Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turkey Day, Turnovers, and Too Many Fouls

       We are 2 for 2 in Berlin, but not in any positive statistical categories. In both games, we had 17+ turnovers, and more impressively, had 4 people foul out of each game (this had to be some kind of record). Thankfully, this time we brought 10 players, so we didn't have to finish the game with 4, but it was still ugly none-the-less. The game was for first place in league, and after an early wake-up call and a 6 hour van ride, we weren't exactly begging for any more challenges. When Marcus and our big man, Hack, both picked up two fouls in the first 2 minutes, I knew we were in for a long night. Despite losing three starters to foul outs, and gifting some egregious turnovers to the other team, we managed to stay in the game down the stretch. Stahnsdorf had the ball up 1 with 16 seconds to go and for some reason it took us 12 seconds to foul them. The refs managed to give us over 30 fouls that we didn't want throughout the course of the game, but for some reason, swallowed their whistles the one time we actually needed one. Their point guard made both freethrows, and we were out of timeouts, so we just chucked the ball in to Vince, he took two dribbles and swished a three from 4 feet inside half court. The refs initially said it was no good, and the other team tried to shake our hands real fast and run off the court, but we refused to shake their hands, and the refs had to change the call after even the home team's scorekeeper said Vince clearly let the ball go before the clock went off.

Me trying desperately not to foul.
      Mike quickly picked up his fifth foul in the opening seconds of overtime, leaving me (barely, I had been playing with 4 fouls for 10 minutes) as the only starter not fouled out. After our first basket, our offense, and defense for that matter, completely broke down and we ended up losing by 4. The good news is that we get another shot at these guys at home, but that didn't make the 5 hour ride home much better. The city of Berlin has been one of my favorite places to visit, but has not been too kind to us from a basketball standpoint. We have to go back one more time after Christmas so hopefully it will go better, I guess it can't go much worse. Next weekend we play the last place team at home, but if I have learned anything out here it is that anything can happen. Apparently the team just brought in a third American last weekend, tough timing for us...

    Two hilarious quotes from our Coach during the game and my hypothesized translations:
"If we all pull on the same string we will WIN!"
-If we are all on the same page/have the same goals, we will win.

"If he shoots another three from the corner I will make you a head shorter!"
-I will cut your head off if he shoots another corner three.

These are especially entertaining in the heat of a mid-game timeout. All Marcus and I can do it look at each other and laugh.

    Last Thursday while everyone was enjoying delicious feasts of everything that is Thanksgiving, I concocted a little meal of my own. Obviously no one out here celebrates Turkey day, and Marcus decided if he couldn't do it right, he wasn't going to do it all, so I was left to fend for myself. Knowing the limits of my culinary skills, I kept it simple: smoked turkey from the deli, homemade rolls (from a box), and a quart of milk.

Thanksgiving of Champions
Nothing to brag about, but it got the job done.

   I started working at the hospital this morning. I think it will be cool to see how hospitals and doctors operate over here, but the language barrier is definitely going to be a problem. The Doctors can all speak at least rough English, but I feel bad asking them to translate all of their interactions with patients. Hopefully I will at least get to watch a few surgeries.

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