Monday, March 05, 2012

GheorgheFest: A Story in Pictures

Gheorghe Muresan is 7'7" and 340 pounds. It's hard to imagine what that means until you actually see the man in person. And thanks to the Washington Wizards' dismal season and a well-placed FoG:TB, we got to do just that this weekend.

Worlds collided in a most improbably excellent way, as the far-flung G:TB community came together in the presence of Gheorghe: The Man for an evening of hilarity and unabashed fanboy glee. The sad sack Wizards recently offered deep discounts on luxury suites, kicking in a hefty food and beverage credit, free hats, and a visit from team ambassador Gheorghe Muresan. Our Doofus Overlord's pending nuptials gave us ample excuse for a gathering, and our friend and contributor Shlara reached out to her connections with the Wizards' management to nail the final details.

I confess to a degree of nervousness about the whole affair. I wasn't worried about anything we would do - despite our frequent bluster, we're a generally harmless bunch (the bouncer at Iron Horse may dispute this in the case of Marls). More to the point, though, I didn't want to ruin the image of Gheorghe I'd built up in my head over the years. The entire point of this blog has been to celebrate the joy and silliness in sports and life, based on our perception of a guy we'd seen on television. Shlara's known the big man for a long time, and I trusted her when she told us that he's a prince, but what if we got him on an off night? What if he disappointed us? What if Gheorghe was a standoffish dick? I really didn't want to rename this space Bryce: The Blog, or come up with a new slogan.

In the end, though, those worries were more than unfounded; they were absurd. From the moment Gheorghe entered our suite (and Oh. My. God. He is a mountainous human, broad in addition to tall, as the pictures in this post attest.) he was gracious, funny, kind, and generous. He patiently answered our questions about things serious and goofy, he cracked wise about his skill and grace, he talked about the game, his children, and all manner of other things. He seemed genuinely amused by our fondness for him (and took pictures of both the "GheorgheFest" banner Shlara made for the occasion and the cupcakes emblazoned with '77' that Teejay's fiance baked for us). He's a massive, enormous, prince of a guy.

As a result of combination of our age and the volumes of alcohol we consumed over an evening that didn't end for some of us until 3:30 in the morning, there are a few parts of the evening that we won't likely remember all that well. The 30 some-odd minutes we spent with Gheorghe are something we won't likely ever forget.


"No, Dave, you can't try to post me up."

Stairsteps
Yes, that shirt does read "now back to your regularly scheduled dipshittery"
 
Shlara and Ghita
Can't wait for GheorgheFest II.

Special Bonus Dipshittery:

Gheorghe wasn't the only celebrity we hung out with last night. To wit:


28 comments:

TR said...

The car ride home to NJ was painful, helped a bit by a hungover Marlin driving 90 mph most of the way.

Marls got booted b/c the bouncer thought he looked so drunk there's no way he wouldn't throw up. Turns out he never booted, although he did explored alternative methods to relieve himself later in the night.

The other under-rated story of the night was the group of youngsters next to us who sang Kokomo and were otherwise awful. On the car ride home, we realized the parallels to our W&M days with that group. We hung with (mostly) as a big pack of dudes and had major issues with some pretty boys acting cheesy in the company of some fairly attractive women. We decided that because they were young, preppy and annoying, they were terrible. We, on the other hand, a swarthy pack of drunken beef, were superior. It was like Zman and I smoking butts on the outside stairwell and maintaining our moral supremacy while staring at Sigma Chis playing beer pong with girls all over again.

rob said...

like w&m as well, though, tr, a small group of women with character and discernment chose to look beyond surface prettiness and hang out with men of intellect and depth. i think shlara, kq, jessica and the rest got their money's worth. and least in comedy.

T.J. said...

rob's quest to find a bacon cheeseburger in the wee hours of the morning was epic.

rob said...

was it my quest, or was it igor's? i'm a little fuzzy on the details.

T.J. said...

The 7-11 run at 3:30am hit the spot, though.

rob said...

mark, you were missed. no excuses for gheorghefest 2. danimal, you really weren't missed all that much.

zman said...

I decided that I hated The Kokomosters before they even Kokomoked. I only needed to look at them to conclude that they were terrible. Nothing brings out my vitriol (or my "sweater of hate" as TR calls it) like DC/NoVa.

A few food notes. The hot dogs at the game were very good, so good that I ate three and started to worry that a pot of Mrs. Morgan's beans would appear. The hot dogs also made me fart farts that smelled like those same hot dogs about 6 to 9 hours later.

Dave valliantly rallied TR and me to scavenge for food after we put Marls down for the night, and we soon stumbled across a 5 Guys ... oddly located next to a nightclub that looked like the type of place where people settle their differences with handguns. The burgers hit the spot and the fellow patrons added an unexpected dimension of preposterousness to an already preposterous night.

Dave said...

that five guys burger was delicious at 1:30 in the morning-- and well worth it-- but it was so heavy and horrendous in my stomach in marls rocket car sunday morning that i thought i was going to have to roll down the window and barf. thank god for gum.

and i am very glad i slept on the air-bed. all i can say is this: zman, tr, and marls prefaced and asked for a wet mattress on the car ride. and i am kind of glad marls got blitzed because i've got the dummies today and i was asleep before 2 AM. 3:30 would have been brutal . . .

Dave said...

and rob, if you would have stuck with me, you would have gotten your bacon cheeseburger . . . if you were smart enough to read the fixin's BEFORE stepping up to order. i was unprepared, or i would have definitely added bacon.

Danimal said...

it would have been nice if the particapants in the photos were tagged for the gtb fans. really.

sounds like a good time was had. where is g-fest two?

Squeaky said...

Big Gheorghe is flipping off Shlara in that picture. What's up with that?

rob said...

prefaced? wet mattress? what the hell is dave talking about?

Shlara said...

Gheorghe isn't flipping me off--he's showing me some of his photos on his iPhone.

And I think my favorite moment of the evening is over-hearing Zman and Gheorghe trading notes over their shared cultural heritage.

Did anyone tell Gheorghe about the Tracy Murray twitter exchange?

zman said...

"Tell your father he should have taught you to speak Hungarian!!"

zman said...

Here's a transcript from a phone call from 3 seconds ago:

X: "Hi, this is [name] from the DC office. How are you?"

Z: "Good, how are you?"

X: "Good. So ... did you stay in the corporate apartment this weekend?"

Z: [palpitating] "Yes."

X: "Ok. So ... I'm just calling because ... you know ..."

Z: [gagging] "Uh-huh."

X: "It's a new apartment."

Z: [dejected] "Yes."

X: "And I just wanted to make sure you had a pleasant stay."

Z: [hopeful] "Yes! Yes I did! It was great! It's always wonderful! No complaints!"

X: "Oh, good good good. I just wanted to make sure everything worked out."

Z: [pondering complaining about concierge, realizing that this call needs to end ASAP] "It did. Thanks so much for checking in."

X: "Mmmkay, guhbye."

TR said...

Marls "broke in" the mattress in a unique way. Unfortunately, I was on it at the time, a mere 2 feet away.

And by mattress, I mean an uninflated air mattress that had a sheet on top.

TR said...

Unrelted self-promotion note:

There is a decent chance I'll be on CNBC at 1:40 PM ET. I'll be talking about oil stocks, not tall Romanians or binge drinking.

mayhugh said...

Gheorghe's hand is the size of Shlara's head.

Dave said...

enough euphemisms. marls peed the bed. tr slept in it. marls had the good sense to get out of the bed and slept on the floor, rolled up in the comforter. i hope he doesn't top himself on gheorghefest ii, as that will be harder to clean up.

rob said...

forgot to mention that we learned that gherorghe's favorite teammate of all time was rod strickland, and that ghita hasn't shot a basketball in three years. we also learned that greg knows people in every bar in the district, and that teejay's fridge has nothing in it other than beer and wine. neither of the latter two things are much of a surprise.

Geoff said...

I'm tuned into CNBC right now mainly just to see what TR looks like in a suit. And to see if he goes by "Timothy" on air.

Geoff said...

Tim used "vertically integrated", referred to a company as having a lot of "dry powder" and never once mentioned that he was urinated on by a fraternity brother in the last 36 hours. All around a Herculean effort.

Marls said...

Clearly, it was the excitement of meeting Gheorghe. The fact the the apt had a washer/dryer, like points, was huge since all I only brought a single pair of jeans.

Good times all around. Thanks again to all who helped set this up.

Dave said...

the last three comments made me laugh. urine. ha!

mayhugh said...

And do you think you guys got a new G:TB reader after this weekend?

zman said...

Yes, the bouncer at the Iron Horse was very interested in us.

Igor said...

Just now starting to feel recovered from GFest I. Thanks to everyone for making it great.

Favorite moments included singing rugby songs in the bar with KQ's bigger half - great dude, being encouraged to step between not one but both of G:TB's favorite ladies and a certain FOG:TB who was drunk and determined, and the entire time when Gheorghe: The Man met Gheorghe: The Blog. Especially when I told him that my dad and I were in the building the night of his career high scoring performance.

Igor said...

Oh, and when I walked over the the Kokomokes and told them they had to cease and desist immediately because Mike Love wrote the song.