I am sorry that it took me so long to get back here. The last days consisted of things that were not worth to report or things I was not allowed to talk about.
On monday, the other interns came in. There are 3 guys from oregon (19,19,16 years old), one guy from florida (16) and 2 guys from the area (19,19) who go to LSU. I like all of them and it is fun to hang out. Monday till thursday were for the most part boring, walking around to find work but probably only worked for one hour a day.
Friday was finally the big day. First practice. More than 2000 people in attendance and it was terribly hot. Everyone had a different job. All jobs had a positive and a negative side. I had to drive to golf card and bring VIPs and handicapped people from the parking lot to the entrance. I was busy the whole time. Good thing was, i had some nice conversations and it was not too hot while driving. Bad thing was, i did not see anything from practice. That will change in the future because we will rotate with the jobs.
It was tough, because I also did the attendance checking for the meals, because i am the only one who knows the players names and faces, even better than the guy who is doing it for the 4th year in a row.
So i got up at 6, did the checking, when to practice, did lunch checking, went to practice, did dinner checking, went to bed at 12. The day was tough on the body, everything hurts. And it was only day 1 of camp.
I met all the coaches and they are all ok. Some are nicer, some are more quite. Coach Payton is a real authority, when he walks in a room, everybody gets quite and sits straight .
The players can be really different too. Some just ignore you because of arrogance, while others always greet you and crack jokes. For some reason the DBs are the coolest. I am really close with ‚Kwasi whose real name is akwasi owusu-ansah, he just got signed this week. He comes from a small school and was drafted by the cowboys in the 4th round a few years ago. I remembered his name, because I was watching him killing the eagles in a game few years ago. I am also good friends with Chris Carr, who was really successful with the ravens a few years ago. Chris is around 30, he has been around for awhile. It is his first year with the saints too. He travelled many times to europe before and I think that we will meet there again at some point down the road. The third guy is Roman Harper who is better known. He is one of the guys who are with the saints for a long time. He won the superbowl with them and he made it to a couple of pro-bowls. Roman went to the university of alabama. Every time we run into each other, we say the classical “ Roll Tide“. Ingrid and Bama fans know what I am talking about.
I am glad that there is now work to do, although it seems like it is going to be tough. Sometimes, you get really bored and you think: “ this is only a job too“. But at other times you are sitting with 4 pro-bowlers at lunch :-O ( roman harper- alabama- ss, jimmy graham- miami-te, jon vilma-miami-lb and thomas morstead-smu-punter) that is an overwhelming feeling.
The only sad thing is that everything here works with connections. I am not complaining, I am in, but there are other guys who don’t know anybody and they never get a chance. It is terrible to see some of the other guys i am working with who are doing it only for the money and their dads got them in, although they have no interest in football at all and don’t want to make that their profession either. I think that is really messed up, because others want to do it.
This was an quick resume. Keep checking for updates.
GO SAINTS…and like my friend roman would say… ROLL TIDE
Jay and his son Blake picked me up at 9:45 to go to church. Down here, you can not choose, it is preset that you are going. After that, we drove to NO downtown and through the french quarter. It was a rainy day, so we opted to stay in the car. We passed the Merceds-Benz Superdome. On the way back, we stopped at a restaurant to eat. In the afternoon, jay had to got to the facilities and I went to workout in the weight room. That was really nice. Everybody can use it. We took another tour since nobody else was there.
I got back to the hotel at 6 and stayed the evening there and watched the yankees- red sox game.
We got to the airport at 7 and the flight was at 8:20, we were kinda late.
It was a lot of hustling around the, but I made it. There was something going on at the airport, police and fire-fighters were patrolling. No planes were allowed to take off, so everything pilled up. We started with a 45 minute delay.
The flight was short, really short, less than one hour. When I got out of the security area, Jay Romig of the Saints was already waiting for me. We went to the hotel and I could check out my room. It is incredible.
After that, we drove over to the facilities which are 10 minutes away.
It is amazing how clean and luxurious they are. I got to meet some of the equipment guys. They are all around my age and really nice. I immediately got invited to play fifa with them on the xbox , which is set up in the locker room. The probably think that all germans are good in soccer.
We walked around for awhile and I saw the weight room and the indoor-filed.
There is not too much going on on a saturday afternoon. The veteran players will get here on the 25th and the rookies are done with their lifting sessions at 10 am. Everybody got this last week-end before the camp off to do something with their families. Only the equipment guys are getting everything ready.
We went to get something to eat at McArthurs. Their main thing are sandwiches. Jay dropped me off at the hotel at around 2 pm, because he had other things to do in the afternoon. I ran into the first player in the elevator. His name was Keavon Milton and he is a TE from Louisiana-Monroe Uni.
He is a really nice guy. Other than hime, I have not seen any other people around, because the saints are blocking the whole hotel,but not many have moved it yet.
I spent the most of the day in my room and watched college football on tv.
It was a quite first day. We will see what sunday brings. I cant wait to get to work.
We started of with breakfast at Denny’s which is similar waffle house, but bigger with more restaurants. After that, we went to different sports shops like Dicks sporting goods. We got us some rangers hats for the game. The tour at the cowboys stadium started at 4:15 and took about 1 and an half hour. We got to see: the owners box, the sweets, press box, press conference room, cheerleader and player locker rooms and we also went down to the field. This stadium is really great and the cowboys definitely got style. The cowboys stadium and the baseball park are right next to each other. We just drove down the street and because we had seans moms lexus, we were able to park right in front of the entrance. We met seans friends Madison, Ahmed, Zach and BreAnna. Seans dad joint us later too. Sean booked tickets for the cheapest section since nobody wanted to pay to much. The seats were at the very top of the stadium and right on the foul line on the first base side and they were more than fine, you could see almost everything nicely. No need to pay 80$. The stadium was about 75-80% full and the atmosphere was great.
We left after the 7th inning, because we had to get up early. On the way home we stopped to get burgers, because the waiting time for food in the stadium was about 45 minutes during the whole game.
That was my last day in Texas and to be honest, I already miss it. The weather was great the sights were great and the people were the best. No matter, where you went, the service people are always polite and the people around town are really friendly and always funny. I do think that the germans could be more like the people here. There is that feeling I can not really describe, but there in like a strong bond between the people. They are all a part of Texas and they got no problem with welcoming a foreigner to that.
Bottom line… TEXAS IS THE BEST
Lau had to go to university early and to work afterwards. So we had the time to do a lot of things. At 10AM, we had to pick up seans older brother Scott at the airport. He came home from Kalamazoo, Michigan where he had an introduction into his new job. He is living right in downtown Dallas. Little geographic lesson right here. Sean and his parents are living in Dallas Fort Worth. If your are driving east, you will pass Arlington with the football and baseball stadium after 10 minutes. If you keep on driving for 10 more minutes after that, you will be in Dallas. We parked the car at scotts house and took his car,because it had a better AC. Seans mom and sister left for Chicago this morning, so we met with his dad downtown to go and get something to eat.
At around 2 Pm, we drove back to Scotts place and got the car. Now it was time to do some sight-seeing. First, we went to the place where John F. kennedy got shot. Since the museum ticket would have been 20 dollar a person ??? I received my VIP tour by Sean. We kept on walking through the east-end of dallas, where the music scene is really big and other things as well.
We left Dallas after about 1 hour and headed back towards Dallas Fort Worth. The next stop were the not so well known, but really historical stock yards. This was the place the people dealt with their property ( cows, horses, gold…)
This was really cool to see, because it was like one of the oldest places around here and you could see how the houses and streets looked back in the days and some of these old western movies were pretty accurate.
On the way home sean wanted to stop in this cute, quite, small town called bedford to get something called snoballs ( pictures below)
Sean recommended strawberry so we got that. It was simply amazing.
I am telling everybody right here, if you will ever make it to Texas, this is the one thing you will have to get. It was a cup with crush-ice and strawberry flavor of course, but this was not that sirup stuff everybody was using. It was really made with fresh fruits and that made it way better. They also put hot cream on top that gave the finishing touch. Uhhh, i can not stop dreaming about it.
That was it pretty much for the day. The walking and the heat got us tired so we did not felt like doing anything at night. We watched some „the office“ DVDs like we did back in Germany all the time together and sat on the balcony for a couple of hours again.
The first thing we did on Wednesday was going to the Waffle house. The best word to describe it would be dirty. It looked pretty bad from the outside and even worse from inside, but the breakfast they make is simply amazing. I had a Texas Melt sandwich. That consisted of 2 really thick slices of bread, bacon, egg,cheese and mayonnaise. It was really good. After that, we drove over to seans parents so I could use the internet while they did their laundry. We dropped Lau off because she had to work. She is working in the service at a really prestigious hotel. Sean and I went then to Grapevine,which is 15 minutes away. They have a huge outlet mall. nike and under armour included.
At 3:30, sean had a work-out scheduled, who is playing at one of the local middle-schools, Colleyville, sean played there too. We picked him up at home and drove to the schools stadium. It was amazing. They had a football field, tennis courts, basketball courts a gym where the students can workout. And everything was unlocked even though it is summer-breack right now.
The kids name was Matt and he was 15 years old, but looked like 18. His parents are paying Sean to work with him. I ran some routes for them and caught some balls.
After one pretty intense hour in the Texas heat, we drove him home and went for a ride around town. I got to see the huge differences of life in Texas. Some neighborhoods had huge fancy houses and expensive cars, others had little damaged houses and 20 year old pick-up trucks. We stopped at Colleyvilles highschool and checked out the football stadium ( the red and white one on the the pictures below). It was huge. Colleyville is descent in football but no great as sean told me. We then drove to Carroll Highschool and checked out their stadium. Again, stadium unlocked. According to Sean, the Carroll Dragons are one of the best highschool football programs in the nation.
On our way home, we got something to eat from subway and picked up Lau from work. The rest of the evening consisted of beers, pizza and partly thoughtful conversations on the balcony. Lau had the great idea to take the fans out so it was not too hot out there.
I arrived in Dallas at 2 PM local time. It was such a good feeling to get of the plane, even though I had to wait a long time because the old people could not get organized. I sat in the very back of the plane and had to walk all the way to the front to get out. People are crazy, 90% of the seats were so messy and dirty. I knew I had to go through controlls and the customs, but not how bad it would be. We went into a huge hall with 50 counters. 25 for american citizens and 25 for not americans. Out of these 25, 4 were open on both sides. And this is definetly not a fast process with taking fingerprints and photos. It was terrible, people were so nervous and unpatient. At the point I finally made it to the top of the line, they thought that I did not deserve it yet, so they called about 30 people behind me to move ahead because they had to catch another flight. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want them to miss their flight, but they could work faster and efficient if they would open more counters. But no, 5 more officers were sitting in the back drinking coffee and chilling. At the end, it took me 2 and a half hours of mental and physical abuse, because you have to stand there and can not go to the bathroom. I made it through and went to get my suitcase. The problem was that it was an all black suitcase. Realy easy to spot ;-). After one airport worker told me drop-off #5, I went there to check it. But with my luck, the suitcase seemed to be gone. I went back and asked a lady working there, she told me #8. and I am so glad that I found it. This was not it yet, because we had to go through another check. While standing in the line, a huge, black, mean looking police offer came with the drug dog towards me. He checked me from the shoes to the top and saw my bulls shirt and Ohio State hat. He kept starring for a few seconds and said “ What’s up bro ?welcome home“ 😀
When I finally got out there, Sean and Lau were waiting for 3 hours.
We took off and went to a restaurant called chilis
As you will see on the pictures, we had nachos and other stuff. i had a cheeseburger. Sean ordered me a strawberry lemon to drink… I did not know what that ment. It was the first discovery of the day. Still can’t get over how good it was. After 2 minutes, the waitress already brought to more glasses. I asked Sean if he ordered them, but the Myth was true… You only pay once and you get free refill :-O.
After that we went to different shops to get stuff for their flat. They just moved into a new place on monday and a lot of basic things are still missing. That took some time. We drove around a little bit and stopped a seans friend Brian, who I knew from the numerous calls sean received from him in germany.
We hang out for a little while and went back to another store to get a bed for me. They had to buy something for me to sleep on, but that was no problem, because right after I leave, laus‘ sister is coming for a month and she needs something too. We got such an bed you can blow up. It is not the hilton, but good enough for the few days. By that time we got that done, whe headed over to Seans parents. It was nice to meet them too.
Jarons dad was right went he told me that in Texas everything is bigger. It is funny how everything is set up. Everybody is living in these isolated neighbourhoods with fenses around and a big gate with an nightwatchman.
We made it to Seans place at around 11. lau went to bed and sean and I were stitting on the porch enjoying an american beer and watching an for Texas unusual storm with a lot of rain and thunder. I went to bed at around 12- 12:30 even though I was still not tired at all. For some reason I barely slept tonight.
I am finaly realizing where I am and now we have to make the most out of it in these few days.