Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Go big or go home.

Happy New Year! I am super pleased to report that I survived the super credible "end of the world" debacle and got to ring in 2013. I am not particularly fond of resolutions, but I do plan to love, laugh and learn more this year and I wish the same to you. I got you covered in the laugh department—I think we can all agree that my blog is the most amusing one being crammed down your throats via email each month. It’s my way of giving back, what can I say. On that note, let’s dive right into the first installment of 2013.

Perhaps you don’t recall, but when I last left you we were prepping for our final game of the first half of our season. This game went as poorly as it could have for us, unfortunately. I will say this, we worked our butts off and defensively, for most of the game, we were solid. Offensively, however, we stunk…we stunk something fierce. We couldn’t throw a grain of sand into the ocean. It was dreadful. Conversely, Marburg was experiencing some sort of collective “zone” and made everything, so it seemed. 
The bank wasn’t just open for them, it was giving them money and to players who didn't even have accounts. Might be the worst parallel I’ve ever offered, but I swear it works, somehow. We managed to keep the score within single digits for most the game, but we ultimately lost by 13. Adding insult to injury, that was the second home game of ours where technical difficulties disrupted our video feed and prevented any statistical input. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it weren’t for the fact that our current jobs and potential interest in hiring us rely heavily on stats.

Following the loss, our team hosted a nice little Christmas party for our management, team staff, parents, and our closest group of fans that volunteer behind the scenes and typically travel to support us on the road. Customarily, I am just awful at functions like this, so the combination of my bungling social competence and the frustrating loss was wildly inauspicious. Still, I made the most of it, singing Silent Night with the team in German, English and Hungarian (with Morty at guitar) and passing out gifts to everyone. Seriously…everyone. We got gifts for Vlasti, the physio staff, the management, sponsors, our team doctor, the dude that provides us with cars, our team mom and even all the fans got shirts! Additionally, we had a team secret santa separate from this event which was delightful. We had to get our person something AND come up with a little rhythmic number about them to perform/say. I put my little diddy to the beat of the Fresh Prince opening song.
Needless to say, it was a hit. As was the Christmas party, which sort of doubled as a farewell party heading into break. We had 17 days off and aside from a haircut appointment and dental check-up, I had zero plans boarding my flight to LA. Somehow, without any real personal effort, I did more stuff in those 17 days than perhaps anyone has, ever. I know, surprise surprise right? What can I say, go big or go home and I was already home, sooooo, yeah. I think you are picking up what I am putting down (I went BIG, in case that was somehow out of your reach).

 Jan, lovely Jan, and her sister, my treasure of an aunt Kimmie, picked me up from the airport—I gotta say, hard to imagine a better pick-up crew. Also hard to imagine anyone more excited to see me, which I’ll be honest, felt good. My first day was calm enough, lots of lounging, catching up and getting settled. The calmness ended there. I dropped my high school basketball team off at LAX the very next morning at 5am and very nearly literally stayed in a car the remainder of my trip. UCLA men’s basketball game, Lakers game, San Diego Chargers game, Vegas, Santa Barbara, LAX two more times—it was borderline laughable how much I was in a car, but quite worth it. Here’s a brief play by play: in Vegas, Chris and I saw Seinfeld live which was phenomenal; San Diego reunited Mo and I (and we caught a Chargers game, but I ain’t braggin about that); Kindra visited and we met up with our college friend Matt in Santa Barbara; and after two years I got to see my old college roommate Preach, and my good high school friend Trevor. My mama and I spent some wonderful quality time, and I got to see a lot of the rest of my family too, which is rare that time of year. 
I had the best homemade chocolate chip pancakes made for me at my high school coaches house and played the funniest game of telephone and silent telephone during Christmas dinner with my second family. Finally, I was treated to Lakers tickets by my dear friend Dan and witnessed not only Wilkes’ jersey retirement, but also perhaps the Lakers last win of the season. I am leaving things out, sadly, but that is unavoidable I’m afraid. It was the greatest 17 days a person could have not planned, all thanks to my incredible friends and family. It was certainly hard to say bye, but after so much time I was itching to get back on the court with my teammates and get back to work.

My flights home couldn’t have been easier. Workouts started right away and so did the continuation of the Pokal series games. We played Sunday at Oberhausen, a team from our league who we had previously beaten, but who was now with a slightly different roster and a new coach. A win would put us in the final four. We weren’t bad, but they were better. Bottom line, they made more shots. Our defense was solid, but their shots fell and ours didn’t. It was infuriating. I finished with 23 points and 6 rebounds and fouled out at a critical moment in the last 2 minutes. We lost by 7. League play starts up again this weekend, and we are back home against Herner, one of the last place teams. Very big game for us in terms of starting strong, securing all must-wins and generating some momentum. My adrenaline is firing just thinking about it. God, I love this game.


  1. tap, tap, tap, [cough] is this thing on? test, test, this is me typing. la, la, laaaa. Anyway down to bidness.

    Guy goes into the psychiatrist, he's naked but wearing plastic cling wrap.
    The doctor takes one look at him and says
    "Well clearly I can see you're nuts."

    Translate that to German and you'll have them laughing through tears.

    Some good games ahead. I tried your "Go big or go home", but instead I ended up with "Go home and get big". Now I'm back in the gym so I can get my see my abs again. 4 extra pounds doesn't sound like a lot but it depends where it goes.

    Happy 2013! Thrilled you're going to keep posting.
    - Eric
    * * * * * * * * *

  2. It was so good to see you, and as busy as you were, I felt we had some good time together. Good post. Great to hear from you and see your happy photos!