Early in February, I was among the privileged few selected to represent the United States at the Legion World Team Championship in Granada, Spain. The FL man in me was conflicted, as this meant I was leaving the United States. I couldn’t bring my six shooter OR my pet alligator!

Upon landing in Granada I noticed many things out of place. No matter how closely I listened I couldn’t hear the twang of Conway Twitty and Hank Williams Jr. and NO ONE even knew who Dale Earnhardt was?! How was I supposed to raise hell with no Dale to praise?! That’s when it hit me, maybe Dale was a lie all along, a figment of my imagination created by my subconscious to keep the government conspiracies at bay. Maybe I didn’t need to raise hell…well abroad at least. This made me slightly home sick as I’m used to no rules in my home state (except for gator rules, of which there are surprisingly many). Before leaving the airport I pondered for a minute or so, then asked myself, W.W.D.D?

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Fast forward about an hour, and that’s where I found myself at the peak of my home sickness. My friends had suggested we get “tapas” and “croquettes” and “gazpacho” and that’s when fully I plunged into a downward spiral of home-sickness. I didn’t know what any of that was, and I was too prideful to admit I was perhaps somewhere between slightly and very curious to try them. It was in this moment when I saw it. My savior. There it was… The Mecca of America cuisine, McDonalds. I had finally found some semblance of normalcy and comfort abroad. Or had I?

In all seriousness, because I hope you have picked up on the sarcasm by this point, this story is too juicy not to share with the world. It makes me look like an uncultured idiot, but hey, FL Man is as FL Man does and I will happily degrade myself for your reading pleasure.

I approached the self-service kiosk in search of a quick meal because the rest of my compatriots are trying to play a few practice games of Legion before the end of the day. I translate what I can (yes I actually knew some Spanish before arriving in Granada, I’m not as uncultured as you may think) and for the rest, I used our good pal Google Translate. Everything is going well except the Kiosk is not reading my Credit Card for some reason, so the cashier motions me over to the counter because I clearly look like a tourist who has no idea what he’s doing. I am unsure how to say “it’s not working” so I use Google Translate for the phrase, “no work.” I knew trabajar is the verb for work, but like working at a job, not malfunctioning. I quickly type and see the words “no gusano” which upon saying once, prompts the cashier to look at me and raise her eyebrow. She looks at me, then at my phone and says “no, no gusano.” I reply, “Si, no gusano senora.” “NOOOOOOOOOO. NO. GUSANO SENOR” is what she replies back. This goes on and on back and forth for about a minute until I throw my hands up in the air and pull my phone back out. It was precisely this moment when I realized, I had either mistyped or autocorrect had changed “work” to “worm”… Not my greatest moment…

For the remainder of my segment, I want to refrain from boring you with walls of text. The beauty of Spain and the sheer enjoyment I had at the WTC cannot be conveyed through words. To help facilitate just how breathtaking the scenery was, and how fun the experience was I’m going to simply dump a bunch of photos and caption them. Enjoy!

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Olly from TNM podcast showing off his unique shirt. I was clearly amused and applauded his creativity. Just remember who holds Vader’s leash Olly…
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USA Team 1. Left to right, Luke Cook(Forever Champ), Austin Miller(FL Man), Lucas Ustick(Teknofobia), and Tyler Hatfield(Savior of USA-1 because one of the original members couldn’t make it last second). We finished 4-2 as a team with 14 wins overall and the highest SOS, which was enough for 4th place. We’ll be back next year with our eyes on the gold!
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All 3 USA teams after the awards ceremony. Not previously captioned are Tyler Carnes and Brian Baer of the Indy Garrison guys, Evan Paul (does anyone know this guy because I sort of just found his name on GameUplink) and Izzy. Special shout out to Brian Baer for going 6-0! Way to rep the A-Team. Also, congrats to USA-3 for going 4-2, finishing 3rd and being the only team to defeat France.
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FL Men, left to right, Liam Kelly, JJ Wood, Wesley Wagner, Austin Miller, and Tyler Hatfield at the Alahambra.
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Dinner at La Cueva. Left to right, Liam Kelly, Austin Miller, Wesley Wagner, Lucas Ustic, JJ Wood, and honorary FL man Michael Smith!
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FL Men and Buffalo Guy+Lady atop the Alcazaba. Not sure why my eyes were closed?
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Beautiful view from atop the Alcazaba.
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Practice games and chillin’ Thursday evening during the intermission for the Singles event.
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Breathtaking view of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This was taken atop the highest point of the Alcazaba.
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Gardens inside the palace of the Alahambra.
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View of the city from atop the Alcazaba.
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“Weeeeeeeeee are the champions, my friend….” Except France won, but Luke can still claim it, so that’s good enough for us. Shout out to Wes for crushing the air guitar!

All in all, the WTC in Spain was an amazing time. I got to play Legion, made new friends from other countries, got to experience a fun night out with my fellow nerds, and got to see a land other than my own. I cannot wait to return to Europe, and compete in WTC 2025 which will be in Manchester, England.

If you’d like to see more details about the actual lists that were played, check out Andy’s article from earlier this week!

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