Thursday, August 5, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We actually saw the sun the other day, which was nice. Unfortunately, all of the gingers on our team now have sunburns. Cousin Flip, Brodie and the Red Dragon spaced on 70spf and paid the price.
I have included a picture of a living legend down below. Johnny Marr is the former Scottish Nationals goalie. I first met him at the 1998 World Games in Baltimore. Hopkins has a bar on campus, PJ's Pub, and John was holding court on the night of the opening ceremonies - in a kilt. At the time he was well into his 50's?? and still playing goal for the Scotland. We connected on our position, our love of story telling and beers. Every night I would be out breaking curfew and I would run into John. I smile on his face and a pint in his hand, he was the king of one more pitcher. To me he exemplifies what this tournament is all about. I spotted him on the sidelines of our scrimmage with Scotland. I ran over and he gave me a big hug. He congratulated me for making it Manchester and said he was proud of my fight.
And I continue to run into him every night!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
We had our first official game of the tournament today. It was a solid start, with us hanging 17 Japan (not a bad number, eh). The game stayed close through the first quarter, but we things started to turn as we relaxed. The final counts was 17-4.
In other top division news, the US defeated the Aussies 21 - 5 and England beat Germany 12 - 3. Germany was in the lower division heading into the tournament, but has filled in for Iroquois National team as it become clear that they weren't going to make it over.
Lots of cools moments today - Ryan and Dustin arrived, putting on the 17 jersey, hearing the National Anthem and Skyping with Bro and Clementine at 6:30AM - NJ time. Oh, and fans can bring a pitcher of beer into the stands. No wonder soccer fans are crazy over here...they are all rummed up.
The bruise collection is out of control. Knees, thighs, forearms and shoulder are all sporting some color on the bruise spectrum. The doctors may call the police at my next appointment to report spousal abuse. Fortunately we have a crack squad of athletic therapists available to us anytime of the day of night. Lobber, Steve-O and the Rayn Train are doing their best to keep me in one piece. I have figured out that most of their technique and jargon is made up, but it is nice have those guys around to ice me down and rub my back. Ryan borrowed the camera, but I have some bruise pics tomorrow.
We just finished an abbreviated scouting report on the US, tomorrow nights opponent. They are stacked and out for revenge. Knowing this game is not the one that counts in the end(that will come next Saturday!), I hope we come out relaxed, confident and enjoyed the moment. The game is already sold out.
I know I will be relaxed for the next 8 hours at least...time for an Ativan and the wrapper.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Its been a long couple of weeks. As a veteran blogger at this point, I'm aware of the second rule of blogging...never apologize for taking a break. But I need a clean start and so, hanging my head in shame, I promise to provide quality content for the next two weeks.
We are just wrapping our fourth day in Manchester. The opening ceremonies took place this afternoon on the campus at the University of Manchester. I have always enjoyed these events - it’s a great opportunity to see some old friends and getting the tournament rolling. I was asked to read the "Players Oath" which was an incredible honor...and just as horrifying. Those who know me well understand my fear of public speaking. Combine this with my speech issues from surgery and a sore throat for working out the vocal cords for the first time in 4 year on the field. It was the perfect storm for a gong show. I attempted to pull the 'chute about ten times while waiting my turn. Thanks to the urging of my teammates and some "gentle" prodding from Brodie in particular, I got up there and did it. And you know what...it was an absolute gong show! Picture Kermit the frog with a stutter. I got through it, the boys all lied to me and said it went well and one of the Japanese players handed me a Qing Yan Bao Kou Han Pian throat lozenge when we got back to the dorm!
Personally, it has a crazy couple of days getting ready to play Japan in our opener tomorrow night. Physically draining from the two-a-days and nightly yoga sessions led by Junior.
As tired as I feel, I'm in a much better place emotionally thanks to the support from I have received from my teammates. Usually people avoid talking about my cancer - but the guys have recognized it, talked about it and have moved on toward our goal of winning the gold medal. Pretty amazing considering we have been together for less than week. Our meeting about expectations/motivation was something I had never experienced in any team setting. Guys sharing what it meant to represent their county, families, etc. Powerful stuff that will help us through this tournament. More importantly I found a guy who likes a good cry as much as I do. In fact Kevin Crowley (21yrs) and I have a number of things in common!
Last Saturday night, my dad Phil asked why I wanted to do this again. Battling cancer, having already won a gold medal, two all world awards, leaving the family at home, etc. I got really upset. There is so much involved in my decision to do this and I don't have loonies to process it with George the Shrink, but that meeting alone has made this trip worth it.
I promise more updates as the tournament progresses. Look forward to tales of John Marr, fish & chips, and the quest to find a husky 5’7 Swedish player to swap warm-up suits with.
For those interested, the games are streaming at:
Saturday, June 19, 2010
You won't be disappointed.
On the island for the next 8 days
Location: Edgartown, MV
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