Wednesday, October 10, 2007


As an American here, I spend a lot of time explaining the incredible diversity of our country, and trying to do my part to be a decent ambassador and counter some of the US of A stereotypes that are rampant abroad. I say this because I'm in the mood to paint with a broad stroke.

Many, many moons ago, a Dutch friend of mine, Rob Kooper, introduced me to international football. I loved waking up early to drink at the pub and sing songs. Atlanta at the time really only had one pub that would open up for these friendlies, so it was an incredible mix of languages and cultures. Rob said I could root for whomever I wanted, as long as they weren't German. The pub agreed, with incredible seriousness - Nobody roots for the Germans except for the Germans. I'm amazed through the decade since then how many times I've heard that phrase.

So, this morning I'm sitting at Lava Java having my morning coffee, when a Dresdner Kleinwort flunkie comes by. That's Normann Stadtler's team, the ones who flanked him earlier to keep the nobodies away. They all have fully matching outfits, which seem to change every day. People are talking about how the team has taken over the Four Seasons, and are 'clearing' other cyclists ahead of Normann when he goes out for a ride. Anyway, he drops a little menu card on my table. I'll put a picture up, but here's the text:

Aloha!!! This table is respectfully RESERVED: 8-10am, Wednesday October 10th through Sunday October 14th, 2007 for the Dresdner Kleinwort Triathlon Team, Guests and Media Only. Mahalo for your cooperation!"

Shmucks. They're annexing Lava Java. It's a little bit like 'buying' Ray's Pizza for the Nike athletes to carbo load before the NYC marathon without waiting in line with the commoners. The money they have to throw around didn't give this particular German bank and set of athletes any class at all, and I'm definitely not rooting for Normann or his teammates any more.

Get him, Macca! See if you can top the Lance 'look' as you go by. Make sure they get it on film.