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Porter checks in from NFL Europa

*Editor's Note: Texans quarterback Quinton Porter is spending his offseason playing in NFL Europa for the Cologne Centurions. He will be checking in periodically with a player diary about his expieriences.

We just completed our fourth and final scrimmage with the Rhein Fire, winning 10 to nothing. I only played the first series of the scrimmage, as the coaches wanted to evaluate the other quarterbacks who were competing to make the team. Two quarterbacks were cut from the team and now myself and Eric Meyer, from Eastern Washington, are the only quarterbacks going to Germany. The Centurions cut a total of 15 players. It was really tough to see these players go after they put forth such a valiant effort and are working so hard for the opportunity to further their football careers.

However, the coach reassured us that all the players' careers that he reluctantly released don't end simply because they did not make this team, as they will have an opportunity to make other NFL Europa teams throughout the season and they received great exposure while training here in Tampa.

The coaches have given us two days to tie up all loose ends and get ready for our trip to Europe. I need to strategize how I am going to fit everything I'm going to need to live in Germany for 3 months into two 71-pound bags. This will be a difficult task for me because one of my bags will have to be my guitar, which I suffer withdrawals from after two to three days if I don't get to play. Wednesday , the day our coach has deemed "the day from hell", the team has a five hour bus ride to the Miami airport and then nine hour flight to Germany. Having never experienced jet lag before, I have no idea exactly what to expect.

These last days in Tampa have been a good time to mentally prepare for the trip. I am used to being away from my home in Maine for extended periods of time, but living on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean will be an entirely new experience, full of challenges and growth. My girlfriend flew in from Houston for a proper goodbye. The next time I see her will be a brief visit in Cologne, which compounds the challenge. One reason I am excited to get to Germany is that, ironically enough, I will get a chance to see my mother again for the first time since a brief visit home in January after the season. She decided to make her first trip out of the country to catch our game against Hamburg because she has seen me play on every football team I have ever been on and refuses to end the streak now. She and my cousin will be there to make sure I remember that no matter how far away from home I get, it is never tou far away for Mom. Next entry will be from Germany, and I am sure I will have a lot to talk about

Till Next Time,

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