Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Real Oktoberfest

Last week I celebrated my birthday... a few times. This is actually a picture of my dream German birthday. Need-less-to-say, it was a different experience being in another country away from my family and friends. Thankfully my teammates and former teammates were here to help celebrate. Since Goldy (who played with me at Amherst and lives an hour away) has a birthday on October 17th and my birthday is on the 15th, we usually have a 4 day extraveganza. If you check out his blog, we pretty much kept true to tradition with American sports, German drinks, and the male-bonding. However, I really missed my family and friends and I didn't even get to speak to any of them on my actual birthday. This is actually my fault seeing as I have a skype account where I can call my family or my ex-girlfriend whom I miss both VERY much.

Last Saturday we beat an easy team at home by 20 and my roommate had 33 points! (I had 24) Today (Thursday) we play the #2 team in the league in their one of a kind gym. I will explain why it is so one of a kind later, stay tuned.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Arrest me for what?

On Saturday we knocked off one of the undefeated teams and moved into 3rd place. Yesterday, we were informed by our manager that the undefeated 2nd place team forgot to send in photocopies of two of their players into the league officials. Therefore, two of the games they have won, are now counted as 20 point losses. So now we are in 2nd place!

The team also has 2 stars next to their team name in the standings. The team with more stars automatically looses any tie-breaker at the end of the season and it also counts towards the 3 strike and you're out policy. If this team gets another star (3 in total), they get demoted one league lower no questions asked. I expressed my disbelief at the strict rules of our league and how this honest mistake acquired them not 1, but 2 stars and my manager simply responded, "Welcome to Germany!" as he held his hands out as if getting arrested.

Not only can the police pull you over whenever they want for no reason whatsoever, the Basketball referees can give away technical fouls for facial expressions, and the league officials can ruin your season and your teams goals of league promotions in a blink of an eye.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big Win

I'm getting a little behind but last Saturday we played the Grevenbroich Elephants at their place. Coming off of our first road win in about 2 years it was about that time to go and get another one. Grevenbroich is 5-0 and on top of the standings so far this season. We started with our best American PG and our best German PF/C picking up quick fouls in the first minute and a half of the game leading to a quick 7-0 deficiet to start the game.

The only thing I can attribute to their quick start was the hype madness that was their pre-game introductions. After announcing our team, they all exited the gym and the lights were turned off. There was an emcee who acted as a hype-man and was leading all sorts of chants in German that got these fans absolutely loose. There was a laser show with glow sticks scattered throughout the crowd. They then put on The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack on a set of speakers that were BANGIN! For those who do not know me, it was over from that point on! I absolutely love that song (for multiple reasons) and it got me so hype on Saturday.

After finally settling in, we didn't let the lead grow and kept a steady pace; 25-18 after the first quarter. We then went on a 10-0 run to go up 3 and after a key 2nd quarter, we were up about 5 at the half. The game began to get a little interesting when we went on a 15-3 run, and followed that up by allowing them to go on a 13-1 run. The last I could remember, we were up 10 with 1:30 seconds left. We miss a open shot, they come down and hit a 3. One of our young guys (17 years old) drives the lane only 7 seconds into the shot clock and looses the ball. They score, 5 point game, 45 seconds. Our American point guard hits a HUGE shot off a ball screen and we go up 7. They come down and score again so its a 5 point game. We turn the ball over in our own court and they get an easy lay-up, 3 point game with 15 seconds remaining. Luckily, they foul and we make our FT's down the stretch en route to a 6-point victory.

We beat the #1 team at their place! Great win for our team!

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Weekends are for the Warriors!

Before I begin, I would like to explain that the title "Weekends are for the Warriors" is a song from a new band A Change of Pace and is hot fire. Andrew, Goldy, Brooke, and I fell in love with this song during our trip to Ann Arbor in 2006. This song is especially close to our entourage because of the fact that Andrew grew up with the drummer Jon in Arizona and we got to meet him this year.

I guess my weekend started Thursday night when I went to the legendary FunPark. A typical high-school/early college years hangout where the song playlist is as long as Adolph's torso (not very long). I was pleasantly surprised to hear the news that Mickie Krause was performing that night. For those who are uninformed, Mickie Krause is a drinking song/pop icon in Germany and is known for his reputation as the party king of Majorca (an island in Spain where all Germans tend to locate for vacation).

The next day, I was reminded that my roommate and I had made a promise to one of our friends that we would go into Dortmund to this classy club on Friday. We made the promise over 2 weeks ago in a half joking manner but our friend was determined to keep us to our word. So on a night before gameday we went out to Dortmund and went to this very nice club called Prism and of course I was driving 3 very drunk girls singing along to Justin Timberlake. Although these girls didn't speak perfect English, of course they knew every word to Justin and made sure we knew about it. What looked like an average night turned out to be pretty legendary. It turns out that Cascada was performing there that night. As an Amherst alum, it was almost impossible not to know who Cascada is. Of all the things I expected to do or see in Germany, rocking out with Cascada in a PACKED club hall with thousands of drunk Germans was not one of them. Regardless, she killed it and made my night!

Saturday, we won our game by 10 to BG Hagen. It was a good game all around but playing at home against a team who has only 1 win this season I was again disappointed we didn't win by more than 10. I don't think our team has found our killer instinct that we seemed to have at Amherst against average/mediocre teams. It will appear soon enough. I played one of my better offensive games but should have finished with maybe 35 pts. My final stat line was 26 pts (46% from the field), 12 rebs, 6 steals, 2 ast, and of course 7 TURNOVERS. It just felt good to have a right hand functional during a game for a change. Saturday night I decided to stay in and watch my Wolverines and the Rays. Don't want to talk about it tho.

On Sunday I woke up and decided to pull the trigger on tickets to go see BVB Dortmund vs. Hanover 96 in Dortmund. So one week after seeing all the mayhem in Dortmund, I had to see what it was all about for myself. We bought some cheap seats but of course as any savvy veterans would do, we moved down closer and used the language barrier as a fail-proof plan to get better seats. Within 15 minutes we had seen 2 very nice goals by both teams and within 20 minutes, we saw a should-be goal for Dortmund that was called back because the ref didn't have a good angle.

(video coming soon)

After the adventure, we came back to watch NFL games on our projector and watched the Chargers-Dolphins game with Paul and my Coach from Serbia. To set the stage, my coach is a die-hard Dolphins fan and Andrew is a die-hard Chargers fan. I asked my coach if Dan Marino was his favorite player and sure enough he doesn't even know who that is! The reason he jumped on the Dolphin bandwagon was for no other reason but one player... Ricky Williams!!!! My Coach put money on the Fish this week because of their heroics last week where they wiped the floor with the Patriots and sure enough in front of the biggest Charger fan I know, the Dolphins beat the Chargers and my coach won some euros. My whole knowledge of sports is now upside down and I'm searching for some solid ground. Somebody please help, my Serbian coach who follows Ricky Williams actually bet money and won with the Miami Dolphins over the San Diego Chargers while watching in my living room eating McDonalds and shouting Ricky! Ricky! everytime he was even mentioned during the game. My apologies for the length, but this weekend was pretty legendary and one for the warriors!