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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The First Game

I told myself after the scrimmage that there was no need for pregame jitters. I had gotten my first licks in, and my talent level was vastly superior to that of the locals. But sure enough, come game day, this past Saturday, I woke up with my stomach in knots, the same knots I had throughout my season in the Big East. It was a combination of nervous anticipation, excitement, and above all else, a renewed love for the game.

Before the first snap, the referree informed me I’d be sporting one more helmet sticker, a giant white “A” on the back. They told me it was so they could tell who the “Class-A” players were (also known as “imports”) but I know it was really for AMERICAN.

Coin toss. We defer. Tremendous—we’ll get to set the tone on defense. Opening kick off—opposing team takes it to the house for 6. Defense will have to wait.

Their D-line was atrocious, at one point an exchange between myself and a D-linemen amounted to my suggestion that, “for five Euros, I’ll show you how to pass rush after the game.” Their linebacking core, on the other hand, was extremely strong and athletic—definitely the strong suit of their defense. It was a back an forth battle for most of the first half, they’d score, we’d score. They’d score, we’d score. And so on, until it was 28-21 at the break. The final score would be 50 to 31 with my team coming up on the short end. However, despite the loss I still had fun. It was good to “be a football player again.”

"15 Yards?!? For What?...this is football, not soccer".

....the rest of the story HERE

and the interview:
get to 1:57 seconds--where I begin.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Waking Up In Austria

Where is all this beautiful weather I was promised? I'm guessing the other side of the mountain.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

UConn Pimp Slaps Missouri: On To The Final Four

UConn in the Final Four...all is right with the universe.
Not to point out the obvious, but buying this shirt would be a sweet way to show your UConn pride, and keep the girlfriend from leaving a broke FWG.
Just a thought

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Black Lions Home Page

So there it is. The FWG on the Black Lions home page. Our first game is Saturday. I can't wait. Should be simply amazing. I have loved every experience so far here in Austria, the people, the football, the food. All of it has been great, and now the first game of the season. This should be an adventure.

Some Final Thoughts:

UConn dominates brother-in-law (and Purdue alum) is about to get a series of harassing "Skype-Calls"

I have taken to purchasing "mystery meat" from the butcher. It's no myster to everyone else in the German speaking world, but I really don't know what these words mean. Except for Puten. I know Puten. Turkey.

The FWG is considering chronicling his potential weight loss and body transformation. Please post in the comment section if you think this would be a good idea.

Recently I have gotten some interesting "fan" mail. It's good to know that this site has moved beyond just friends and family commenting. I love to hear from you, good-bad-ugly-pissed-whatever. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

UConn Pro Day

The 2009 UConn Pro day was held yesterday at "The Shenk" training facility. Workouts were, in a word: OUTSTANDING.
Darius Butler again proved that he can move his hips, and has the kind of speed that can kill.
Will Beatty, performing well in the bench, makes him a discussion topic, as he might be one of the top 5 offensive linemen in this years draft. However there are three stories I want to touch on, after speaking with Cody Brown (DE/OLB), and his pro-day work out.
Cody drastically improved on his 40 time from the combine, running in the 4.5-4.6 ranger, compared to his 4.82 performance at the NFL Combine.
Julius Williams (another one of my brothers on the D-Line) comes out of no where, with a verticle jump over 41inches, and benching 225lbs 36 times. That is simply outstanding. For those of you who dont know, Julius Williams has a back that could block out the sun, a true physical specimen, with and oustanding work ethic.
And then there is Dahna Deleston. What can I say about Dahna. How about "quiet storm?" in 5 years playing with the guy I probably heard him say about 10 words---total.
He weighed in at pro day at 217lbs, ran a sub 4.5 40, and absolutely blew scouts away.
It really is a testament to work ethic, and to the character of these young men, all of which flew under the radar of major college recruiting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

UConn Violates NCAA Rules

ESPN.COM Connecticut potentially committed NCAA rules violations in its recruitment of former guard Nate Miles, Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday.

The Web site reported that according to multiple sources, between 2006 and 2008, Miles was provided with lodging, transportation, restaurant meals and representation by Josh Nochimson, a former UConn student manager who had become a professional sports agent and formerly represented ex-Huskies star Richard Hamilton.

When are people going to stop being surprised about NCAA "violations" at major universities. Stop acting surprised, just like the NCAA should stop acting like student-athletes at said universities are "amateurs." Athletes are not like the general population, so stop pretending t hey are. In the words of Coach Sam Winters in The Program, "Yeah, but when was the last time 80,000 people showed up to watch a kid do a damn chemistry experiment?." Exactly.

Jazz....Or Is It "Yazz" With a Soft "J"

Tell me I don't look like a tourist, attending swanky night clubs in sweatpants, hoody, and a hat.

"Austrian Jazz....who knew?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse

This Week's Sign Of The ApocalypseI'm not even sure where to start with this.
The Biblical "Tramp Stamp." Her father must be proud.
I'm not going to say I'm upset, know...I'm upset.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why Am I Here????

It's 2:20 p.m., and my 1978 Ford Fiesta has decided that functioning properly is not one of its top priorities. That's right, my teammate and I are now stranded on the side of an Austrian autobahn. Which begs the question: Why I am I here?

The simple, all encompassing answer is because I love the game of football. And now the game has taken me from Rochester, N.Y. to Klagenfurt, Austria (via Storrs, Conn.). Apparently, the game has also taken me to the side of this highway, while I curse terrible American car manufacturing (only to realize later the oil hadn't been changed since its production year).

Read the rest HERE

Your Fat White Guy Moment Of The Week

I found this on the web a few days ago, and decided it was freaking awesome.The current economic situation is effecting everyone (trips to the Dollar Menu), it leaves us with two options:
1. Cry
2. Laugh

I choose laugh, and so do these people: First prize is like $5,000 and a trip for two, and second prize is $2,500 and a trip for one. All you need is tell them your "down on your luck story"...not heart strings here, just hilarity. Nothing like getting paid for being pathetic, right?
(If anything else, check out the huge pink-hippo, which might brighten your day). My Story? How after 5 years of college football I can't see my toes anymore, and now I'm in a country I don't understand and a language I don't speak. What about you?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse

This Week's Sign Of The ApocalypseI'm not even sure where to start with this.
The Biblical "Tramp Stamp." Her father must be proud.
I'm not going to say I'm upset, know...I'm upset.

Crust - Gate (The FWG Is a Liar????)

With any victory, there is doubters. Bonds breaks the home record? Steroids! Armstrong wins 7 Tour De France? Doping! FWG crushes a Villanova student in a pizza-eating contest? Did not finish the crusts!
I now give you:

March 19, 2009 2:12 PM

Dear Fat White Guy & Fat White Guy Fans,


Please continue reading at your own risk. You have been warned.

So I am sitting here on a nice Friday afternoon doing a little light reading, when I get a phone call telling me to look on Thoughts From a Fat White Guy blog.

Confused, I search for this popular blog and find a very interesting story involving a random Villanova Nate.

While I know this blog is very popular, I must say there are some inaccuracies in this most recent posting. While I am sure the author had no intention of being inaccurate, the truth about this story should indeed be known to the masses.

THE TRUTH: The Villanova kid actually won the pizza eating contest.

How is this you ask??? It's simple...and its the truth.


Similar to Rocky Balboa- underweight and overmatched but with a heart of a lion, poor Nate from Villanova woofed down his 5 pieces of pizza in a heroic performance just like that of Joey Chestnut against Kobayashi at the 2008 annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

Even though he did not finish first, Villanova Nate was cheated.

You read correct – Villanova Nate was cheated.

As FWG lifted his arms in victory, Villanova Nate looked down at the table covered in tomato sauce, bits of cheese, and what was left of FWG and Villanova Nate’s dignities, and saw 5 pieces of uneaten crust from FWG’s pizza slices.

Half choking to death on his own crust, Villanova Nate began somewhat coherently shouting at the spectators that he had been cheated! For as any self respecting, gluttonous pizza eating contestant knows, the crust must be eaten as well.

Everyone, especially FWG knew that It was a Pizza Eating Contest…not a Pizza Eating (minus the crust) Contest.

These pleas fell upon deaf ears as Fat White Guy pounded his chest and boasted of his ability to consume large amounts of carbohydrates in short time spans. Slightly nauseated, Villanova Nate was forced to watch FWG steal his true victory moment.
Shattered, and fearing that Fat White Guy may easily become enraged and snap Villanova Nate in half...Villanova Nate succumbed to defeat and was wrongfully made to sing a UCONN fight song. To this day Villanova Nate still regrets not fighting for what was truly his pizza eating contest victory.

Let the masses know that to this day Villanova Nate still proclaims victory over Fat White Guy when this story is brought up over a nice hot X-Large Pappa John's pie. And in fact, Villanova Nate never completed the entire UCONN fight song, which technically means that full admission of defeat was never acknowledged.

Since this event, Villanova Nate has been so tormented by this moment of cheating that it is heard that him and several of his close friends refer to this event merely as Crust-gate.

And while several people at this Pizza Eating Contest will confirm that FWG did indeed leave 5 crust pieces behind…this is never brought up for fear that FWG will end the lives of these physically smaller human beings from Villanova.

And so it remains to truly be determined who is the undisputed Pizza Eating Contest Champion.

But make it be known that Villanova Nate is not one to back down from a challenge.

Should FWG truly want to see who can eat 5 pieces of Dominos Pizza in the shortest amount of time, Villanova Nate is waiting for you…with a freshly printed copy of the Villanova Fight Song.

That’s right, you heard it here first—Villanova Nate is not scared

And so in conclusion, this story is merely based on true events…it is not an actual description of what truly transpired that fateful March afternoon.

V for Villanova V for Victory,
Villanova Nate
Class of 2006

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness: UConn Crushes Nova On AND Off The Court

A few years back I (a UConn-man through and through) took a trip to Villanova to see my sister. This was their "Nova-Fest weekend." Listen, it's not even close to Spring Weekend in Storrs.
However, representing my UConn pride, I proudly wore a UConn Football sweatshirt all weekend. After reminding them how soft they are, and declaring UConn king of the college basketball universe I was then promptly challenged to pizza eating contest. The stakes? The loser had to sing the other's Fight Song.
This is just another example of UConn spanking Nova:

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse AND Your Fat White Guy Moment Of The Week

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse
Your Fat White Guy Moment Of The Week MARCH 16--The Peoria Pelter remains on the loose. A week after a McDonald's employee was assaulted with a "hot greasy McGriddle sandwich," Illinois cops have yet to make an arrest. According to a Peoria Police Department report, a copy of which you'll find below, Patricia Munguia, 38, was hit in the face by a McGriddle thrown by a drive-thru customer angered that his sandwich did not include an egg.

Listen, food is not for fighting. Food is for eating. This angers me because 1, you shouldn't waste perfectly edible McDonalds, even if wasn't made to your liking. Any fat kid knows, eat it...THEN complain. So this is your fat white guy moment of the week, because anyone that assaults another human with a "hot greasy McGriddle sandwhich" is obviously over three bills.
So why this week's sign of the apocalypse?
Well, being in Europe has afforded me to look at America through the European cultural lens. If one more Austrian asks me if I wan't McDonald's I'm going to lose it. Listen up, Americans: They already see us as a nation of slobs (which I'm fine with) but we NEED to stop assaulting eachother with breakfast food. Any incident where (according the the report) the "victim needed medical attention due to assault by sausage sandwhich" just isn't good press. When people are reduced to fighting at Drive-Thru windows, violently hurling breakfast meat at eachother, well then it's gone to far.

The Age Of The Austrian: Answered!

Let me tell you what a steady diet of cigarettes and booze will get you:
an entire country of ageless people. Well, maybe not the entire country (I mean, ever hot girl has to have an ugly friend). Everyday people-watching has now become my favorite pass time.
Which brings us to my teammate, Karl.
How old is Karl? Answer beolow: Karl s 34 years old, with two kids and a beautiful girlfriend.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Love Your Moxy...

In the news there has been a lot of talk about UConn's (potentially) starting quarterback, Zach Frazer saying that in the offensive scheme they "will score 40 points a game." The first quote was a reaction from head coach Randy Edsall saying that he had to "reel Zach in."
I'd like to offer a different perspective. Yes, talk is cheap (and free advice is worth the price you pay) but don't fault the guy for having a little moxy. It is a nice change to see a quarterback confidently regarding the new offensive scheme (in the face of losing the nation's leading rusher, Donny Brown). So I wouldn't "reel him in", infact I'd turn him loose.
Read the rest HERE

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

(Hit Play)

So every St. Patrick's day, as consistent as gravity, my buddy Kevin McGuigan undoubtably sends me an email telling me "Happy St. Patrick's Day" I inevitably call him a drunk, he calls me fat, and we have a good laugh. But not before I remind him that St. Patrick was born in a Roman province, and is actually Italian. I then spend the rest of the day with a shit-eating grin on my face knowing that, "all the Irish have is a holiday celebrating an Italian." However, in honor of the highest-Irish-holiday I have decided to compile a list of the most famous Irish athletes. along with the help of my Irish roommate, Ryan McGuire.

Do you know what happens when you do a Google search for "greatest Irish athletes." A grainy picture of the most obscure boxer in history comes up. So I've decided to make him number one. John Lawrence (J.L.) Sullivan, He also was the first heavy weight champion ever of "Gloved Boxing." Coincidentally, he was also the last heavy weight champion of "Bare Knuckle Boxing." The jury is still out on how he did in "drunken-Irish-boxing" but the smart money is on "good" to "very good."

What do you call an Irishman that marries a Brazilian. Well, either lucky or Tom Brady.
Let's hear it for the Irish guys who have made good. Forget the Super Bowl rings. His off the field accomplishments are more impressive. Bridget Moynahan? Giselle Bündchen? (yeah that's a benefit of being in Austria, I can make the "ü"). I hate to put him this high on the list seeing as he is neither fat, nor unathletic. But despite his chisselled jaw, the girls he gets are still out of his league.

From the farms of French Lick Indiana, to the floor of the Garden number three is the original "Great White Hope."
Listen, I don't know if Larry Bird is actually Irish. But he played for the Celtics, so I am going to write him a pass. The guy shamelessly peddled Miller Lite and McDonald's affectionately winning the heart of every red blooded American*. Besides, isn't "everyone Irish on St. Patricks day?"
(*Much in the same way that I deny that Steve Nash is a Canadian)

The original Bad Boy of tennis (or the only bad boy of tennis?) John McEnroe comes in at number 4. His on the court antics, and off the court boozing make him an FWG fan favorite. I'd have put him higher, but he played tennis. Johnny Mac, can I borrow those short shorts?

"You don't want to make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry"...(or drunk)
The world's greatest power lifter, David Banner. Irish through and through. Demolishing tanks? Impervious to bullets, bombs and other means of destruction? I think the IRA should start recruiting. Think about it, gets angry and is green on the inside. Those are Irish traits, friend. The Hulk is Irish. The end.

Am I missing someone? Shoot me an Email and I'll update it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Guess The Age Of The Austrian

It's that time of the week again.
Guess the age of the Austrian.
This week's contestant? Karl. Karl is an Aquarius, he enjoys long walks on the Worteresee and French dining. His interests include football, basketball, hiking, and anything by Poe. Turnoffs are losing, cold weather, and liars.
I've even made it easier, he is featured in a picture with last week's participant, Markus.
Guess now, or forever hold your piece. (get it, piece. yeah...that just happened)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Meet Manfred

Meet Manfred:

(Glamour Shots By Deb Half Price For A Limited Time Only)

Soccer goalie turned Marlboro man. This is the head of our organization, the man behind the scenes. More on this later....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Marty Gagne: 6 Overtimes (The Player's Perspective)

On the morning of March 13th, 2009, the entire state of Connecticut dragged itself to work. I would suspect little protest if the legislators deemed this day an official holiday to honor (or memorialize, depending on your pessimism) the epic battle that was previously waged. No lives were lost, but plenty of sleep was. Indeed, last night was a night to remember, and not because of Andy Rautins' faux hawk.

During the game, I received a text message that offered an astounding, yet accurate, summation of the contest. A friend wrote, "this is the single best basketball game I have ever seen." That was after the conclusion of the third overtime.

Luckily, I watched the game at home. I can only imagine fans' disapproval when pubs and sportsbars across the state shut down at 1:00am in accordance with Connecticut laws that govern the operating hours of alcohol institutions on weeknights.

Or imagine the lucky viewer who went to bed before Devendorf's buzzer-beater was reviewed, only to wake up and discover that they spared themselves the six overtimes that were necessary to determine the same outcome. Moreover, that person should be grateful for two less hours of seeing Eric Devendorf. Hailing from 115 miles north of Detroit, he has earned nicknames of "roundball Eminem" and "8-Mile" from within the Syracuse community. And to be quite honest, it wouldn't surprise me if his parents received a fine for littering when they threw him on the street. Furthermore, the fact that his miracle shot was cleared from the record books is proof that God works in mysterious ways.

And with Johnny Flynn and Paul Harris both hailing from Niagra Falls High School, Jim Beoheim would be foolish if he didn't cut a check for the city's Boys and Girls Club. And Rob Garrison, a high school teammate of Flynn and Harris and former UConn guard, is smiling somewhere in upstate New York.

For all intents and purposes, last night's game was a tie. There was no winner; only a survivor. The primary starters played themselves to an even draw, leaving the victor to be crowned by second-string role players. If asked last night, I probably would have been an advocate of instituting a shootout rule (in the mold of corporate-sponsored halftime hotshot contests) to determine the winner. I can visualize Jeff Adrien repeatedly shooting from a mid-range hot spot in order to solidify his shooting touch in scout's minds. Hasheem would be disqualified for attempting more than two lay ups in a row.

In 2006, after we suffered defeat in the Big East tournament at the hands of a Gerry McNamara heave, I can vividly remember the subconscious notion that if we won the big dance, everything would be forgiven. By nature, sports fans have a very short-term memory. If the current team brings home a national championship trophy, images of Eric Devendorf standing atop the scorers table will be a distant recollection, thankfully. To overcome the here-and-now essence of sports, and immediately be written into the history books as true warriors, is a proud accomplishment. Regardless of the season's ultimate outcome, last night's performance should certainly warrant the utmost respect and appreciation from fans... and maybe even a state holiday.

get to ze castle now!


Syracuse survives historic Big East overtime thriller

It was a historic night at Madison Square Garden, a Big East basketball tournament thriller that started in prime time Thursday night and didn't end until the early hours of Friday morning.

Simply put, the 127-117 victory by Syracuse over UConn, was a terrific battle of wills and stamina and was a six overtime battle that counted for 70 basketball minutes and nearly four hours of real time. It was the first six-overtime game in Big East history and the longest game in NCAA competition in 28 years.

In the end, both teams were spent, exhausted. Three starters from each team had fouled out and in the end, Syracuse was able to take advantage of the missing Hasheem Thabeet, A.J. Price and Stanley Robinson from the UConn lineup. The Orange never led in the first five overtimes but took over in the sixth five-minute test.

"I've never been more proud of any team I've ever had," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim afterward

Read the rest HERE

(this article is by Tom Edrington)

So...This is the place I live

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The 'Stool Helps FWG "Find the Funny"

I'm a little low on reader e-mails. Haven't FOUND THE FUNNY in quite some time. So while playing around with and being directed to the girl who punched her fiance after he asked for the ring back, I finally found the funny...on her MySpace page
Here is said (former) couple.
This guys has the worst tattoo of all time.
Careful ladies, he's toxic.
Bio-hazard. Totally dangerous guy here.
What was this guy's thought process? Do you think he got back to his buddies and said "Guys, I got the sweetest tattoo." Which raises two points,
1. What group of friends let their boy get such a chunny tattoo (on par with a Yin-Yang tat).
2. Does this kid have any friends?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

T.O. to the Bills...FWG Cries

Prepare to laugh.

Special thanks to Matt Dengler for finding this.

A New Feature: What's Different in Austria?

"What's Different in Austria"
The differences between life in the States and here in Austria.

I'm not sure how relevant this post is to the rest of the "working population" but to (former) college athletes this is devastating. Actually, I take this back, with current unemployment rates, the no-sweatpants rule is more relevant than ever. But what is this "rule" you say? Well after noticing an alarming abundance of skinny-jeans and designer shirts walking the streets of Austria, I posed the question to our Austrian teammate, Ramon, where "all the normal dressed people are." Ramon explains,
"Ya, ve dont vere ze sweatpants, be-coos ze poliezi vill stop and hassle you. Zey hate ze sweatpants"
And with that, 90% of my wardrobe became completely unnacceptable.
The obvious problem here is that skinny jeans are for...skinny people. Not heavy-set football players.
Ryan McGuire Reports:

Your Go To Source For Austrian Football

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ze Americans and der Heestory

Monday, March 9, 2009

This Week From Austria: White Bread? What?

In America...
All sandwiches are made from white bread (as pure and delicious as fallen snow). Coincidentally, they are also all made at the Statue of Liberty, which makes them delicious...but expensive.(hmmm tastes like freedom!....and Democracy!)

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse

Whats it going to be? Coins that are worth 2 Euros. Perhaps how stylish the Skinny jeans-Faux-hawk look is in Europe, Or is it that T.O. has signed with the Buffalo Bills, thus presenting a strong moral conflict for the FWG. (Wrong, Wrong, and...a close second).
Nope, this week's sign of the apocalypse is that Michael Jackson has announced he is going back on tour.

(in later news...Jackson is also being considered as the new spokesperson for iTouch...testimonials from boys under age 10 may seal the deal)

Tryin' To Get Paid (Straight Cash Homie)

I recently published a post on why I think college athletes should be paid. I asked for reader responses and the feedback was varied, if not excellent. I have decided to share one such email. Read. Enjoy. And please respond.

Hey FWG,
I've enjoyed some of your perspective on the Cooley blog, but this one hits on a BIG pet peeve of mine and an even bigger idea that will most likely never happen.

My idea is this...students go to college to learn information and skills for a future career in some industry right? So how are these industries any different from the professional sports industry that the student athlete is preparing for...? It's not. The NCAA could solve a lot of problems if they simply created degree programs in Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey...maybe some others. The point is that these are multi-billion dollar industries and to not offer a degree program to the students that are most likely to end up in these industries is not only an's irresponsible.

Think about it, for the random Steve Young that wants to be a lawyer and a HOF QB all in one can still go for it. But for anyone who really likes the sport and will most likely be a professional player, coach, TV analyst, agent, or anything else related to the sport's industry, just let them get a degree in it for Christ's sake. The athlete's could then get credit for being an athlete, take a couple other classes on personal finances, PR, history of the sport, etc...but still have time to have a part time job because they don't have to go sleep thru Environmental Biology 911 or Sociology 227.

Everyone wins under this scenario...the NCAA gets to still claim 'amateurs'. The players who are destined to go pro actually get some useful education out of college so they don't get screwed out of their new-found riches. The players who don't go pro have a good foundation, understand the business aspect of the game, and can use their degree to become assistant pro coaches, HS or college coaches, or even league/player's union staff.

I know the argument against this idea would be that so few people actually make it pro and wouldn't have anything to fall back on. To that I leave you with two points:

1) Isn't the perception that a student athlete at major programs don't really attend class anyway? Who is lining up to offer them jobsnow that would be less likely to do so if they had a degree in athletics?

2) Does my business degree guarantee I'll be successful in business? No. And neither does a degree in medicine, law, teaching, or anything else. You have to actually be good at whatever industry you want a career in...the degree is just the minimum requirement.

Anyway...get UConn excited about this idea and be the pioneers to implement it. Many, many colleges will fall in line once they see the benefits and the first schools to set up their programs this way will be able to recruit the kids most likely to go pro until everyone else catches up.

Keep up the good work.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

From Austria: Ryan McGuire

Why Your Day Is Not As Shitty As Ryan McGuires'

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Age Of The Austrian (Markus) ANSWERED!

HERE IS THE ANSWER:(his Austrian drivers proof)
(July 22, 1978)
Markus is 30 years old.
Allow adequate time for your shock to dissipate.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A New Feature: Guess The Age Of The Austrian!

I don't know whether it is the coffee (FWG Assessment: laced with amphetamines) or the non-McDonald's based diet. But people here, DO-NOT-AGE. I repeat. They don't age. At all. It's like the Curious Case of Benjamin Button in Austria. So I now introduce a new feature to this blog:

(Meet Marcus)
Post your guesses in the "Comments Section"
(Correct answer tomorrow.)

FWG Goes To Austrian Restaurant: Hilarity Ensues

There were certain errands that I needed to accomplish today. However, waking up at 12:30pm doesn’t exactly help things. So we were rushed from the get go.
I had to get a new converter, because in a stroke of pure genius last night I plugged an American power strip into an Austrian converter. I just about killed myself. I mean, an idiot would have known better, but to me this looked normal.
We did however get a first hand look at the “local flavor.” (FWG Eats, Fried food is transcontinental!)

My first impression was that the language barrier might not be that big of a deal. After all, the four players I had met so far all spoke fluent English.
Turns out I was wrong.
While our waiter did understand our English, monetary matters are a completely different story. I wasn’t breaking down economic policy with the guy, but you would have thought that I was seriously trying to explain to him quantum physics. You see, one of the sponsors of the team gave us “coupons” to eat for free at his restaurant. The coupons were for 7 Euro. When our meals were somewhere around 10 Euro. He didn’t understand that we were only trying to pay for the difference (in this case 3 Euro).
I mean, you get it right? Well he didn’t. Then of course, our German teammates take over.
Have you ever seen those old, grainy videos from WWII? Angry talk. Very Angry talk. This was something like that. So then Ryan, our Tight End from Holy Cross (below)
looks at me and goes “Geeze, he’s mad” The waiter’s English all of a sudden takes a turn for perfect when he proclaims, “I vas NOT mad!”
You cannot tell someone you are “not mad” with out not coming off as actually mad. Add in the frustration over the bill, his Austrian accent, and well…I expected his next move to be a march on Paris.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Meet the Austrians...

Here are some of the characters I am sure that you will be familiarizing yourself with as you read the blog:
Berndht: The Austrian oaf. He was what I imagine all Austrians to be. About as big and wide as a tree. He is also a computer genius. Designs websites, sets up networks. On a recent trip to America he purchased several iPhones and hacked them to work on Austrian networks…for free.
Ramon: Hilarious. His English is near perfect, and his girlfriend lends even more credibility to the Bar Darwinism theory. Overachieving has officially gone global:
Peter: The formerly fat white guy. Peter has lost 40 kilos (about 25lbs). He is known as the go to guy for all things partying and women. I am also told that Peter doesn’t exactly “discriminate” when it comes to his taste in women. Well as I was told my freshman year, “go ugly early, and avoid the 2am rush.” Peter takes this advice to heart. (Gone Hoggin!)
Markus: Probably a bit of a wild card. He has a tongue ring, and a tattoo on the inside of his bottom lip that reads “PSYCHO.”
I can’t wait to see these guys on the field. But interestingly enough, talking football-shop is the last thing on everyone’s mind. For our American quarterback, D.J. Hernandez its attempting to drive a standard transmission. Stalling out twice in the parking lot did not exactly put a bright outlook on this adventure. For Ryan our American Tight End from Holy Cross, it was wondering why he only brought one (dingy) pair of shoes.
For me, its trying to make sense of all this. Understanding the language (I don’t) recognizing the food (I don’t) and trying not to miss the girlfriend too much (I do).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let's Throw Another Shrimp On The Barbie

I hope you get the joke....CLICK IT.

Welcome to Austria!

We finally landed in Vienna, and the cultural saturation was pretty incredible. Everything is the same, but yet different, which forces you to examine and assess everything around you. Yes, I just called it “cultural saturation”-- the reason we were checking out these 6’1" Amazonian blondes in every direction.
Hey, blame it on cultural assimilation.
Anyway, we touch down in Vienna, get our bags (about 150lbs total) and go to find our guide, another football player who apparently speaks “excellent American.”
Enter Ramon.
Ramon, for lack of a better word, is hilarious. Wearing a purple Baltimore Ravens hat and shirt.
“American football…eh!?!?” Great. Someone get this kid some Bills' gear.
Anyway, one of the other players missed his connecting flight, which means instead of taking our chartered bus straight back to Klagenfurt (about 400km away….3 hours) we have to wait. What better to do than go see the city, by bus, at 50mph (excuse me, 85kph).
The next 45 minutes was a blur of “Dis iz Parliament. Dis iz ver ze President lives. Dis iz the Major House.”
Forget asking what a Major is. Or who he is. Or what he does. I tried. It is either lost in translation, or too ludicrous to ask.
This is where it gets funnier; we stop to get some “café.” Its all about the “café” here. Over and over again, “Café?” “Café?!?” Sipping espressos; taking in the day. How incredibly European of me!
I notice at this point, two things. Our bus driver, who looks eerily similar to Santa Claus, is on his third “café.”
This is not American coffee. Okay? As Ramon explains, “Ze American coffee? Ha! Ze American coffee is shit!” This coffee is deep and black as crude oil, and is probably equal parts tar and methamphetamine. I loved it. My head was buzzing in minutes. But here is old Saint Nick putting these things away like they are going out of style.

The second thing I notice is that Ramon keeps asking us if we would like some McDonald's. I don’t actually see a McDonald's, but I am sure we could find one. When pressed he declares, “Why, all Americans LOVE McDonald's.” I’d like to contest him on this point-- “how ignorant Ramon!" But alas, as my fat brethren can attest, all Americans do love McDonald's (and you are lying if you say you don’t).
Finally, hours later, the other American arrives: Ryan, a tight end.
We are on our way.
Three hours and then it is on to the feast of a dinner that we were promised.
Or so I thought.
Five hours later we are at an Autobahn Rest Stop (btw, rest stops in America do not hold a candle to those in Austria). Someone forgot to explain to me the rule that bus drivers cannot drive more than an 1.5 hours before having to stop for 30 minutes. So every one and a half hours we stop, while Kris Kringle slugs more coffee. At this point I am delirious. Slap happy. 30 hours of travel and 4 hours of sleep will do that to you. So I write myself a pass as I explain this next part.
We started cracking jokes at our driver, because his lack of English, portly stature, and infuriatingly slow driving pace made him an easy target. You know what? I’m sorry that I’m not sorry. Okay?
Put me on the naughty list. At least we had a good laugh.
We finally made it to Klagenfurt, and sat down for a literal feast.
We exchanged jokes about our respective countries. “America is all Dirty Harrys.”
“American beer is, hmmm, how is it…BULLSHIT!”
“Austria: the Sound of Music.”
Which drew rave laughter. “The Sound of Music? Bullshit.” (Bullshit is very popular word apparently). They continued to dispel the Sound of Music stereotype, saying it was unfair and that not everyone could “sing and dance” (or hate the Nazis). Then (and I can’t make this up), the only other party still at the restaurant began to sing. All 13 of them. In perfect harmony. Well, to put it bluntly, I just about shit.
Talk about comedic timing.
There was schnitzal (which tastes very similar to chicken cutlets), sausages, beans, potatoes, poached pears and cranberry sauce, steaks, turkey. And of course, beer. (And yes, also 13 harmonizing Austrians at stage left.)
Then the head of the organization rose. "Coach, I’d like 3 minutes. My name is Manfred I'd like to velcome ze Americans to our proud organization….”

(our morning drive)
Peter is driving. And I'm scared...

Peter: There was an election recently. See the signs?
Rob: Was it local or was it like for the President?
Peter: No it vas for government.
Rob: Oh, okay.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Its Been Too Long...but I'm In Austria

I've been up for 28 hours. Excuse me if I'm a little delirous.
Started the trip out on an "interesting" note.
This guy on my flight from Rochester to Chicago decided to slug a few cocktails. And by a few, I mean 8. He passed out drunk, and when we touched down the poor fella couldn't walk. Actually (more accurately) he couldn't even function. He stumbled, fell on the plane. And then puked. Some got on the plane, some on the walkway, and even more on my shoes.
The rest of the trip is a little bit of a blur, but in summary, British Airways was entertainment in itself. "Nod if you're happy to be sitting in the exit row."
What? Yah I'm happy.
I was greeted in Austria by our English speaking teammate, Ramon.
Hilarity ensues:
Learning the guys names. Like we are already friends.Well there is ze brothers ze twins. Vornerbacks. And then there is mixtape. We call him mixtape.The players are described by postion, but not how they play."There is Burns the huge lineman, ya! He's excellent at computers and internet."And then, "There is Yahn a defensive end. He studied science in school". You will be stayin' with the old widow. She's crazy but she'll do your laundry. Just like that?

Video coming soon. I need to sleep.