It was tough leaving our place in Berlin, but once we had packed up all our stuff I was able to wrap my mind around it. The oddest feeling was 36 hours before when more or less everything was still exactly as it was for the last three months and knowing in a short blip of time, it would never again be that way. What a great city – I hope Sasha (who’s four and a half) remembers it. We landed in Lisbon a little after 5 pm, and the temperature was 20 degrees – Celsius. Basically we’re back in Los Angeles, weather-wise, though that’s where the similarities end. I caught up on the game Friday morning, my time, though once again the condensed version of the contest was not yet available, so I watched some and caught the rest via highlights.
Full disclosure: I have two more days in Berlin of which I’d like to make the most, and given I couldn’t get the 40-minute condensed version of this game to load (and the score was 28-3), I picked the five-minute edited highlights over the three-hour game. One of the perils of watching the next morning is you know the likely quality of the game in advance. Let’s just say it would be a very bad thing for the NFL’s business model if everyone knew the quality in advance.
As I mentioned in my Thursday Night blog, this was my last weekend in Berlin. We’ve gotten pretty comfortable in this apartment, which I’ve described as a place where someone much cooler than me ought to be living, and in a neighborhood where every conceivable kind of food and service is within a few blocks, as well as two large parks, a dozen playgrounds and one of the main canals running through the city. We’ve heard good things about our next destination, Lisbon, Portugal, but it’s been tough wrapping our minds around our impending departure. In that context, it was nice I had (pending some Monday night action) one of my better NFL weeks in recent memory.
This is the last weekend of games for which I’ll be in Berlin – we’re moving to Lisbon, Portugal next Thursday. Lisbon’s on Western European time, so we’ll be an hour closer to the US, and there’s even a chance I’ll stay up to watch the first half live next week. A very small chance.
I won’t lie to you. After waking up and seeing the final score was 17-14, I couldn’t bring myself to rewatch the entire game. Instead I used an edited-down highlight package that spanned about 10 minutes. That means I missed a lot of two-yard runs and incomplete passes which are part of the game and do provide *some* useful information about the players. But you have to prioritize your time on this planet.
I started my football Sunday in Hamburg – we made an overnight trip there to check it out as it’s only two hours by train. Oddly, we had trouble getting into our hotel the previous day because the German national soccer team – the equivalent here of the NBA dream team if basketball were far and away our No. 1 sport – was staying there. There were people mobbing the entrance, hoping to snap photos, and only after I pounded on a glass window long enough for a hotel employee to see my room key pressed up against the pane were we let in through a side door. It was a zoo. (I snapped a photo of the fauna the next day when it was far less mobbed.)
Odd to see a 0-0 punt-fest through a quarter and a half hit the over so resoundingly with 54 total points without any defensive or special teams TDs. This was also a game of the narrowest offensive trees – Jeremy Kerley and Carlos Hyde combined for 19 of Blaine Gabbert’s 31 attempts, and Gabbert and Hyde had 32 of 36 rushing attempts.
On the Arizona side, Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson combined for 14 of Drew Stanton’s 28 targets (and 9-of-11 completions), and Johnson had 27-of-33 non-sit-on-the-ball carries.