Tag Archives: SC Freiburg collectibles

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

 

Fandom

Fandom

Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.

Much to my mother’s disappointment I think in one way or another I was always destined to be a sports fan of some kind. I grew up around two sports mad uncles who introduced me to football and Formula 1 and there was no looking back. My mother can’t complain, I mean I have three brothers, what did she expect?

Though I have to point out she’s not complaining quite so much now. Not when she gets to spend some time watching Jogi, Hansi and Thomas Tuchel. Getting her interested in the game itself, absolutely impossible. But at least now she doesn’t have to pretend quite so much to be interested.

I’ve followed a football team before, both club and country. Germany were the first country I showed an interest in but they weren’t the only one. Not so long ago I also retained a fondness for Denmark and it has to be said still do. But I never followed a Danish league team or even considered doing so. To that I went to the Bundesliga which admittedly was not the only logical choice, after all they speak German in both Austria and Switzerland but that wasn’t going to work.

It would surprise no-one who knows me that in trying to pick a team to follow I attempted to use logic to decide. A very stupid thing to do because such things are more than about logic as the process showed me. I made a list of the German teams whose existence I was aware of. If I remember correctly Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Gladbach, VfB Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt were all on the initial list. As were Paderborn. Freiburg were on there but not in the way I’d like, they were on there as more of an afterthought. In a I’ll watch them when I can kind of way, because they were a Jogi team. As it turns out they had their own ideas about that.

Which is an accusation which gets thrown my way quite a bit in real life, that I only fell in love with Freiburg because they are the home team of Joachim Löw. Such an accusation has no basis in fact because it was actually Bayern I picked first. But I quickly realised it wasn’t true love, that I wasn’t particularly upset about having to miss a game here and there. And that truth is I’m a bigger fan of Manuel Neuer than the club itself. I’m more of a reluctant fan than a true one. Bayern for me are a Hansi team. But they aren’t my team.

That honour goes to Freiburg and to them alone. I made my choice on the 22nd November 2014, that day they played Mainz and drew 2-2. It was a scenario which I’ve since become accustomed with, of them taking the lead and then throwing it away just a few minutes before time. They can be frustrating that way sometimes. The same weekend I saw Bayern defeat Hoffenheim 4-0. It was during their game that I made the decision, at some point during that game I realised I was bored. When Bayern play more often that not it doesn’t feel like a competition. It’s pointless predicting who’s going to win, it’s more like guess the score. That’s not always the case, after all last season they lost to all of their closest rivals and this season to Gladbach. But still it didn’t feel right, I could watch Bayern every week guaranteed in high definition with no problems whatsoever, same for Dortmund. Yet it wasn’t right.  I’m never bored when Freiburg play, I never feel like I don’t care about the result. It’s their stadium I dream of when I daydream, it’s their fan-song that I know the tune to and am slowly learning the words to. It’s three Freiburg shirts I own, not three Bayern ones. Well I own three I can wear, I own two other very special ones. One which I bought as a lucky charm of sorts, the so called promotion shirt. And another which is just as special, it’s a match-worn shirt of former Freiburg defender Matthias Ginter:

IMG_20151002_232153IMG_20151002_232251IMG_20151222_190515IMG_20151222_190704Though Bayern are still a part of the story and I don’t mean because of Manuel Neuer. As luck would have it one of my favourite Freiburg players Nils Petersen is a former Bayern player who scored his first goal for them in a 7-0 victory over Freiburg. You just can’t make this stuff up. Truth is whether Nils Petersen had stayed or gone back to Bremen he would forever more be a legend, you don’t score a winning goal against Bayern in the 89th minute and get forgotten about. I know the victory is overshadowed by the fact they were relegated the following weekend but I can never forget the excitement of that weekend:

On the subject of videos, Manuel and Jogi, Christmas greetings from the two of them courtesy of first Sportschau and then the DFB:

To get back to how I fell in love with Freiburg that Mainz game wasn’t the first one I saw, though in a twist of fate the first I did see had the same score-line, a 2-2 draw with Hertha BSC. A little painful now given that’s where Vladimir Darida ended up. I’m happy to say that Freiburg at least won the reverse of the fixture and strangely enough Jogi was at both games. But the decision wasn’t made till the day of the Mainz game. It wasn’t a really a decision as such, more of a realisation. I mean if I were serious about being a Bayern fan how come I didn’t buy any shirts or at least some kind of fan t-shirt, I think I knew that really they weren’t for me.

Following a football team is a most curious business, equally curious is the perceptions of other people as to how and why you “chose” your team. In the first few months of being a Freiburg fan I got a lot of stick because firstly no-one had ever heard of them and secondly of course the accusation of it being part of my fascination with Jogi. So it was no surprise when they were relegated from the Bundesliga last summer that I was asked if I was going to go back to following Bayern. A question which I tried my best to answer politely. Naturally the answer was no. I wasn’t going to abandon them just because they got relegated. I know a little of their history, I know they’ve gotten relegated quite a few times, it’s a part of who they are. They can sum it up better than I can:

Schwarzwald Stadion 2With two people in particular I mind I have to point out the flaw in their logic, they say I picked Freiburg because they are a Jogi team yet they frequently say that these days I like Hansi more than Jogi. That makes no sense, if I liked him more, which I have to admit some days is true, then how come I’m not a Bayern fan? The answer, I just didn’t fall in love with them. It’s not often I use those words, not in real life anyway, but I never hesitate to say that I unreservedly love Freiburg. I don’t love them any less because they got relegated or because they had to let Roman Bürki leave or because they aren’t the autumn champions as most people assumed they were going to be this year. I love them and for me that’s enough. Normally I need some kind of reason for something, I always need to make sense of it, to deconstruct it so I can know the how and the why. Not here, not with them, watching them makes me happy and that is all I need to know. I appreciate the uncomplicated nature of it, there’s not much in my life that’s uncomplicated, a fact which is sometimes my own fault I have to say. And whilst watching them is not always an easy task, whilst I sometimes have to go troublesome lengths to see them play, they are always worth it.

They are perfectly suited for me, I don’t need to explain why but I can. One of the reasons is that they are a club with a very realistic outlook. They know who they are and what they stand for. They know what is and isn’t in the realms of possibility. They know they’re not Bayern and they don’t waste any time trying to be something and someone they’re not. This can be summed up perfectly by Christian Streich’s response to a question after the 1860 game on Sunday. He was asked if he was thinking of returning to the Bundesliga the following season, he said no, that he’s thinking only of the Bochum game after the winter break, that’s tough enough.

Now that more than year’s gone by and I’m still sticking with them I find myself on the receiving end of a different kind cf comment from the football fans I know in real life. A comment to the effect of “well at least you’re not a Bayern fan.” I take it they mean at least I just didn’t jump on the bandwagon, that is I didn’t just pick the most popular or the biggest team in the league. Like I said it’s a curious business. Especially when the comment in question comes from a Liverpool fan.

One final thing I have to mention, only now do I realise how important and ironic it is that Freiburg played Mainz the day I decided. Mainz is of course the first team Thomas Tuchel coached. It’s Thomas Tuchel who is now in charge of Dortmund, it’s he who took Roman from Freiburg, a fact which I most displeased about at the time. He has another former Freiburg player in his side too, Matthias Ginter. Two facts which mean I spend as much time watching Dortmund as I do Bayern. I know you’re not mean to like both but I can’t pick between Matze and Roman on one side and Manuel, Philipp and Thomas on the other.

What I should have said was one final relevant thing to mention because there is one more thing I have to include in this post. It’s not strictly relevant to the topic of today’s daily prompt but it most definitely belongs here. A while back as a bonus question one of them asked if you kept a notebook beside your bed and if you did to note down the very first thing you thought upon waking the next morning. That night I went to bed thinking of Manuel Neuer but ended up dreaming about Sebastian Koch. Leading me to wonder what I had to do in order to dream about Manuel. Turns out the answer to that question is thinking about Hansi Flick being in Israel. That and a very late night. I finally got my dream about Manuel Neuer but I’m not sure it’s the one I wanted. A dream in which Manuel Neuer is my one true love, sounds great, what’s the catch? The catch is in the dream I had a child with him. I blame Matze for this, as sweet and fun as he is I blame him. Bringing a child into Jogi and Hansi’s story has proved a lot of fun, that I can’t deny. But now it’s creeping into my dreams, not so much. There’s no real life message for me to take from that dream. Just a reminder to finish Matze’s Christmas adventure. If there is one thing I’m sure about it’s that children are not part of my own adventure.

October – the month of Oliver

Naming this month was a little tricky, coming up with a name wasn’t difficult. The problem is he’s not the only Oliver. The one it is named for is Marc-Oliver Kempf who is more than ok in my book. Problem is there’s another Oliver whom I’m not too fond of, not because he left, it’s where he went that’s the problem. Obviously I’m not happy with him leaving but I could eventually get over that, him going to H96, that I can never get over. But I couldn’t come up with another name, and I didn’t think it was right to change it just because of that. I mean it’s not Marc-Oliver’s fault they happen to share a name.

I’ve been putting off writing this post for quite some time, that much is obvious given that it’s about October and it’s now December. I didn’t know the reasons why until I started looking through that month’s posts. Now I have an idea as to why that might be. October was the month in which Germany wrapped up their Euro qualification in none too perfect fashion. As for their game against Ireland, well the less said about that the better.

From a Freiburg perspective they got knocked out of the DFB Pokal. Not only them but the two other teams I was rooting for as well. Freiburg played five games in October and won just one of them, a 5-2 victory over Greuther Fürth. One win, two losses and two draws. The KSC game I can’t complain that much, if it had gone either way it would have been a fair result. A 1-1 draw is a fair result. It just really smarts, you figure a goal that late in the game has to be the winner but it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m more disappointed with the Braunschweig result, a own goal by Mujdza kicking off their comeback. That wasn’t just unlucky, that’s game they should and could have taken control of.

It’s not just for football reasons that I would prefer October remain forgotten, I made plenty of mistakes which I’d rather forget. Mistakes which are predictably social related. It’s for that reason I shouldn’t forget about them, I should remember them because they serve as an excellent reminder of why I should limit such situations. That is I should limit the amount of situations in which such problems could occur. In this instance it was partly my own fault. I should have just let it go. I know I could never make my peace with the situation but I was never going to get any answers either. There was going to be no good outcome. One thing is for certain I wasted far too much time obsessing over this. Time which could have spent on far more constructive activities. It shouldn’t take so long for me to realise that I’m obsessing over something and that I need to put a stop to it.

Sometimes time can help, letting some time pass before you attempt to make sense of it can be useful. I don’t know if that’s the case here, now I look back at what happened and wonder not only how any of it could have happened but just why I cared so much. The best thing to do I think is to accept that none of it makes sense to me and most likely never will. It’s most likely always going to be that way, jumping from one social related crisis to the next.

I didn’t watch many films in October but one I did watch was “The Hour of the Lynx.” It’s one I wish I really hadn’t watched, not because it wasn’t a good film, to the contrary, it was an excellent film. Just a very depressing one which really got to me, enough to write a post about it which isn’t something I do often these days.  As for what else I watched I also went to the cinema to see Michael Fassbender in Macbeth. For one thing I was glad I’d read the play because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have had any idea what was going on. I did not enjoy the film at all and honestly it’s one of the few films that I’ve seen at the cinema which I seriously considered walking out of.

The other films I watched in October were Sicario, Secretary and Killer Joe. The latter I want to watch again before I make any comments on. Secretary however I do have something to write about.It’s not the first time I’ve seen the film, more like the sixth or seventh time I’ve seen it by now. I rewatched it because of a conversation with the only person I’ve met in real life who not only gets my fascination with James Spader but actually shares it.

They mentioned to me that we disagreed about the ending. I thought they meant that I thought it’s not real, which I’m not sure it is. I think it’s possible that the ending is just her delusion in her dehydrated state. Because I’m not sure that Edward could or would let another person in that way. But that wasn’t it. The point we differed on was whether or not they were both satisfied with the ending, with being together, assuming that it’s real that is. Because the real fun is not at home, it’s at work. Being left at home would not suit Lee at all, knowing that Edward is going to go off to work and that her replacement will be there. That’s the only place he can be himself, where he can have any kind of relationship. Writing this I’m not sure on what we disagreed, on who thinks what. Because thinking about it I don’t think either Edward or Lee is happy with the new situation. If it was real then it’s like he felt obligated to save her.

I’m starting to feel like I should take notes in such conversations, these days I can never remember what was said, or rather I can remember that but not who said what. When I don’t want to remember I can recall exactly what I or someone else said, and when I do want to remember I can’t. I’ve been a lot more distracted and unfocused these past few months. It’s most unusual, the winter months are usually my favourite time of year. When I come out of hibernation so to speak. This year has been all over the place, in lots of different ways.

I didn’t read many books either but one I did read made me very angry, the book in question being The Rosie Project. The source of my anger was when Don talks to the woman who’s responsible for putting together the presentation he’s giving about the genetics of autism. They have a conversation in which she expresses the view that the boys have to alter their behaviour so as to form relationships. But she commits a far bigger infraction than that when she criticizes him for using the word Aspie in his presentation. It’s easier just to quote the section in question:

“You know we never use that word, Aspies, We don’t want them thinking it’s some sort of club.” More negative implications from someone who was presumably paid to assist and encourage.

“Like homosexuality?” I said.

“Touche.” said Julie. “But it’s different. If they don’t change, they’re not going to have real relationships – they’ll never have partners.”

So many things about that make me angry it’s difficult to know where to begin. But how about we start with the fact that she’s presuming to speak for them, she’s not autistic and more to the point, she’s not them. How can she presume to know what they want, if they’re even interested in relationships or any of that. How does she know that they have to change in order for someone to like or love them. I find that insulting, like she’s saying no-one could love them as they are. How about another autistic person for one thing. And this is the thing that makes me angriest of all, who the hell is she to say whether or not they should use the word Aspie or not. She has no right to decide such things, to define how they should see themselves. And why shouldn’t they see it as some sort of club, god forbid we should feel like we belong somewhere. I don’t even remember if I liked the book or not, but then that’s not really important because I only read it for research purposes. Not because I’m interested in pursuing a relationship with a NT but because I wanted to familiarize myself with a such a concept in order to give me a little more perspective on writing a relationship like this. I wanted to know how much compromise such a relationship should involve and to see what the problems would be.

I didn’t get a lot of reading done, I only read two other books Who Invented the Stepover and Star Trek Academy: Collision Course. The latter is a favourite of mine and is one of those books I read when I don’t know what else to do. Whether or not Spock is meant to be autistic is irrelevant, point is this book is one of the best portrayals ever. It details how someone like Spock might think and also provides some excellent descriptions of sensory overload from an autistic person’s perspective. Who Invented the Stepover is a trivia book and provides many interesting football related facts from all over the world. And yes Jogi and Hansi are in there,because of their by now famous blue sweaters, there’s even a picture of the two of them looking rather fetching in said sweaters. Given the title of the section, “Best-dressed Coach” I’d consider it a travesty if Jogi wasn’t mentioned in some way.

IMG_20151221_122338That’s not my favourite thing about the book however. What I liked most about the book is Freiburg related. When I read the question “What is greatest relegation escape act of all time?” I knew Freiburg would not escape a mention in the answering of this question. I was not disappointed, in answering the question the story of their survival at the end of the 1993-94 season is told. Funnily enough the story also involves Nürnberg and Bayern. So in the same story you have a Jogi, Hansi and an Andreas team. In fact Andreas Köpke played in the game mentioned below.

The gist of it is with three games left to play Freiburg were four points and one goal behind 1.FCN in 16th place. Here’s the first incredible element of the story. After not winning one solitary game in four months, they then won their last three games. A fact which meant 1.FCN needed from their last three games one win and one draw. A draw they were in the process of getting against champions Bayern when a phantom goal occurred. Long story short they protested against the result of the game and they got a replay. They then lost said replay 5-0 to Bayern and were relegated on goal difference. The following season Freiburg achieved the feat of finishing third in the Bundesliga, whilst their local rivals VfB Stuttgart languished in twelfth. Then as is their way two seasons later they were relegated finishing in 17th place. Stuttgart on the other hand were at the time under the guidance of Jogi Löw and finished in fourth. His first season in charge and his team get relegated. Funny how things work out. Even more ironic is on the final day of the season Freiburg played KSC, another one of Jogi’s teams. The next season it was KSC who found themselves relegated.

Back to the topic at hand, to finish my favourite collectibles of the month. I got lots of great tickets including the two Germany ones for the month but it’s a Poland ticket which is actually my favourite of the month. For I not only got a ticket but a VIP one and a rather awesome case to go with it:

IMG_20151221_122733IMG_20151221_123057IMG_20151221_122830My favourite Jogi related collectible of the month was obtained by accident in that I didn’t buy it because of him, I didn’t know he was in there. It’s a program from Freiburg’s game with St Pauli, and on the first page is an article detailing their past encounters, an article which features pictures of both Christian Streich and Jogi from when they played for Freiburg:

IMG_20151221_122851IMG_20151221_122935IMG_20151221_122948

Advent Calendar Day 15

Behind door number 15 in the Freiburg calendar was defender Christian Günter. Joining him is the DFB card of Mesut Özil and from the Dortmund calendar defender Marcel Schmelzer.

Mesut Özil - DFB card 2015-16 1 Mesut Özil - DFB card 2015-16 2 Marcel Schmelzer - Dortmund advent calendarToday is the first lot of games of the quarter final of the DFB Pokal, Bayern v Darmstadt is the game I’m watching live. I know how it’s going to end but it’s the one I’m watching regardless. The real excitement for me doesn’t come until tomorrow night when Dortmund play Augsburg, given that it was the latter that knocked Freiburg out, so I want to watch them being knocked out.

Today has already served up some excitement though, I had to wait over month to get my hands on this particular batch of collectibles but I can honestly say it was worth the wait:

Hansi Flick signed photo Hansi Flick & Jogi Löw signed photo Roman Bürki – SC Freiburg 2014-15 signed sticker Marc-Oliver Kempf – SC Freiburg 2014-15 signed sticker Vladimir Darida – SC Freiburg 2014-15 signed sticker Admir Mehmedi – SC Freiburg 2014-15 signed sticker Jonathan Schmid – SC Freiburg 2014-15 signed sticker

The Day of Advent Calendars

I now have in my possession all three of my advent calendars. I don’t normally get one let alone three but how could I say no to a Freiburg, Dortmund or DFB one. The answer is of course I couldn’t. In no world could I say no to any of them. The Freiburg one is the funniest, from what I can make out it’s a joke about getting promoted. I think they’re asking him not to be angry at them and to give them the gift of being promoted for Christmas. The two players are Nils Petersen and Karim Guede.

IMG_20151125_121542The Freiburg one may be the funniest but I think the Dortmund one is the best. For one thing there’s a very good likeness for quite a few of them. Not only that but behind each door is an individually wrapped chocolate, meaning I will get a piece of chocolate wrapped in Roman Bürki.

IMG_20151125_121527Normally when it comes to Jogi collectibles it’s a question of saving the best till last, not so here. The DFB calendar is the biggest of the lot but it’s not the best. It doesn’t even have any chocolate in it. It’s essentially a very big and impressive box which has trading cards in it. I have to say it’s a little disappointing. Though there is one thing I like about it, note the absence of Schneider from the front of the box.

IMG_20151125_121708IMG_20151125_121728It’s been a mostly quiet and uneventful weekend, the biggest excitement coming on Friday evening with Freiburg grabbing a last second winner against Heidenheim. Funnily enough the two goal scorers in that game were none other than Nils Petersen and Karim Guede, excellent timing. Especially so in the case of the latter, another five seconds and the referee would have been blowing the final whistle. I can’t say it was a deserved victory, Freiburg did not look at all in good shape. But three points is three points. Also helpful is St Pauli losing 4-0 to Nürnberg today. How odd that is, since beating Freiburg 1-0 on MD12 St Pauli have only won one game, their 4-0 defeat of Fortuna Düsseldorf. Whatever happens in RB Leipzig’s game tomorrow night when they play KSC, Freiburg will stay top of the table because of their superior goal difference. Obviously it would be nice for them to draw or lose.

Dortmund also returned to winning ways beating Stuttgart 4-1 who last week parted ways with Alexander Zorniger. I think with that it was a case of when rather than if. It’ll be very interesting to see what happens over the course of the rest of the season, if this time Stuttgart really are unsaveable.  As great as that is and obviously Freiburg winning, my favourite moment of the weekend comes from Gladbach’s game. I haven’t seen it but I saw the highlights, the event in question being Andre Schubert sending on his sub with notes to deliver for some of the other players. It doesn’t sound funny writing it down but it was most definitely funny to watch.

Despite having done very little this weekend I’m still tired, no doubt that’s Thursday’s stupidity catching up with me. I have an ever growing list of stuff to do and not enough time to do it all in. Right now I’m trying to work my way through the second episode of The Bridge so I can finish my post for it. Watching The Bridge is meant to be fun but with the amount of energy required to pay attention it almost seems like work. Though I suppose I could see it as a good thing, at least being so tired means I know I won’t do anything stupid like staying up all night. I have no reason to be anything other than happy right now, true I didn’t get a Jogi video this weekened, but three points and three calendars, what more could you want.

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.