Jan 5, 2009
Another year, another country, and MORE fireworks, I’m talking double the fireworks of Sweden. Poland is crazy with them as well, lighting them 2 feet from the crowd. Morgan is here celebrating New Years with me again. We went downtown by the park where it seems all of Kolobrezeg gathers. It was fun yelling and giving out hugs, also if you could enjoy the fireworks that made it into the air they were nice, but a majority of the time we were watching the ones that did not make it in the air. Amateur fireworks are dangerous enough, but add in that most of the people that were shooting them off were not sober. Drew took a bottle rocket to the shoulder, and many others looked like they took some to the face. Luckily it was no one else from the team.
On January 2, we headed to Germany to play two games. This trip had bad written all over it before we ever left. We had only had one practice since the break and then we were playing two games. If rust would have been the only problem we could have dealt with it a lot better, but the trip itself is what turned disastrous. The bus arrived about 15 minutes late for departure, but the real surprise was when we got on the bus and the male volleyball team had the whole front area. Now when I say male volleyball team I’m sure you imagine some tall, young, athletic guys. STOP that vision right now. This team looked like the bad version of a YMCA rec league (the old man’s division). More on the volleyball team later. Now we focus on the bus. I would have rather rode a high school bus. This bus smelled of sweaty clothes that have been left out for a week, we were cramped with very little leg room for anyone (I couldn’t even take my shoes off because the floor hadn’t been cleaned since the bus was put into operation), and it averaged 30 MPH. I am not exaggerating when I say 30 MPH. The trip was supposed to take 7 hours, which is not all that close to begin with after we just had a full day of travel to get back to Poland. The trip took 11 in a half hours! With stops almost every 2 hours.
We stopped at some of the worst spots as well. We stopped at a rest park, well a rest park that had not been maintained since the ice ages, and it felt that way inside this place. It was absolutely freezing. I think most prisoners would decline this place. I can’t imagine how bad it had to be for Morgan. These stops were all in Germany so I guess the rumor is true that Poland has better bathrooms. Germany was trying to fix their image of bathrooms and this was obvious on the next stop. You had to pay for the restroom this time. Since I did not have any euros we borrowed money from the coach. From Morgan’s report back it seems that Poland still has better bathrooms.
At this point you might be thinking that this trip doesn’t sound that bad Brandon? It gets better. Since we arrived so late we were not able to have a practice which means we still had only had one practice to play two games. The next morning we loaded the bus so we could at least have an hour shoot around. That hour turned into a half hour real quick when the bus driver got lost on the way to the gym. Instead of a half hour trip to the gym it turned into an hour trip and for some reason we also had no heat the whole trip. Then after the short shoot around we had to walk to the bus. We all figured this would be a one or two block walk. It was like half a mile which again you are probably saying to yourself, “Brandon I used to walk 9 miles to school uphill”. Well add that it was freezing and 1-2 inches of snow on the ground. Now were getting close to game time.
We had to go to the gym early to watch the volleyball team play. I believe they were supposed to play at 5:30. We were not playing in the same gym that shoot around was in, which was a big problem for the bus driver because we got lost again. We arrived at the gym at 5:50. The funny thing was the team that they were playing were not even prepared to play. They had no nets or polls up. This is where the story gets kind of comical. There was nothing official about this volleyball game. They had no real refs, they did not even have correct volleyball lines, and the net they put up was three badminton nets tied together to make one with a gaping hole in the middle where they were tied together. This was seriously a YMCA rec. league game. Who travels 11 hours for a rec. league game? I don’t want to sound like I don’t like the volleyball team because there are some big fans of the team that came on the trip and played. I just found it very unusual that you would travel that far for just one game that did not count for anything. The team is not in any league or anything like that either back in poland. The good thing was the polish team won, unlike ourselves.
We were very rusty, which can be expected after a nine day break and one practice, we were all pretty off on our shooting the first game except sefton. He played a really good all around game with some steals, dunks, and threes. He was the one bright spot of the team. We played padoborn, which is a team we had already beaten in the preseason and should have again. Personally, I felt alright but my jump shot did not. I was 0-7 from three. I scored 7 points, and added 4 steals. We were defiantly suffering from some long road trips we have put our bodies through as everyone looked a step slower.
The second game was a lot better but we still lost. We had a chance to win at the end. We were down one with 26 seconds and Kevin missed both free throws. We tried to foul but for some reason the German refs would not give us the call. They waited till the guy cut to the basket for a lay-up then called an intentional foul. That pretty much sealed the game.
If you just strictly looked at the stat sheet one could see a good game was played by both teams. Both teams had 5 players with over 10 points and no one with more then 20. Also, both teams shot over 50% from the field for the game. I had 12 points on 3-5 from 2 and 2-4 from three.
I think the entire team is happy to have this trip over with as it was filled with many problems and very uncomfortable rides, but of course we could not just come home. We had to drive through a blizzard that slowed our bus to almost a crawl. The one positive to take from the trip is the food was pretty good.
We had a couple good meals at the hotel, then we stopped at American diner after the first game, but it was not anywhere close to a real American diner. The food was ok, but again we are back in Europe where they don’t believe in beef products. The burger they gave us was the cafeteria beef. I was hoping that they could make a good shake, but they failed on this as well. I might as well have ordered strawberry milk. The next town we played in we had Chinese buffet (before the game). I have yet to have bad food at a Chinese restaurant over here. After the game we were served pasta with no forks. We had to take the lid and scoop it out (just some more great planning that was featured on this trip).
Before you walk away from this post saying “Brandon you are just one big complainer”, I don’t see it like that. I see it more as looking at the situation strictly from pro’s and con’s, and there were very little if any pro’s on this trip. I believe pretty much the entire team would agree with me that this trip was not necessary. I can safely say I am ready to get back to Poland and start a routine again, and playing games that matter.
We have 10 games left in polish league before the start of playoffs. It starts next Sunday with a TV game with our biggest rival AZK.
A pet shop also selling wedding dresses! (Morgan was thinking about buying this wedding dress, esp. if you got the two cages for free)
Until next time!
This is BC gone for now
Posted by Bcrone at 2:19 AM