Press Conferences and the 80% rule
Saturday March 16, 2013 Prague, Czech Republic
On Wednesday we needed to show up for the league press conference. The drive to Vienna took us a little over three hours. Taylor (D-Cord), Andrew (QB) and I were the Black Panther representatives. I knew it would be a chance for me to reacquaint with old friends from years gone by and it was certainly that. All the head coaches had a chance to speak and I managed to tell as many lies as I’m sure everyone else did.
Of course all the media were very interested in hearing what the former Viking coach had to say about opening Vs his old team. I think they all wanted me to fire a few shots and Karl, the president of the Vikings, but I took the high road on that, which made the round of interviews pretty bland and not exactly what my media friends were looking for I’m sure. More than one reporter asked how difficult it was to bring two separate teams together. I told them I hoped not long but that one of the former teams was an animal (panthers) and the other a bird (black hawks) so it might not be very easy.
Next week is Game week and our practice schedule this week included Wednesday so we finished up our meeting before hurrying back northeast to make our practice start time. The drive is mostly freeway and I was quickly reminded how good the drivers are here in Europe. On the freeway the left lane is a PASSING lane, listen please America, and NO ONE stays there very long. If you do someone going about 120 mph will jump into your trunk. The result is a very smooth ride for everyone!
It snowed again in Prague and our practice was minus quite a few players. One of the things you always need here is a Plan B. We had no QB (sick) no RB’s (injured or sick) one starting WR and no center. The other thing is Plan B can’t be in ink because in cases like this you never know who will be at practice so you certainly can’t plan ahead. The good news is we had nearly all our DB’s in attendance and they probably need more work than anyone so we had an extended DB workout. We practice again on Thursday and I hope we’ll have a full contingent. I’m quite sure our opening day opponent in Vienna, with there 80% practice rule (you need to make 80% of the practices or you can’t play), had no Plan B practice. My thought on that is if you’re a jerk you need an 80% rule or no one will come to practice. We need to remember these players aren’t on scholarship, they belong to a ‘club’, they pay their dues, and they buy their own equipment and…. They have families, or they’re in school, or they have a full time job. This is a ‘hobby’ sport. What it is not is: D-1, D-2, D-3 or D-anything. I try not to forget that. I’ll never try to make this something it isn’t. That cost me my job in Vienna six years ago but I can live with myself.
The weather report looks better by next weekend but right now it’s “Colder than a well digger’s ass” here in Prague. Sorry if that offended anyone, but my father, bless his heart, used that line every time it got colder than fifty degrees. Actually I’m not sorry, I’m way past worrying about what others think of me and politically correct is total bull, always was and always will be. I’m not sure but I’m just betting the ‘well diggers’ of our world don’t give a rip.
It’s mid March and I’m ready for more than just sun. As you can plainly see by the tourists on the Charles Bridge everyone is still bundled up like winter was in full bloom. But if you can get past the chill factor it is beautiful.
The old town square is full of temporary structures for some reason. They’ve been setting up for a few days now and I’m trying to think of a holiday like Easter but can’t come up with anything. But, here in Europe they seem to have more holidays than non-holidays so soon they’ll be selling ‘stuff’ from those little houses. Also, the crowds are noticeably larger throughout the old town area.
I hear lots of languages other than Czech. I can recognize the French, the Spanish, the Italian and of course the German but they are really in the minority. I think many of the tourists must be from the nearby eastern bloc countries like Poland, Ukraine and Belarus.
The red roofed structures are the temporary ones and as you can see they nearly take up the entire square which is usually filled with performers trying to earn a buck with their singing or dancing talent.
Even Wenceslas Square is over run by these small huts selling goods of one kind or another.
The performers are still about both in Old Town and Wenceslas as you can see.
Oh well. The ‘Mime’ guys, why are they always guy’s, have no talent other than being able to stand motionless for hours but whatever works I guess. I’m not sure I could stand on the little box for over a minute or two but this guy has obviously done it before. Hell, I’ve been doing that for years without the paint.