Robert Lunn is a former defensive tackle from UCONN. He graduated in 2008 and is now playing professional football - in Portchach, Austria. He's graciously shared some of the things he's experienced so far.
Lunn is no stranger to blogging, either. Some of his musings can be found on his personal blog "Thoughts From A Fat White Guy," guest appearances on Chris Cooley's blog portion of his personal site, and a blogger for the newly launched NESN.com.
BEWARE ALL YE WHO ENTER THE "FITMAX"
The University of Connecticut's weight room is a testament to big time college football: 35 championship platforms, valued at $25,000 dollars apiece, a 70 yard running surface on the second floor, with integrated laser-timing technology and a staff of five full-time strength and conditioning coaches. 500lb bench presses, 700lb squats and stale sweat and tears fill the air as grunts and yells from the toil of college athletes echo of the concrete walls, adorned with the phrase, "Championships Start Here."
This is Austria. I train at the "FitMax."
The Austrian workout is simple. Before entering said FitMax make sure to light up that one last Marlboro Red (don't be caught up in the irony of this), proceed to locker room where upon entering, you will witness three things:
1) Circumcision: not big in Europe
2) Banana hammocks are a recession proof investment
3) Judging by that tribal tattoo-the early mid to late 90's were not kind to you.
After all this, it's time to get your swell on.
You will then time it so that every important business call you could make, must be made in between sets of bicep-curls, thus making it is utterly impossible for you to finish your work out. Run outside to your Fiat, Alfa-Romeo, Pugeot, or Volkswagon, light up another cigarette and be on your way.
There really is nothing like a good sweat.
THE CANADIAN TUXEDO IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN AUSTRIA
Spending a lot of time "researching" the bar scene has taught me a few things. Austrians are incapable of saying, "excuse me" and that's fine with me. Nothing like getting muscled out of the way by a faux-hawk and a pair of skinny jeans. The other thing I have learned is that, there will always be the one guy who looks like the poster boy for Levi-Strauss. The jean jacket warrior, the Canadian Tuxedo; I understand that denim is expensive here, but draping yourself in it ala George Costanza-velvet-obsession doesn't make it okay. But then again I am sure he's thinking the same thing about "ze Americans" who are wearing Larry Bird jerseys and Red Sox hats to the bar (in my defense, it was an Irish bar).
BYE WEEKS USED TO BE FOR THE WEAK
At some point I had to remind myself that all my preconceived notions of football and how it is played in America need to be thrown out the window. Things have changed significantly for me in the past two months. I graduated college, gave up my dream of playing in the NFL, moved to Austria (as previously noted, I don't speak a word of German), I now write for what amounts to "sport-news-smut-peddling," and my teammates rip cigarettes at half time.
But the biggest change? I actually enjoy the bye week.
The "bye week" is a myth in the NCAA. The notion that any fan has of players using this time to "rest and recover" is complete bullshit. For players, the bye week means that training camp is back in session in the middle of your season. But that was before; now the bye week allows me to take 4 day trips to Spain (with Daulerio tracking me down via Blackberry).
THE NIGERIAN HOOKERS IN SPAIN ARE AGGRESSIVE
This is something I can't wait to tell my kids, "when Daddy was out of college, he played football in Europe, visited Spain and got attacked by Nigerian prostitutes as he exited a bar at 4am drunk off of CruzCampo." Who thought that the stories of my days playing football in Europe would have so little to do with football and so much to do with European night life.
I left this bar in Spain at closing time, and to be honest it was time for me to go. There's only so many times you can fall off a barstool and still be served. I make my way to in the street and immediately received what the Austrians call "Luft-Schlagen" or "the air slap" Meaning when the cold night air hits delivers an immediate, sobering blow to your rosy cheeks. Imagine my continued surprise, when in the post luft-schlagen moment I was mobbed by no less than seven Nigerian whores.
Should I issue the "my best friend is black" disclaimer on this next part? Probably. But these women were dark. Like Wesley Snipes black. Like the guy from "Blood Diamond" (or was it "Amistad?") black. Next thing I know I am being hounded for sex, each one offering a more competitive price than the next, then sweetening the deal with claims "No AIDS, baby!" and "I don't have The Germ." Next thing I knew I felt hands reaching in my pockets; grabbing, touching, stroking. Then one of these night walkers found the ultimate prize.
No not my penis. My Orbit gum. It should be noted that good gum is impossible to find in Europe. So this package of winter mint was worth its weight in gold, and like piranhas to an injured calf, they were off of me and tearing apart a package of chewing gum.
I laughed all the way home. Then I woke up on the kitchen floor the next day.
Robert Lunn can be reached at thefatwhiteguyATgmail.com. Share your thoughts with him. He's a big boy.