Saturday we played an away game in Dortmund and although I am thousands of miles from my home in Ann Arbor and my beloved Alma mater campus in Amherst Massachusetts, things felt very familiar to me on Saturday.
The trip to Dortmund is a quick 30 minute drive on the autobahn (going around 90mph of course), and for our away games we travel in a 12 person Nissan Euro van looking thing with a big Kangaroo on the back. Anyway, as soon as we got into the city there were thousands of people rushing to get home from a Dortmund Foosball (soccer) match that had just finished. I suddenly felt as if I were in Ann Arbor on a crisp Fall Football afternoon (well nothing can touch that, but it was very close). Everyone was decked out in their yellow and black scarves and it was a great sight to be seen.
To the game. We started out very well and held a 2-6 point lead almost the entire first half. Thanks to some ridiculous calls from the referee, I had collected 3 fouls in the first half and was forced to start on the bench for the start of the 3rd quarter. We played a pretty good game and ended up winning by only 4 but the referees were responsible for about 10 points in their favor.
As it turns out, this was our clubs first road victory in over 2 years. I had no idea about this little fact but I knew something was strange after we celebrated with such exuberance after beating this team by only a few, when I know for a fact that it should have been by at least 10 points. Our club played in a league higher the last two seasons and I guess they went 0-for in all of their road games on their spiral down to the Regionalliga. Pretty cool thing to win on the road but something I have been way to familiar with from my time at Amherst.
I had a dunk in the first minute but would not score again until the 2nd quarter. I had heard that my boys Andrew, Goldy, and Kevin were coming to the game but I think they didn't show up until around the end of the 1st quarter. Maybe it was just my teammates being there, but after a miserable 1st quarter I turned things around and started helping my team down in the post. I was proud of the way I played as I had my pinkie in a small plastic cast and the entire finger taped to my index. I know I like to go left, but it is quite difficult when you don't even feel comfortable catching a ball with your off hand for fear that the wound may open up again and the sheer discomfort of the ball smashing into old bloody stitches.
After the game the A-crew held it down in Iserlohn and we were back to our old habits. A glorious Saturday in my opinion as I was familiarized with the spirit of sports, reunited with old friends, and put an end to an ugly streak of loosing.