Just one more day and I get to do the best post of all, well part 1 of 2 at least. Jogi may not have done as many half-time interviews as usual this year but I’m still sure I’ll need two posts to put together the best of his pictures and videos from this year. Plus Hansi will need a little space too anyway. Maybe then I can finally get around to uploading some of my pictures from the London trip. Whilst I was out and counting down the hours until I got back I was convinced it was the 23rd today for some reason. I guess that’s what happens when there’s no football on, I’m even worse with knowing what day it is than usual.
Today wasn’t a disaster but it wasn’t exactly a lot of fun either, I do like trains but I also like and more importantly need to know what’s going on and what’s going to happen next. I get that not everyone (even those with an autistic child/family member) does the whole list and written schedule thing but I would have expected to at least have been given an outline of the schedule, to at least know what events were taking place and when. I find not having that information very unsettling. Were it someone I didn’t know that well it wouldn’t be so bad but when it’s a person who just a few weeks ago commented “you need routine a lot more than I do, don’t you?” Bearing that in mind I didn’t think it would be an issue. It doesn’t matter now anyway, I got through it. Though the day did remind it’s a very good thing I don’t get driven places very often, 60 minutes in a cramped confined space with other people is not my idea of fun, or even my idea of a tolerable situation. I spent most of those 6o minutes trying to sit still and resist fantasizing about opening the car door and escaping. And no I don’t mean that in a death wish kind of way, I mean that in a I don’t think I can keep still longer kind of way. I spent most of the day observing more than doing anything else, not that I’m really complaining about that, I like people watching. It’s always interesting to meet a fellow autistic’s family, I like seeing if autism has a genetic basis in their family or they’re just a genetic aberration of sorts. Now I’m done for the holidays, that was my last social time, now I get to catch up on some sleep and curl up in bed with a pile of books. That is what Christmas is made for.
Of all the things I expected to happen today that wasn’t one of them. I know it doesn’t sound good when you go into a game like this unsure if your team can win or not, but I didn’t want to curse anything by thinking about winning at all. I honestly thought they would draw and well they almost did. Were it not for Nils Petersen’s last minute penalty it would have been a 3-3 draw, and quite a spectacular one too. Freiburg came back to win 4-3 and that’s great, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be relegated. Those three goals they conceded are exactly why relegation is still a very real threat. That was their way of playing in the 2.Bundesliga in 2015/16, don’t worry if you concede two, we’ll just go and score three more. They’ve always been partial to a very open style of play, which isn’t to say they can’t be disciplined defensively. Their 0-0 draw against Dortmund earlier in the season proves that, a result all the more impressive for the fact they played the majority of the game with ten men. That open kind of play worked when they had players like Maximilian Philipp and Vincenzo Grifo around. But they left in the summer for Dortmund and Gladbach, taking some of the magic. their goals and more importantly their assists with them.
I don’t even know what today’s game was, it was crazy that’s for sure. And it’s proof that whatever they do Köln are doomed, they threw away a three goal lead, you can’t draw any other conclusion. Then again this game didn’t doom them, that was already done several match-days ago. There remains only one question, can they really go a whole Bundesliga season without winning a single game? Today’s game brought back a lot of memories, like the equally crazy (but much better to watch) snow game against Leipzig in the 2015/16 season. And of course their first game of that season against 1.FC Nürnberg. which was Nil’s first league game as a proper Freiburg player. A game in which he scored a hat-trick and just like today two of them were penalties. In fact Nils scored a hat-trick in his first ever game for Freiburg as well, against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Speaking of memories there was a very familiar face at today’s game, though not a very happy one obviously:
As happy as I am they won I don’t feel like I can celebrate, not only because they’re still in danger of relegation but the game seems to be reflective of how their season is going and life in general. They can’t go on conceding goals at the rate they have, not even if they start scoring some themselves. On the subject of unexpected events the confirmation of the sacking of Peter Bosz wasn’t one of them. The announcement of his replacement the very same day however was, not just the fact they did so quickly but who it was. They’ve switched one Peter for another, Dortmund’s temporary coach until the end of the season being none other than former Köln coach Peter Stöger. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.
I still can’t find a word other than crazy to describe today’s game but I know one thing, I really needed today. It was exciting, infuriating and intense. But most of all it was fun and for those two hours the game was on things felt like they used to do, like when I first started watching them. They were struggling then and they’re struggling now, so it’s not that they’ve changed, it’s me. But I don’t want to reflect on that now or anything else serious or real life related, today was fun and that’s enough. For once I just want something to be simple. Today’s game was anything but simple but the joy I derived from it was exactly that. No obsessing over what I’m doing and why, no wondering if maybe I’m not too obsessed and shouldn’t I be spending time with other people instead of stuck in my room alone. Today none of that mattered. Today there was the game and nothing else.