This week in words…..
Well its about time I gave a little update as to how things are going so far, without relying on videos / photos / JD’s anecdotes. Firstly I should say congratulations to Joe for being awarded the SAJL’s player of the week. Apparently 274 yards and 4 TDs is enough these days….
As you can see there is a lot of media available to people who are interested in how the Wolverines are getting on. I will try and post as much of it as I can up here. The SAJL has also started televising games this year over the internet on Friday nights. Tonight we watched the Saints (last week’s opponents) go down 31-10 to the Crocodiles (next week’s opponents). Our first televised game will be on the 11 June v Jaguars and you can all watch it at http://www.sajl.fi/media/netti-tv/ we will then play 2 more televised games later in the year.
This week has been busy busy busy. As this is the first week that we have really been able to prepare for an opponent (we had not seen last week’s opponent play as it was week 1), we have been focused hard on getting ready. I’ll try and walk you through the week…..
Sunday night was probably the most subdued I have ever had following a football game. We arrived back at the house around 11, quickly did an about turn and marched our way back out towards Helsinki leaving Joe behind feeling groggy. About 3 minutes walk from the house, I did yet another about-face deciding that (a) with night buses not running on Sundays, I was about to take a trip into Helsinki for about 30 minutes drinking time and (b) Joe probably shouldn’t be left alone after a couple of hits to the head. So I stayed in and relaxed, feeling good about the game as a whole.
The day after game-day is a day of rest and reflection. Rest involves sitting on one’s behind (maybe taking an ice bath – I didn’t this week) while reflection involves watching game film. Those who know me will know that I am horribly over critical in watching game film and even more so when breaking down my own performance. Suffice to say that I was not pleased with last weeks efforts (nor will I ever be). This does serve a purpose however and I inevitably emerge from film review with a renewed vigour and motivation to improve. After reviewing our game we move onto our next opponents – this week the Helsinki Roosters, cross-town rivals fresh off a 21-point 4th quarter comeback victory. I break down the film of their previous games, in order to have a better idea of what we are facing at the weekend.
Tuesday brings the first physical exercise of the week. Gym in the morning and practice in the evening where we begin preparing as a team for the next opponents. Normally we share our practice field with the Roosters. Strange, I know. However as we are playing each other this week, the Roosters practiced elsewhere on Tuesday and we only shared on Thursday.
Wednesday was again a trip to the Gym in the morning followed by an evening with my second Finnish sauna experience. JD and I were invited over to Hannu’s (CB) for a sauna with some of the DBs at his flat in Vuosaari. The Finnish fascination with the sauna is a confusing one in normal circumstances. A bunch of blokes basically strip off and sit naked in a dark wooden room together, tolerating temperatures that would cook a whole reindeer in under 16 minutes. This may sound like some people’s (Rodders, I’m talking about you) idea of heaven and a great place to play ‘finger or thumb’, but I must admit I was apprehensive. Surely a hot room is just a hot room? Well…. yes it is. But this one had windows and was at the top of a very tall building so that you could look out across Helsinki. There was also beer, which is great in its initial enjoyment (cold beer, hot day / room) but somewhat regrettable when it’s diuretic properties kick in and you’ve already sweated 62% of your bodyweight away. But this is how Finns spend their time, so who am I to judge. It was an enjoyable evening and even the prudish JD got his kit off when he began to believe that a room full of naked blokes weren’t interested in looking at his ‘junk’.
Thursday we had two practices, the second of which we shared with the Roosters. It truly is a unique situation, which I believe has come about from the banning of ball games while cyclists are using the track at the velodrome. If you ask me, I think it would do them some good to throw some extra challenges in there. If you can ride fast AND dodge footballs at the same time, you’re bound to win the Olympics.
Which brings me to today… A final Gym work out before the weekend, an evening watching the Crocodiles / Saints game with the other Brits and Joe. Tomorrow we will rest up ready for the game and in the evening I am hoping to get down to the Velodrome as the local women’s team have a game and I have volunteered to help coach them starting next week. I have to admit that I have little to no knowledge of women’s football so should be a learning experience for me too.
On side note, I am happy to announce that I finally got my head down and did some university work today. It has only taken me three weeks but hooray for me!!!!
I hope that everyone is well and enjoying the blog. If there is something you want to hear about in particular let me know. I like feedback so it’d be appreciated.
PS – I have just bashed out 1000 words on this post without a thought. If only essays were this easy.