Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Frikadelle and Fair Weather Fans

      We took our first loss of the season on Saturday night. We were 18-56 as a team and, as bad as that is, I certainly didn't help the percentage. Schwelm had a solid rotation of big 4 and 5 men that killed us on the boards, especially in our 1-3-1 defense. They were also a good 3-point shooting team and it seemed that every time they happened to miss, they would just get the rebound and kick it out for another try. Marcus, who is really a 3 man that is forced to play in the post because he is tall (man I am glad I don't have to do that anymore), has an understandably hard time with big 4 men, and once we go to the bench there is even more problems. This is something we will definitely have to figure out. It also didn't help that they had 7 'und einer' (and 1's) and two goal-tending calls on us.
       The worst part about losing is that we have to wait a whole week for our next game. In college, we played at least two games a week, so it was easier to forget about a tough loss, but now I have plenty of time to sit and think about what went wrong, and from what I have seen so far, the fans don't plan on letting us forget either.  After the celebrations and toasts following our victories the last few weeks I was surprised to see the gym clear out before the game was even over.  The few fans that were still around after we had showered didn't seem very pleased with our preformance, and instead of the usual smiles, I was greeted with solemn faces and the shaking of heads. I was talking to a teammate's wife after the game and she said she can't sit near most of the fans during the games, because if things start going badly, they start viciously taunting the players, especially the Americans, who they expect so much from. The fact that we can't understand what they are saying anyway no doubt encourages their taunts.  I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by the fickle nature of the fans in a soccer-crazed country, especially after repeatedly hearing the story of Andres Escobar (the Columbian soccer player who was killed by fans after he scored an own-goal) from my teammates.
       Looking on the bring side, we get to make up for this weekend on Friday against Wolfenbuttel who is 1-3, and more importantly,  I guess since we lost I don't have to embarrass myself playing soccer at practice tomorrow and we don't have to add a sprint onto our conditioning!
       Marcus and I started German lessons this week with our tutor Anna. We started with the essentials like 'you are beautiful' (du bist wundershon) , 'i like your eyes' (ich mag diena augen), and 'how old are you' (wie alt bist du?), and then finished the lesson with some more trivial material such as numbers and the pronunciation of letters.  Anna also taught me how to order smoked turkey from the deli; unfortunately my execution was beyond poor. After three attempts, and three awkward looks from the butcher and the other customers in line, I dejectedly handed over the piece of paper that Anna had written on. I ended up getting the smoked turkey that I came in for (i think), but my confidence was shot.         Anna also took us shopping on Monday and taught us how to make  Frikadelle, which is bascially a big German meatball. We put it on some fresh bread from the bakery and had us some good old fashioned German Hamburgers. It was a welcome break from my usual rotation of chicken and frozen pizza and lasagna.
Managed to dice the onion without shedding a tear

       Earlier this week I was asked to do my first public relations gig. Hack, our affectionately named big man,was going to the Volvo dealership to pick up his new team car and they wanted one of the Americans to tag along and get in some pictures. I had already read every new story on si.com, espn.com and even williams.prestosports.com, so i volunteered myself for the job.
    I basically just stood there while Hack and the owners made small talk and smiled and nodded whenever they looked at me. They kept doing the universal sign for basketball, where you pretend to shoot a jump shot but hold your follow through about shoulder height, so I figured they were reliving their glory days with Hack. I kept myself amused by imagining Hack driving around town in a car with giant paw prints all over it. As if a 6'8" basketball player wanted anymore attention drawn to him while trying to squeeze into a tiny european car. I guess that made it all worth it.

        I wrapped my week up with a haircut in the town center. I snagged a picture of myself with a decent looking haircut off facebook and brought it on my ipod to show the haridresser; she thought this was hilarious (thanks mom).  She started asking me all these questions in German and I just kept saying kein Duetsch (no german) until some little twelve-year old boy came to my rescue. He asked if I needed help and then if I wanted him to tell the lady to cut my hair like his. I didn't have the heart to tell him that, although I too had a pointy flat top in 4th grade, that I didn't think I could pull it off anymore, so I just nodded sure but motioned that I wanted it a little rounder. Needless to say I was pretty nervous for the results. It only cost 8 euros, and that is about how good it looks, but it got the job done and I avoided a flat top, so overall I was pleased.
        It seems like my parents have been the only ones to seize the opportunity to send me a package...yet. I have been learning a lot about patience out here so I am holding out hope. My address is 69 SchulstaBe (yes capital B), Herten, Germany 45699. Among other things, the package included a Buster Posey T-shirt which I will be proudly wearing to support my Giants quest for a World Series!

1 comment:

  1. I guess your posey shirt was good luck today! You need to send me a Lion shirt to wear on your game days for good luck. Guess I'll get my own next week!