that it’s difficult to focus on getting a lot of reading done right now, is that in being relaxed about it and not overthinking it, I actually found a book to read. I went with a familiar choice, something I’ve read several times. Thus I’m already familiar with the story and the characters and don’t have to worry about keeping track of it all. And it’s useful too, who better to help with my character profile of Matze than Spock, the proto-type Aspie if there ever was such a thing. It’s also good to read something that is completely unconnected to football, to think about something other than it, just for a while.

One thing however my two relaxed days did not help with is worrying about other people. I don’t think anything will fix that, well other than simply deciding not to talk to anyone else at all. Sometimes I have no idea what the best thing to do is. I don’t know if it’s them not being clear enough or me not getting it. I wrote about this exact scenario in a super Jogi chapter. About not getting what people mean, they apologise for not being clear enough with their choice of words and you say that they shouldn’t have to. Because they shouldn’t. They shouldn’t have to think about that, they shouldn’t have to worry that you’re going to freak out because they’re five minutes late to meet you. People shouldn’t be drawing straws because no-one wants to be the one to tell you that the plans for the day have changed.

Surely they’ll get sick of it eventually. Of having to do all that, of having to put up with someone who’s such hard work.  It just seems so wrong, that they’re so patient with me and I’m so impatient with everything and everyone. Though at least I can’t be accused of holding other people to a higher standard than I expect myself to meet, I hold myself to an ever higher one. An unreachable level of perfection, as I’m constantly being told. Nor can I be accused of a lack of effort or not caring enough as far as friendships are concerned. I do care and I do try. I read about this stuff, about what to say, the right questions to ask. If only I could remember it when I actually need it. If only I could not go off on a tangent about whatever I’m currently obsessed with and completely forget everything I tried so hard to remember in the first place.

I know what people tell me, I know they say they find my randomness amusing and interesting. And that they admire my passion for certain subjects, for the way I completely devote myself to something. Even though they’re often baffled why a particular topic or person is the focus of my attention. I just can’t help but think there’s a point where they’ll no longer find such things amusing but rather irritating. I guess it partly comes down to me trusting them enough, that they really do mean what they say. I need to stop doing that, to stop second guessing people. I need to believe them when they say they’re not annoyed with me for having to explain something again or whatever it is I asked. Thing is, I probably didn’t annoy them with my initial request. It’s the repeated questions that mostly likely annoy them.