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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Here. We. Go.

Hallo! Ich hoffe, dasse alle gut geht!


My Deutsch is coming along... BUT I am really good at Google translate... if that is something someone can actually be good at. That being said, I just wanted to give another quick update, in English, because things are starting to get interesting around here.

Here is what to expect from my fun filled and exciting new post
- Quick update life. Including a mini trip to Berlin.
- My reaction to our first REAL game and it happened to be a Big6 game, which is a BIG deal
- Some upcoming cool things. Things I can express excitement for now. Then explain in retrospect with my next post.
- Finally, I included a few pictures. Due to public demand and dissatisfied readers.. needy people...

Easter Fires

The first thing I would like to mention is a great tradition that I have never seen before. In Germany, probably other places too but I am talking about Germany, the Saturday night before Easter they have community bonfires. But this is no typical bonfire, at least from my perspective.

people and fire. Night before Easter
Everyone in the community gets together in a field, drinks some beer, eats great food and socializes, around the largest fire I have ever seen! There were so many of these fires, the air was filled with smoke, even on the autobahn.

I want to thank our Dr. Meier for for sharing this night with Tommi, Durrell and I. I also would like to thank the Holtz Family for having us over for dinner that night too. That was my first dinner in a German home and it definitely did not disappoint! I hope we can come back!


Quick Berlin Trip

Got to have one selfie! Holocaust memorial
Well we started the weekend with a nice early Saturday morning practice following a late Friday night practice, That's always fun. But after that we were on a 3 hour trip to Kiel to to watch them play Dresden. It was a great game, definitely worth the drive. From Kiel, Tommi, Durrell and I drove another 3 hours to Berlin. There was another game worth watching on Sunday over there. We figured we would spend the night in Berlin, wake up early, see the sights, watch the game and head home.  The lack of cell phone service definitely made it interesting for using a GPS or finding a place to stay, this should have been an indicator of how our night would go...

Long story short. We arrived at 11pm. We walked and walked and walked some more and checked 1,364 hostels, roughly.. But all were full. Apparently, east-side Berlin was the place to be that weekend. So we gave up. Changed in the car and went out to meet some friends. Which included a lot more walking by the way.

Some of the Berlin wall. Guest stars, Tommi and Durrell
At a certain point in the night we realized that miraculously nothing had worked itself out. So we concluded the smartest thing was to bunk up in the car for a few hours. By  few, I mean a couple. And that might be stretching the truth some. But we rested! From there we did go out and enjoy some of the history Berlin had to offer. A nice little walk down a part of the wall, saw the holocaust memorial and went to the place Hitler committed suicide. These were all cool things to take in and understand for a second that history was a little more than just words in a textbook. Definitely more interesting than the blowout of a game. I look forward to going back and experiencing the rest.

Dresden, Big 6 

It is crazy to think. This was our first true test as a team, this was my first test as the team's quarterback and this is a playoff game. For those of you that do not know. The Big 6 tournament is basically used to determine who the best team in Europe is. Teams qualify based on their previous season. Because the Lions won the German Bowl in 2013 over The Dresden Monarchs, they naturally qualified to play in the tournament. It just so happens that Dresden ended up being our first Big 6 game in 2014 as well! And this was a must win if we wanted a chance to win it all.

We had the honor to play in The Dresden Dynamo SOCCER stadium which was a cool experience but led to some hearing difficulties on the field. I am not sure of the attendance of the game, but it was by far the loudest game I have ever played in. Pretty sure their announcer helped them quite a bit too... There were many other factors that played into it, but lets just say our offense was not firing on all cylinders to begin with. Thankfully our defense was kicking ass. Score at halftime was 3-0, Dresden had the lead. This was not okay, and we knew it. But we made the appropriate strategical changes and came out in the second half a different team. We were able to put the Monarchs away with a final score of 17-10. And we looked forward to playing Vienna for our next Big 6 game.

At this moment though, I was so proud to be a Lion. Our team is full of winners, that know how to win, whatever it takes. That is something special.. We overcame adversity, fought through tough conditions but never lost trust in each other or our coaches and we managed to win the battle.

I CAN'T WAIT to play in front of our home fans again, just sayin.

What's Upcoming!

-In less than 24 hours my uncle Rance will be here. I am so pumped to be able to share some of this experience with him! He is the main reason I got into football and he taught me everything I know about football! Except how to play QB... and other stuff. But still, The next 11 days will be a blast.

- Dusseldorf Panthers - Our first GFL game of the season is this Saturday and it is AT HOME!!

-Berlin round 2. Heading back to Berlin for two days with Rance. Hopefully see a little more of the city and take a whole lot more pictures!

-Vienna Vikings Big 6 - This is another big game. Not trying to get ahead of myself. But Vienna was recently named by the EFAF #1 team in Europe.. We will put that to the test, I promise you. Plus winning that game automatically puts us in the championship!

- Following that game, there is a large break in our season. I will take that time to travel some more. There are no set plans yet... but Amsterdam, Belgium, France, Cologne, Munich and Prague are definitely on the list.. I guess we will see!

To conclude I would like thank everyone again. Family, friends, coaches, teammates, Patrick Ihl for being Patrick Ihl, The New Yorker Lions organization and the Lord, for all the opportunities of this day.