Monkey’s gone. What a relief, right? As charming as my bitter diatribes were (and I don’t need you all to tell me they were, I know), it will be nice to post a slightly more upbeat blog. Where to begin—hows about with our first win. Try and keep up now.
Donau-Ries is a good team. We were down a starting post (my roommate who “mysteriously” got Mono) so we were tinkering with a new line-up. Fortunately this included moving me to the wing. FINALLY. As fun as it was having that much control of the ball, the whole more turnovers than points fiasco sort of trounced the control. We weren’t perfect, but we were determined. And, I dare say, we finally gelled. We also damn near gave the game away at the end. Instead, we grasped tightly to a 3 point lead and celebrated our long awaited first victory. Our league has this victory tradition here where you do a series of bows as a team to thank the fans. Neat. I also did something that game that I had yet to do this season, and I know this will come as a monumental shock to a pair of coaches: I fouled out. Best believe I did it with all the flair and excitement any Whitcomb foul-outing brings (chasing opponents down after my missed shot or tackling girls to get my turnover back), except this time there was only 45 seconds remaining in the game and not 3 minutes left… in the 3rd quarter. I’ve come a long way.
We had a short turn around after the Donau-Ries game—the following week we had two games starting Wednesday. This is where I tell you about my near fateful encounter with Dirk! Let me begin by saying that this week began “cup” games in Germany, which I will explain thoroughly later, but essentially it is just a mini play-off with every team (division 1-3) here…so not really mini at all. In fact, it is rather large and spans a few months. You understand though. Anyways, our first one was Wednesday in Wurzburg, Dirk’s hometown. Can you say fate? I can, but the only thing my teammates could pronounce was stalker. Tomato, tomahto. Not only did we play in his hometown, but we practiced in the gym he uses when he is home! I knoooooow. Things were looking reaaaaal promising (here comes the near part). Now, your appreciation and understanding of my “near encounter” experience is going to be based largely on your interpretation of the word near. If you prefer the more literal usage, like some educated bore, let me prepare you for disappointment now. However, if you are one of those people that confuses their, there and they’re and still can’t comprehend that special Effects Affect you, you will surely be satisfied with my hyperbolic misuse of near. Basically, that was as close as I got—poking around the gym he occasionally utilizes in the town he grew up in, a town he no doubt rarely visits since it’s dreadful. In this instance, I am using the very literal definition of dreadful. F. Y. I.
While I did not experience my first uncomfortable, clammy handshake (and inevitable phone number exchange, let’s be real) with Dirk in Wurzburg, it did give me a different first: a triple-double. Nope, I am not referring to the consumption of some obscenely gigantic burger. Child please, I accomplished that first YEARS ago. Wurzburg is an unfortunate division two team here, so 14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists become less impressive, all things considered. We won by 55 in a grossly inequitable game that perhaps we are the worse for participating in. But, if nothing else, it was an opportunity to practice our execution and prepare for our league game Friday at Saarlouis. I didn’t know this going in, but my coach had never beaten Saarlouis since he has been with the Chemcats the past five years; evidently, they have been dominant in our division. Incidentally, this year appears to be the end of said dominance, which worked out nicely for us. That being said, our win against them Friday was hardly easy. But we were resilient and battled. If you are counting like I am now, that makes us 3-0 with me NOT playing point guard. You know what that is? It’s proof positive that I should not be passing, but rather should be passed to. Hard to argue facts. Below is how I celebrate: I climb shit. Don't let my teammates boost mislead you, I got that high on my own, no thanks to my boots. They mighta been made for walking, but that is IT. Zero pole grip.
My college teammate Heidi is visiting this week. She plays in Germany for a division two team now about 3 hours away and her teammate is engaged to one of the players on our men’s team in Chemnitz. Small world. But, ya know, not really... cause it’s so big and all.
I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe Halloween. They don’t really celebrate it here like Americans do. Don’t get me wrong, girls still take advantage of the opportunity to transform an otherwise respectable profession into a slutty enterprise (nurse, doctor, fireman, house-keeper,
cheerleader, teacher) but the whole trick or treating thing doesn’t really translate. I guess the idea of disguising their children, sending them out on the streets alone in the dark to knock on strangers’ doors demanding disgusting amounts of candy (sure to be contaminated by the seemingly harmless cat-lady that makes all her treats) doesn’t really appeal to people here. Weird. We did carve pumpkins though while watching Hocus Pocus. There are some things I will never be too old for.