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.
DIAMOND MINERS IN THE SIERRA LEONE LAUGH AT YOUR PREDICAMENT
Daulerio: You're useless, where's my column?
Lunn: Sorry, it takes twice as long to type with one hand.
Daulerio: Take your time, no one cares anyways.
So why exactly did this column barely meet its deadline? Here's the story. Last game we beat the Falcons (I'd tell you their home-city, but I can't pronounce it and smart money is on the fact that you don't really care). Our four touchdown victory margin was overshadowed by the fact that at one point during the second quarter I looked down and realized my right thumb was now facing backwards and touching my wrist. My brief moment of curiosity gave way to panic, which then of course gave way to "What the fuck do I do now."
Our "training staff" consists of a professional masseuse with limited English and the Austrian Red Cross. My playing days at UConn this injury would have been met with instant orthopedic assessment, local anesthesia, and some post game pain killers. Instead, our head Coach grabbed my thumb and tried to "pop it back in" (wrong move, as it wasn't dislocated—-tendons were torn) and I got a few Tylenol Extra Strength for my troubles.
So our victory over the Falcons, whose opposing quarterback is so hefty he puts Jared Lorenzen to shame, was overshadowed by an inevitable visit to an Austrian Hospital.
Now my most useful appendage (I'm right handed and my girlfriend doesn't come for another week) is rendered obsolete. My thumb dangles from my hand like a flaccid penis, and just like that my career as a hitch-hiker is over before it began.
Now all that is separating me from less evolved mammals is my superior intellect and that I'm not slinging poop from my cage at the San Diego zoo (although metaphorically, this is pretty close).
BUT WE HAVE WINNING PERSONALITIES
I consider myself a career underdog, and that's fine with me. When I wasn't recruited in high school I thought my football playing days would be spent at a 1-AA (excuse me, NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision) school. But I caught some breaks and received offers from UConn and Syracuse. I chose UConn and my first two years were spent as a long snapper, but eventually I broke the starting lineup where I remained for my final two years. That being said, it came as no surprise to me that my team in Austria was not a league powerhouse or even a contender. Last year they didn't win a game. But as is often the case, our band of misfits has some of the more interesting personalities in Austria.
We have Daniel, our safety. Who dates a Samoan girl whose cousin is Shawn Merriman. Daniel called Merriman and asked him "Hey, do you s-ink you cood get me a Patrick Willis Jersey?" (He did).
Our center is a guy named Matic, a Slovenian who sounds like Schwarzenegger, who will tell anyone within ear shot how awesome his village of 40 inhabitants is.
Our head coach (and Boston native), whose pregame speeches seamlessly weave their way between WWII land acquisition references and the occasional Vietnam flash back: "Gentleman, the Carinthian Black Lions wear black. You know who else did? The man in the black pajamas. CHARLIE! — they were underdogs too. Well the Ho Chi Mihn Trail might also lead to victory. Let's get it!"
Of course there is our resident man-whore, Peter, who is always asking me "Rob, ven does your seestercome to Austria?" Studboy had to be picked up on the way to our last game because he woke up late after a night of drinking in a strange bed, 45 minutes away. He routinely finds his car tires slashed by angry boyfriends and never once considers any of this out of the norm. Just "ze price of doing bee-niz."
HOT WINGS AND CHESTY WAITRESSES ARE UNIVERSAL
I was a political science major at UConn (leisure studies wasn't offered). My 7th semester we learned about the "McPeace-Theory." This states that countries with McDonald's don't attack or start wars with other countries that have McDonald's (and it's actually true). Everywhere I go in Austria I try and see what part(s) of American culture have made their way into Austria. Typically it's New York Yankee hats, "Yes We Can," Flavor of Love and not much else. That said, our game against the Graz Giants revealed something new to me. Our teammates were excited about spending time after the game in Graz, possibly staying over. I inquired, "Is the Graz night life better than our city?" The answer was "No." Turns out the big draw for our team was that in Graz, Austria there is a HOOTERS.
Aha! So love of cleavage and fried food is global. So while SUVs and all you can eat buffets are taboo, HOOTERS has jumped the pond. God bless America.
Robert Lunn can be reached at thefatwhiteguyATgmail.com. Share your thoughts with him. He's a big boy.