Monday, January 26, 2009

So Close..

After a long and arduous weekend, I regret to inform everyone that we lost to Munster on Saturday 90 - 89. We were up by 6 with around four minutes left and than those crazy German refs came to haunt us. To preface these statements, I hate when people complain about refs and blame losses on them, but in this situation, it clearly had a major impact on the game.

First off, in the fourth quarter alone, we had 10 fouls called on us while Munster only had 2. Keep in mind, that we continuously attacked the basket on offense and they continuously attacked our arms and faces on every rebound imaginable. Another great stat to hear is that throughout the ENTIRE game we took a total of 8 free throws. That is correct, 8... I think that Munster in the fourth quarter alone took about 16 or so. So, if you couldn't already tell, the refs were bad...

We also had a tough day shooting and made a couple mistakes down the stretch which may have cost us the game even with the terrible, crowd-influenced, town-influenced, crappy-influenced, non-trained refs. Oh, and I forgot, after the game, our manager was talking to one of the refs about the last few minutes and asked, "Did you not see their center travel?" and the ref coolly responded, "I saw it, but I forgot to blow my whistle." Really, Mr. Ref-man? Really? You forgot to blow your whistle? Really? Wait, but no, seriously, really? That's like Batman forgetting to ask Morgan Freeman to develop some absurd, unrealistic, but maybe-the-government-has-developed, piece of technology right before the big fight (FYI: we all watched the Dark Knight the other day - great stuff).

So, with that loss, our hopes of winning the league have been pretty much flushed down the drain but we can still come in second. Up to this point, we were the only team to have beaten Munster and they do not look like they will be stopped anytime soon. That may sound depressing, but coming in second does not phase these amazing fans and I am sure they will continue to bang their drums and chant their songs at the rest of our games.

The house played well, overall, but not as well as we all hoped. Trevor, of course, fouled out with 3 minutes to play and had probably around 15 or so, and Marko actually ended up fouling out at the start of the fourth quarter or so. I think I had a frustrating 13 with a good ol' bunch-o-boards. Tramaine and Junior both did work on the slower Munster guards, dropping over 20 each.

I felt alot better in practice all week, but it just did not show in the games. Coming back from injury is one of the most frustrating things EEVVVEEERRRR, but I am feeling better and better every time we practice. I just wish Coach would put in a play for an early post up for me or something, but that is a whole other rant that would take pages upon pages of beautiful blog love, and we cannot be having that now, can we?

Other than the game, there is not much to write about from this past week... mostly the same old routine.. Work, lifts, practice, cooking... STANDARD... I have been brain-storming about ways to make some money and play as much basketball as possible this summer and have been thinking about maybe doing private lessons.. Anyone need a private basketball instructor? Let me know.. Post a comment even... I heart AMERICA...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Exciting Stuff..

Not to go all B Jones on you, but, man, yesterday was an exciting day for the ENTIRE world. We got to watch Obama's inauguration speech here in Germany, and I am not going to lie, I am very excited to see how these next four years go. Not only can he speak ridiculously well, but he definitely has that old man game (you know he just threw up a pump fake or two against this guy). The local paper wants to interview all of us yet again to see how Americans feel about Obama and the future of our country. On another great note, out here in Europe, the anti-American sentiment has definitely calmed down, at least for the time being.

As I was surfing the pages of facebook yesterday, I noticed that everyone's status somehow had to do with Obama and the inauguration. I think it is great that this election got so many young people involved in politics and caring about our country. It is a great sign for our generation when more and more people start to care about the U.S. and our government, instead of just those Amherst nerds with their pocket protectors and political science majors.

On another exciting note, I drove to work again today and did not stall once AND I made a bomb-ass bacon, egg, and cheese this morning for breakfast that reminded me of home like woah. I also made a serious asian style grilled chicken salad last night for dinner. My chef skills are getting serious.. Watch out!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Another Day, Another W...

This past weekend we had a great team win. We ended up winning by around 25 and everyone got to play, something always nice to see. Last Tuesday, Coach brought another American pointguard to live with us. I guess he is trying out for a couple weeks and than the management will decide whether he will stay or go. His name is Junior and this is his second year out here in Germany.

With five of us in the house, it is getting a little crowded now, but we share well. This point is extremely evident by the 10 - 15 points we all had this past weekend in the game. I think Trevor and I had 13, T had 15, Junior had 10, and Marko played as well as I have ever seen with 14 or 15. I was very proud of our young Marko even though after he starts playing well, he tries to go all showtime for the crowd.

I am still getting back into the swing of things. I played OK on the defensive end and my rebounding was good but my offensive skills are just not all the way back yet after my latest injury. Dont quite feel right.. VERY FRUSTRATING... I described it to Trevor on Saturday night as "I just do not feel like I have my mojo back quite yet.." (I may or may not have said that immediately after drinking these liter beer cans Trevor and I found that looked like an oil can) But, its all good... WOOOOW, great mood changer, I just witnessed a co-worker walk dead into a closed glass door with a large cup of coffee in her hand... AMAZING! I think I just heard 10 different German curse words.. This day is officially a good one..

On a glllllllllllllorious note, I drove a STICK SHIFT to work today and only stalled once! I think I am getting the hang of it. Whenever I drive our new car, I feel like a damn race car driver flying around until I stall and go red in the face in embarassment as angry Germans line up behind me waiting to go through the now green light. Somehow on the way to work today, I ended up on my first small hill of my stick shift career and I ended up not stalling. I didn't even hit the car behind me! WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOoo

Well, that is all for now, hopefully next weekend I can finally see Fletcher and Andrew because I am having some home withdrawl currently.. nothing a nice night out with the Amherst crew wouldn't fix... One love


Monday, January 12, 2009

Guess who's back, back again?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have officially returned to Werne and began playing basketball once again. I will be starting to blog as much as I previously did so I suggest checking back every once in a while for some quality stories.

My break in the States was awesome. I went back up to Amherst for a weekend, ate a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, and saw all of my loved ones as much as possible. It is amazing how much your baby niece grows in such a short time. She is a straight beast and I LOVE it. This is a picture of her and her proud papa on a beautiful winter trek. She is a tough one. While I was home, I had a part-time job slinging trees to well-off folks all over northern Jersey. It was ideal. I worked probably a total of 10 days or so and earned lots of loot due to my superior tree-carrying abilities and my old-lady charm. Those two characteristics combined to make me a force in the christmas tree tips game.

The rest of my time was consumed with physical therapy, helping coach basketball up at Delbarton, and making frequent trips to NYC to hang with the big bro and the gf (mostly the gf, Brooke.. haha). Coaching was awesome and I learned alot about myself by doing it. Shout-out to Coach Whalen and all my young guns for treating me well throughout the process.

I also got to live the dream in Boca Raton for a week after Christmas. The Rosenkrantz's treated me so well I almost felt guilty (key word - ALMOST, haha). We went to see Lebron vs D Wade in Miami one night and the weather throughout the trip was absolutely gorgeous. Overall, definitely one of the best weeks I had during my break and I can't thank them enough for that.

Now, this past week in Germany has been full of ups and downs. My plane ride sucked as my row was the only row in the entire plane in which the stupid tv's did not work as well as the only row with 2 young German women with severely small bladders (I was the aisle seat). That, my friends, was a down. However, upon arriving in Germany, I was greeted by a familiar face in one Mr. Kyle Noonan and his friend Rob from Philly U. That was most definitely an up and I feel I showed them a great time while they were here, but you would have to ask them about that (wink, wink). We kicked it in Werne and I showed them the German ways of drinking Pilsners and eating late night Doners (pronounced Durnas), the greatest thing to come out of Turkey... well, ever.

They left on Saturday and the weekend continued the up and down pattern the prior week had held. On Saturday, we got a nice w to start off 2009, after which, I watched my beloved Lord Jeffs hold it down in Williamstown to get the rivalry win. HUGE... Now, you may be asking yourselves, "Matt, that sounds like a great weekend to me, I am sure you went out and celebrated after those wins Saturday, and anytime Amherst beats Williams, it is a great day so where is the downer of the weekend?" Well, yes, I did have a lovely time celebrating those wins with my teammates at a crazy Russian club and yes, I love when we spank the Ephs in anything, but on Sunday, the Gmen were knocked out of the playoffs by the stupid eagles. This would not have affected me so much but my wonderful girlfriend and her family got me something called a Slingbox for Christmas which led to me having the pleasure of watching the worst Giants performance of the entire damn year live on my computer. I do love that damn Slingbox though...

My game on Saturday was an interesting one. I was very nervous going into the game due to the fact that 1. I am not in tip-top shape by any means, 2. my shot had sucked all week long in practice, and 3. I am clearly still a little rusty post-injury. As expected, I started off the game by clanking a few threes, but I then proceeded to get into the flow of things. It always helps when you are being covered by an old German dude who had a game very similar to a combination of #5 and #9 in this glorious Youtube clip. I think I played pretty well, probably having 15 points and 15 rebounds by the time the last buzzer sounded - Marcus Camby-like numbers if you ask me.

This last buzzer sounding, however, had an interesting twist. For the first time in my long, illustrious basketball career (haha) I had a buzzer-beating shot for a win. It was actually a buzzer-beating tip in but whose counting. With the game tied and 30 or so seconds left, the other team ran a crappy play that lead to a bad shot and a TV Werne rebound. T (our pg) got the outlet and came down the floor with around 14 seconds left. We ran a sorta broken play that led to T kicking the ball out to our center who swung it to our 2 guard, Freddy. Freddy throws up a three that goes in and out with around 4 seconds left. As soon as he shot, I came flying through the lane at full force looking for the rebound.

My Amherst teammates understand exactly what I am describing because whenever I barrel through the lane it is usually followed by either a charge going the other way or an And 1 followed by a ridiculous celebration. There large immovable fat guy (see Youtube clip if you have not yet), does his best hack-a-shaq impersonation and fouls the hell out of me as I reach up and tip in the shot. As the ball fell through the net, the buzzer sounded and we got the W. I turned and in typical fashion held out my arms at full length and screamed jibberish towards my bench (it was an away game). It was a most glorious feeling and I was quite pleased with myself. I chose the picture above because first, it is a picture of one of our many, absurd smashings of Williams, demonstrating my pride in the young guns getting the W in Eph-land, but secondly, it is usually what I look like right before I either get a charge or an And 1 due to the fact that once I start going to the hoop, there aint no stopping me.

On a side note, I forgot just how terrible German refs are and how badly they despise Americans. This game quickly reminded me. I got a technical foul in the middle of the second half for absolutely no reason. It was confusing, but hey, alls well that ends well. This is the link to the article. The headline is something about the golden fingers of Matthew Goldsmith.. haha, I love it.

Congratulations to Amherst for getting the w vs Williams as well as big Kevin Hopkins for signing with a new team over in East Germany. I think all us Amherst boys are doing pretty well for ourselves over here in Germany. I miss you all and will try to keep you updated as much as possible throughout the next few months. Keep on keepin' on.


P.S. I truly appreciate when people make comments after each blog entry. It reminds me that I am actually writing this for more than just my immediate family (particularly parents) haha, no offense mom and dad because I would write it just for you anyway.