Sunday May 19, 2013 Zagreb, Croatia
One of the true pleasures here in europe is visiting the outdoor markets. They open early and they close around noon. The various fruits, vegies, cheeses, nuts, bread and farm fresh eggs are brought in daily and people flock to the market to buy their daily culinary needs.
It really doesn’t matter what european city you’re visiting, they all have excellent local markets.
Our first practice after the disaster on Sunday was pretty good. These kids just love to play and the win or lose thing is either momentary joy or dispair. We’ve made a few changes of course, that’s what you do when you look as bad as we did on the weekend. Our strength, if you can call it that, is our defense so it’s up to the offense to try and make first downs, keeping the defense fresh on the sideline, and control the football without turnovers. Something we were awful at last game.
There is a chance the game this Sunday will be cancelled because it seems the referee’s are on vacation. Only in europe. We’ll know by sometime Wednesday. I’m kind of hoping they stay on vacation and we get another week to work on our changes. We’ll see.
Anyway, I’ll spend the next few days working out via bycycling around Zagreb. Philip, my apartment benefactor, has left his bike here for me to use so I’ll give it a go.
When I was in Finland a few years ago I spent a lot of time riding around the lake where I lived. There is no water close here but fortunately like all over europe they have multiple bike paths.
The game was cancelled and we had a short practice attempt on Saturday instead. Only seven players showed up so our practice moved to the restaurant next door for coffee. Oh, someone forgot the keys to the equipment shed so we didn’t have any footballs either. That happened once in Finland so we practice by pantimiming the actual use of the ‘football’, it worked. Here we just said, “To hell with it.”
I’ve always said we need to have a plan “B” here in europe for american football and today was another example of that. We’ll try again tomorrow but my guess is it will be less than a full turnout. If all this makes you shake your head in wonder, don’t. It’s a game here that is played by few and watched by fewer most of the time. The league in Austria is the only place where the game has taken on a full time personality. Sometimes in Germany a team will suddenly get serious, hire a bunch of import players and make a run for the Euro Title, then usually they disapear as fast as they appeared on the American football scene.
We’ll make up this game against the cross town Raiders in two weeks after next weeks game vs the Alps team, also local. They are a new group trying to build a program and the kids tell me they aren’t very good. If that proves to be true it should be a good game.