Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Adventure Continues . . . EuroBall IX


EuroBall Adventure IX has been a possibility for some time now, needing only official club Board of Directors approval to make it a reality.

Last night, said Board of Directors held their meeting and approved my return to the . . .

 Wäsby Warriors!

 Back to Sweden for a third time

We'll be near Stockholm

This is the same club of youths (U15, U13 and U11 teams only) that I helped last Spring in the wonderful little city of Uplands-Väsby, Sweden located about 15 miles north of Stockholm.

I am excited to be rejoining this group of players, coaches and parents who made last Spring so enjoyable for me.

This new book will be
a GREAT help I'm sure

As was the case last year, I will be charged with teaching fundamentals to the players and coaching the coaches during the months of May and June which is the off-season for the Warriors.

This June will mark the tenth anniversary of my retirement from teaching. During these ten years we have been blessed to be able to coach American football in five different European countries, a total of nine times.

It started in Italy, Sicily to be exact, coaching the Catania Elephants in 2008 and 2009.

Typical Sicilian BBQ
with the Elephants

Next up was a fun season in the south of Sweden coaching the 2010 Hässleholm Hurricanes.

2010 Mid Sommar
Celebration in Sweden

In 2011 we stayed home for an entire year, but the wanderlust was too much for me so I accepted a job in the most naturally beautiful spot that I have ever seen, Switzerland. The 2012 season with the Thun Tigers.

The Tigers gave me the BEST
coach's gift that I have ever
received, a genuine
Swiss Cow Bell
AWESOME!

Our next stop was in the the wonderful country of France in its Food Capital, Lyon. We were blessed to meet so many wonderful people here during the 2012-13 season coaching the 12-0 DIII National Championship Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons.

 One of many amazing French meals
at Sophie's with Papa Georges

Singing the French National Anthem
before the 2013
DIII National Championship Game

We stayed home in California during 2014 and again got the travel bug for our efforts. In 2015 we were headed to Spain to take charge of the Murcia Cobras. Being in a Spanish seeking country with yet another great group of teammates and their families was a blessing as usual.

 The food in Murcia was great!

The Cobras were emotional players

By 2016, I still wanted to go overseas to coach the great game of American football but I really no longer wanted to be away from our family for five to seven months at a a time. Thus entered Sweden's Wäsby Warriors to the rescue with a two month contract for last May and June!

 Teaching American Football
to a Swedish Junior High
P.E. class 

GREAT interception
by a Warrior in red

The success of the two month program in Sweden led to a similar two month program in Spain in October and November of 2016 with both the Osos Rivas and one of their feeder teams, the Guadalajara Stings, in the greater Madrid megalopolis.

 With the Osos Line,
I'm a MEDIUM!

 Teaching American Football
to a Spanish Junior High
P.E. class

My beloved Stings!

Of course, we still have
a special spot in our
culinary hearts for tapas!

So that's it, eight great stops in five different countries coaching American football to men and women ages anywhere from 47 to 8!

And now, we are going back to Sweden for a third time for our ninth EuroBall Adventure.

It's GREAT to be a Warrior!

Again.

Reading Is FUNdamental!

Peter May is a fine mystery
writer suggested to me
by France magazine

I was instantly hooked by this Cold Case novel.

 This is the 18th Jack Reacher
novel that I have read

The blame for this particular addiction lies squarely on the shoulders of Mike D'Antuono who first sent me a Reacher novel back in 2010 when I was coaching the Hässleholm Hurricanes.

As I said, I'm hooked
on Peter May's Cold Case
writing style

Unfortunately, the Camarillo Public Library does not have the first three of these Enzo Files novels.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

After a LONG Absence, 2017 Has Begun in Earnest


Tuesday, January 31, 2017:

It's been a long time since my last post, the first one of 2017, here goes.

As we do most years, our New Year started in Las Vegas to visit Andy, Jenn and Kevin. Our main goal was to be with the kids to celebrate Andy's 43rd birthday on January 2nd, we also take this opportunity to watch a ton of Bowl games and eat some really good grub.

First stop is always in Victorville
for breakfast about half way
to Las Vegas

This is one of Guy Fieri's famous "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" eating spots

It's a Dive with both history
and sensational breakfast fare

As usual, we were not disappointed.

Once in Las Vegas . . .

 Kevin was excited about his
new Atlético Madrid jersey

 Being with the Grandkids
is a lot of fun!

First up on the weekend's football
calendar was the NCAA Semi-Final games

On December 31st, our #4 ranked Washington Huskies (12-1) drew the unenviable task of taking on the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0) in Atlanta, Georgia's Peach Bowl.

The #2 ranked Clemson Tigers (12-1) were playing the #3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) in the other Semi-Final contest in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.

Game Day means Football, Family,
Fun and . . .
  
FOOD!

We weren't Hunters but we were
hungry for some BBQ

 It is another of Guy Fieri's
favorite dining spots

Can't argue with our choices

So, fully sated, we sat down to watch the Dawgs . . .

. . . Go Down to Defeat

The UW fought hard but Alabama's defense was simply too good, the better team won.

Clemson destroyed Ohio State in the day's second game by a final tally of 31-0.

That game made me feel a lot better about the Huskies' effort earlier in the day.

Physical Fitness in the desert

Andy and I got out in the mornings to walk to his nearby park.

Twice around the park please 

Convenient markings as you enter Nevada Trails Park.

Sunday = MORE Football!

It was the last game of the
regular season
Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1)
at
Los Angeles Rams (4-11)

We watched on TV . . .

Mike, Jacob and Jesus
went to the game

The Rams were as bad as usual losing the Cardinals 44-6.

Thus the Rams finished the 2016 campaign with a 4-12 record punctuated with a season ending seven game losing streak.

 Kevin as a Super Hero

Kevin in his Super Hero Alter Ego

He borrowed my reading glasses for maximum effect.

Laurie is a GREAT Grandmother

Adios Kevin, Andy and Jenn

We had a GRAT time in Las Vegas with them as always!

GREAT, GREAT Game!
Clemson (14-1) 35 
Alabama (14-1) 31

We watched it at home with Mike and Jacob.

It was now officially college basketball season.

I joined Brian and Tom FitzGerald
for the California at UCLA game

Pauley Pavilion looked great

Our seats were good

Very good!

It was a good night of camaraderie as the UCLA Bruins (15-1) beat the Cal Bears (10-5) 81-71.

Lots of good times this month
with both Jacob and . . .

Mary

On January 11th, I even got to 
attend a Los Angeles Clippers game
at the Staples Center
courtesy of Martha Jimenez-Ito

Los Angeles Clippers 105 - Orlando Magic 96

GRACIAS Martha!

Laurie and I at the Oaks Mall
in Thousand Oaks

Not sure what game these ladies
were playing but they
were having fun

January 21st saw me at Santiago H.S.
for the 59th Annual Southern California
Football Coaches Association clinic

It was a long drive out to Corona, California for the clinic but it was worthwhile as the speakers were good.

On January 28th, Mike joined Jacob and I for a nice hike in the Hill Canyon area of Ventura County.

 Jacob blazing the trail

As it turns out,
Jacob's walking stick can easily
be transformed into a rifle

This past Sunday at Oaks
Christian School's observing practice

The Lion's Offensive Line Coach is Bob Richards who was the first coach I ever worked with back on the J.V. team at Thousand Oaks H.S. back in 1970.

That was a long time ago.

I wanted to watch what drills and teaching points he was using in their training. I was not disappointed.

EuroBall Updates from Spain

The Spanish football season started up in earnest this month, let's see how our three favorite clubs are doing . . .

The Serie A Cobras
are off to a great start

Two games into their first year in Spain's toughest division, the Cobras are happy to be sitting tied for first place with the Badalona Dracs sporting a perfect 2-0 record.

The Cobras beat the Valencia Giants 27-13 on January 15th and then boat raced the Barbera Rookies 37-6 a week later.

This coming Sunday, the two undefeated teams meet in Badalona for sole possession of first place in the six team circuit.

The Serie B Osos Rivas
are off to a rocky start

The Osos won their first game in Spain's second division on January 22nd by a 20-8 margin on the road against the Barcelona Bufals.

Last Saturday the Osos lost their home opener to the undefeated Mallorca Voltors 12-14. The loss dropped them into a tie for second place at 1-1 with the Bufals in Serie B's four team Par Conference.

Serie B also has four other teams playing in the Impar Conference for a total of eight Serie B teams in 2017.

Up next for the Osos is a short road trip to the other side of Madrid to take on the 0-2 ANV Fuenlabrada Cuervos on February 12th. The Cuervos are also in the Par Conference with the Voltors, Bufals and Osos. The Cuervos two losses are to the Voltors and Bufals by a combined score of 0-126.

The Serie C Guadalajara Stings
are struggling

I believe that my favorite club is off to an 0-2 start in Spain's third division. I say believe because they have played twice and nobody has posted a score of either game on their website or on their FaceBook page.

Not a good sign.

Reading is FUNdamental

 Tedious

I liked it

Whatever happened to Lew Alcindor?

Interesting

A good story about redemption and the first college football hero of my youth.

Has there ever been a better name for a dynamic running back than Billy Cannon? He is still LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner taking home the hardware in 1959.

Finally, I should be hearing something about another possible EuroBall adventure in the next week to ten days.

Keeping my fingers crossed.