Working hard (and on the tan)
Another week with The Oakland Raiders has come and gone so fast. It feels like I met the team in Chicago just yesterday. And now I'm done packing my bags and waiting for a friend of mine to pick me up. Taking a few days off is not a bad idea. Although my folks back home like to think that's all I actually do while I'm here.
They hear California and imagine me walking the beaches of northern California. The water playing with my feet as I drink an ice-cold adult beverage to cool off. I jump into my convertible and drive up to Napa, wineries to the left and right, the sun shines and the wind blows through my hair.
For many different reasons this impression is absolutely false, starting with me not having long enough hair to have the wind blowing through it properly. I'm here for business, working for The Oakland Raiders and their marketing teammate, the SWARCO Raiders. Bringing home a full set of new Raiders gear and a nice, brown tan are nice side effects.
So what is it that I do over here? Let me tell you. First of all the team's schedule dictates my schedule. I get up between 6:30 and 7 a.m. First thing in the morning I check my email, because back home the business day is almost over. After helping media people with pictures and setting up interviews I have breakfast with the international coaches.
Then it's off to practice. I take tons of pictures, record quotes and update Facebook and Twitter. After lunch I write down notes for the daily press release and questions for the daily blogs the Austrian coaches have to write. Afternoon practice has me taking some more pictures and notes.
After dinner I sit down with the SWARCO Raiders coaches and talk about the experiences they made during the day. Then I put it on paper and into their blogs. Obviously they have to be written in English and German. Plus I have to find a different angle, because they also each have another blog back home for Austrian websites. When I'm done with that I send out my daily press release with pictures and quotes, update the SWARCO Raiders website, Facebook and Twitter.
It's usually around 1 a.m. when I'm finished. At least that gives me time to talk to people back home after they fell out of bed and tell them about my walk on the beach. Does my hair still sit right?
I love what I do. The beaches can wait. This is living the NFL dream. Only without bruises and broken bones. I'm already looking forward to my next trip overseas to Oakland. And that'll come way sooner than next summer. See you in January for the playoffs…
Thanks for reading my blog and GO RAIDERS!
Winds of change…
Goodbye, Deutschland. Hello, California! I'm back with The Oakland Raiders. For the third straight year being in charge of content for the official German Raiders website and covering the relationship with the SWARCO Raiders, I was lucky enough to get invited again to training camp in Napa Valley.
And for the third straight summer I brought a couple of Austrians with me. This time, Magnus Gram and Damaso Tarneller join me as part of the seventh annual International Guest Coach Program. They're here to learn from the best and have a sneak peek of what it's like to work in the NFL.
But unlike last year I joined the Raiders on the road this time around. I met up with the team in Chicago for last Saturday's second preseason contest. And as if there weren't enough stars playing in this Silver and Black band, guess who I met wandering the streets of Chicago? Rock stars. I just arrived in the Windy City and decided I needed a new white shirt to wear for the Bears game. So I left the team hotel and went shopping on Michigan Avenue. After a few pricey disappointments and some more fashion crimes I finally found the winner. You'd be surprised how tough it is to find a white shirt. It seems like purple is the new white…
I left the store and on my way back to the hotel I ran right into Rock 'n' Roll royalty - The Scorpions! There they were, walking down Michigan Avenue, Germany's finest among thousands of tourists. I went straight up to them. I was so fired up I actually started speaking in English. It took me a few words to switch to German. We chatted about their next concert and their new album. How random is it to run into your home country's most famous export thousands of miles away from your home base?
The rest of the day classic rock songs like "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and "Winds of change" danced through my head. I drove people crazy whistling the Scorpions' most famous songs. But I couldn't resist it. And speaking of winds of change…
They are swirling in Oakland, too. The Raiders have this swagger that makes you a believer. Everything they did this offseason seems to translate to the practice field and from there right to the gridiron. I saw it on TV against the Cowboys and first hand at Chicago. Offense, defense, special teams – they all made plays. This is a cohesive unit on the verge of something special. You don't want to miss a single game this season, friends. But before the new season officially kicks off, I'll enjoy the last days of camp.
Thanks for reading my blog and GO RAIDERS!