Friday, March 21, 2008

The Stallion's Stumble Late.

This past Sunday afternoon was the season opener for the 2008 TFL (Turkey Football League). This was the first of five regular season games. There are 12 teams in the league and the league is divided into 2 groups. Each group has 6 teams. Therefore, we will eventually play each team in our group and the top three teams from each group will advance to the playoffs. We began our season by playing "The Tiger's." We were very excited about this matchup, for we had played this team back in early December (Before I arrived) and were defeated 32-0. Therefore, we knew that it would be a great measuring stick for how far we had come as a team.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, with the tempature being around 60 degrees, it was a great day for a football game. The players were excited about dawning their new uniforms, of which they have proudly said are the best looking uniforms in the league. We won the opening toss and elected to kick off and defer to the 2nd half. The team was pupmed up and appeared ready for the game. We took the field with great confidence and looked as if we were prepared for a victory. I have to constantly pound into these guys heads that they must have confidence in their ability and begin to have the attitude of a winner.

We kicked off and covered the return very well. However, their offense came out sharp and proceeded to drive down the field and convert on 4th and 5 on the 5 yard line for the first touchdown of the game. They then convereted the 2 point conversion (There were no Field Goal post). The game then became a battle between the defenses as both offensive unit's began to sputter and struggle. However, mid-way through the 2nd quarter, we connected on a long pass play and the receiver ran in for the touchdown. We then converetd the 2 point conversion. With less than 2 minutes left in the first half we had the football and were driving. However, on a called run the play, the QB juggled the ball on his way back to the RB and allow the defense to get pressure and wrap him up for what looked like a sack. However, the QB decided to try and throw the football out to his receiver and ended up throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. They then converted the 2 point conversion. Therefore, the score at the half was 16-8.

We made some adjustments at the half and came out on the opening drive of the 2nd half and drove the ball right down the field and scored a touchdown. We relied heavily on our 230 pound RB/LB who ran like a "MAN" and carried the team down the field. However, we were stopped on the 2 point conversion. The score was now 16-14. The defense remained strong and forced 3 interceptions on the next three possesions by the Tiger's. However, each time our offense sputtered out. At this point, with about 10 minutes remaining in the game it was clear that we were wearing out fast. Furthermore, both of our strong RB's who also play LB were out of energy (The game had already taken 4 hours at this point, so know wonder they were tired). Therefore, I tried to go to our back-up RB who has shown some promise, however, he ran the ball tentatively, therefore, I took him out. So, with our RB''s tired, and the fact that our WR's were getting open, we went more to the pass. However, with us driving, and the ball on the 50 yard line, the QB through his 6th interception of the game and it was once again returned for a touchdown. They converetd once again converted the 2 point conversion. The score was now 24-14 with less than 10 minutes left. On the following possesion, due to pentalties, and fumbled snaps we were forced to punt out of our end-zone. So, on 4th down punting out of our end-zone, the punter fumbled the snap and they recovered for a touchdown. On the following possesion, the QB threw his 7th interception and they proceeded to drive down and score only their 2nd offensive touchdown of the game. However, I was proud of the fact that the team did not quit. On the final drive of the game I put in the 2nd the team and we drove the ball all the way down to the 20 yard line where we were eventually stopped by the clock. This was done on their first defense. Therefore, the final score was 38-14.

I am obviously dissapointed by the loss and upset with how we fell apart in the final 10 minutes of the game. It is clear that our conditioning must improve and that we must change our way of thinking in order to get over the hump and get to the next level. However, the guys gave great effort and it was clear that they continue to improve. Furthermore, we had 4 players in particuliar that gave excllent effort on both sides of the football and showed incredible heart. I was extremely proud of their effort. This game made several things clear to me. First, we continue to to get better each and every day. Second, we need to improve our conditioning. Thirdly, we must work on finishing tackles, runs, blocks, plays, drives, quarter's, halves and games. Fourthly, we have the leadership on which to build a winning team. We must develop a winning attitude that is consistent on and off of the field.

I am continuing to work on trying to get some live video footage of the games up on the web ASAP! However, we continue to have difficulties with youtube and it is constantly being blocked for one reason or another. Our next game is the Sunday after Easter, we are facing the number one team and defending champions. I am very excited about the chance to play against them and to see how much we continue to improve.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some things we miss...

We can offically say we have lived in Turkey for 2 months now and it is really starting to become a reality that it will be our home for the next couple of years. Recently, I have started to miss some things from America, ALOT! According to Tim and something he heard about moving to another country 2 months is usually the time when the "honeymoon" stage wears off and culture shock/missing home begins. First and foremost I have to say of course I miss my friends and family the most. However, I can't tell you how much I am missing some good ole American cuisine these days. The other day Tim was asking me what I wanted for dinner and I think I remember my answer being "A Chick-fil-a sandwich with a slice of Papa John's pizza on the side." What is wrong with me?!! I told my mom I guess me missing America has just translated into missing American food. In reality, if I had those options I don't know if I would go for them, most of you who know me know I'm a salad kinda gal (especially Charlotte). But right now those restaruants sound so good! One more thing I miss big time around here is lunch meat. I used to love eating a ham, or turkey sandwich for lunch and it is not to be found here at the grocery stores. There is some kind of sliced chicken which Tim and I have both decided tastes like bologna, ew. I know this has been a complete pity party but I had to get it out. I found some pictures on the internet of some of the food we miss so if you see something that is close to your house do us a favor and go eat some, appreciate it, and send happy thoughts our way.

These are the things we miss the most!! Love you all! P.S. I stole alot of these from other blogs and facebook!

Here are a few more things we miss!

Check out that yummy lunch!

For some reason I miss this cereal alot right now.
A Louisville favorite!
All of you know Tim misses this ALOT!
Kinda random but yes, I miss dryer sheets.

Lots of cheese here, but no cheddar!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Language Learning

On any given day in language class Tim and I often find ourselves sounding a lot like Joey in the video above trying to speak French. We started language about a month ago and really like our teachers. They both are very interactive and excellent at teaching us the basics. At the end of our lessons I can tell they have worked us hard and I get completely tongue-tied with some of the words I try to pronounce. I just started meeting with a tutor last week and I can already tell she is helping me to actually practice what I am learning in class. Tim is starting tomorrow to meet with two football players who will be his tutors. We were both recently encouraged when we went out to buy some dinner and understood bits and pieces of what our waiter said. However, we both know that learning a language is a long journey and we have to be patient. In the mean time we always remember Joey on Friends and we have a good laugh cause we definitely have some "Le fleup de flee!!" moments.

A picture of us and two of our new friends!! Thank you Redhouse for publishing a pocket size Turkish-English and English-Turkish dictionary!!

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