Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Waiting for . . .

Tuesday, 3 March, 2015:

In honor of Samuel Beckett, I spent another morning in La Hacienda waiting for the mailman to deliver our last box of used, donated American football equipment.

While waiting, Catalina Gracia Saavedra, posted more of her great photos from last Sunday's game against the Barcelona Búfals. Here are some of the new ones that I really enjoyed.

Búfals throwing into coverage

Roberto Durán leading the way

We ran the ball much better on Sunday.

Off the top rope . . .

Start of a 90 yard interception
return by FS Largo

 Largo returning it up our sideline

A Republicano and a Nacionalisto
in the interception return convoy?

Largo also had a key 33 yard pass
reception that fired up our sidelines 

 Largo is still running

The Búfals finally dragged Largo down
at which point . . .

. . . Mini-Q Karate kicked the ref

No, not really, it was just his Looney Tunes Tazmanian Devil impression.

In case you don't know who the Looney Tunes Tazmanian Devil is, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c54SvkgQ04A

On Game Day, Mini-Q and Taz are pretty much one and the same person.

On non-Game Days too come to think of it.

Gracias Publico!!!

The Offensive Line

This proud group played MUCH better on Sunday!

FS/WR Largo
Winner of the coveted Game Hammer

Mini-Q and his Victory Decal

On this Sunday, the Church of American Football was open for communion.

My beloved Cobras basking in the
warmth of Victory and the Murcian Sun

Finally, at 12:30 p.m., the doorbell rang and the postman brought in the long awaited box!

It's Here!

Cheek pads and Chin Straps and
Helmet Sizers . . . OH MY!!!

The box of goodies even had a helmet, all courtesy of former player Erik Peterson.

While the items inside may be considered old and unneeded at his high school back in California, in Espanña they are ORO!!!


Only one way to celebrate the arrival of these treasures, off to the Barrio del Carmen for lunch with Oscar, Rosa and Alberto.

As always it was so good!

After lunch, I walked from the Barrio del Carmen up to the Biblioteca Regional to get some new videos to fill in the down time at La Hacienda.

Along the way . . .

On a wall of Murcia's Cathedral:
Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera

I never noticed it before. 

Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera

In 1933, he was the founder of the Falange Española, an ultra-conservative, right wing, i.e., fascist political party. The Catholic Church's interests in Spain at the time were right in step with Rivera's.

In 1936, at the age of 33, he was executed in nearby Alicante by left wing Republicans at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

The phrase on the Cathedral's wall is still used by those who want to honor his memory and what he stood and died for oh so long ago.

This kind of makes me a tad uneasy.

Interesting Architecture

Great Chairs in the Biblioteca

Click on this picture to enlarge it and see the material up close.

Minnie Minoso
died a few days ago

The Cuban Comet was one of my childhood heroes. He played baseball the way God intended it to be played. He was the first black player on the Chicago White Sox and really should be in the Hall of Fame.

Today Marca, Spain's daily sports-only newspaper, ran this nice article on his passing as well as the recent deaths of fellow black athletes/pioneers golfer Charlie Sifford and Earl Lloyd, the NBA's first black athlete.

More days . . .

. . . Single digits at long last!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Serie B Update and a Waiting/Working Monday

Monday, 2 March, 2015:

First, some more pictures of yesterday's game thanks to Catalina Gracia Saavedra.

Mini-Q recovery a muffed Búfals'
punt return which quickly led to a
Cobras TD

 Pablo Serrano's excellent punt
return was nullified by the clip
in the background

Dusty Estadio

RG Roberto Durán had a great game

Angel Clemente stretching for a TD

After five weeks of play, the first half of the 2015 Spanish Serie B regular season is complete after having played each of our four Par Conference opponents one time..

We now play everybody in our Par Conference one more time before the start of the Serie B playoffs. Only the fifth place teams in each of Serie B's two Conferences are eliminated from the playoffs at the end of the eight game regular season slate.


Week #5 Results:
Murcia 20 - Barcelona 13
Reus 21 - Zaragoza Hornets 7
BYE: Barcelona

Par Conference Standings:
Reus Imperials 4-0
Murcia Cobras 2-2
Barcelona Búfals 2-2
Santurtzi Coyotes 2-2
Zaragoza Hornets 0-4

Week #6 Schedule:
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Barcelona (2-2) at Zaragoza Hornets(0-4)
Reus (4-0) at Santurtzi (2-2)
BYE: Murcia (2-2)

Week #5 Results:
Barberá 7 - Coslada 6
Las Rozas 27 - Granada 20
BYE: Zaragoza Hurricanes

Impar Conference Standings:
Barberá Rookies 4-0
Coslada Camioneros 2-2
Granada Lions 2-2
Zaragoza Hurricanes 1-3
Las Rozas Black Demons 1-3

Week #6 Schedule:
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Las Rozas (1-3) at Barberá (4-0)
Coslada (2-2) at Zaragoza Hurricanes (1-3)
BYE: Granada (2-2)

Today was a long, stay at home day in La Hacienda as I had been notified by Spain's Correo that the last of our eight boxes of donated, used American football gear had arrived at Murcia's Main Post Office on Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m.

Since it didn't come on Saturday, it could arrive anytime today. Thus I stayed at home all day waiting for the postman to ring my doorbell with a box of goodies.

Fortunately, I had plenty to do as I needed to breakdown yesterday's Barcelona Búfals game video.

Good beverage any day
of the week

The video confirmed that 1. we've improved a lot and 2. we have a lot more improving to do!

I again opted to give our Senior team the Monday practice after a Sunday game off partly because I knew that they would need more recovery time after yesterday's physical game played on the rock hard surface of our home field and partly because our next game was still three weeks away.

The Juniors would still practice from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. as they have another game this Saturday against the Cehegin Wolves. We had a great turnout for this workout.

 Juniors Running

 Back to Basics Practice

Punch and Drive

Junior Coach Tanke demonstrating

A bit high but not too bad

The box I waited for all day had still not arrived at 6:00 p.m. when Roberto Durán picked me up for the Junior practice.

I got an e-mail from the U.S. Postal Service stating that the Spanish Correos had tried to deliver the box but that nobody was home to receive it at 8:35 p.m. when the postman rang my doorbell.

Of course, we were still at practice at that time. Sta at home day again tomorrow to wait yet again.

More days . . .

Barcelona Búfals Game

Sunday, 1 March, 2015:

Last weekend there were no games played in Spain's Serie B League of American Football. 

Today the eight of the ten teams in Serie B were back at it.

It was a hot day in Murcia with temperatures well into the 80s.

Second Place Par Conference
W Barcelona 14 - Zaragoza 8
L Reus 42 - Barcelona 0
W Barcelona 14 - Santurtzi 0


Fourth Place Par Conference
L Santurtzi 14 - Murcia 7
Murcia 15 - Zaragoza 0
L Reus 34 - Murcia 14

The Santurtzi Coyotes had the Par Conference bye this week having already finished the first round of Conference play with a 2-2 record.

A Cobra win would create a three way tie for second place between the Cobras, Coyotes and Búfals, all at 2-2.

The Conference leading Reus Imperials were 3-0 going into their game today at home against the 0-3 Zaragoza Hornets.

After this week, we will play all four Par Conference teams one more time.

GRACIAS to Oscar Constante for all of these great game day photos!

The Game Field was PRISTINE!!!

Largo was ready to tee it up

He made a lot of Big Plays today!

Here Come the Cobras!!!

Hats Up!!!

Just remember,
the end zone is THAT-A-WAY!!!


BÚFALS BALL: Alberto got things going for the Cobras by kicking the ball out of the end zone to start the game. Three and Out, Punt #1. YAHOO!

COBRAS BALL: We put together perhaps our best drive of the season with a good mix of runs and passes. Bryan did the honors with a five yard scamper up the middle on a trap for the game's first score. Alberto was good on his PAT kick and the Cobras had the early lead 7-0.

BÚFALS BALL: Another Alberto touchback on the kickoff was followed by Alberto, who also plays DT, sacking the Búfals QB on their fourth down play.

COBRAS BALL: We moved the ball again but turned it over on downs.

BÚFALS BALL: Three and Out, Punt #2. YAHOO!!

COBRAS BALL: Murcia had the ball as the First Quarter came to an end with the score Murcia 7 - Barcelona 0.

Esteve Flying

Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust

Bryan Scoring a TD

Looking a bit hawkish


MURCIA BALL: The Cobras punted and the first Big Play of the Kicking Game came when the Búfals punt returner muffed the ball and Murcia's Mini-Q pounced on the ball deep in Barcelona territory to continue the drive. Our QB, Angel Clemente, yes we have a few players with last names, scored the games second TD on a four yard run. Alberto was good with his PAT and it was now Murcia 14 - Barcelona 0.

BARCELONA BALL: Alberto kicked another ball into the end zone to start things right again for the defense but a 40 yard pass play set up a 2 yard TD run by the Búfals. The PAT was blocked and the Cobras still led 14-6.

MURCIA BALL: Three and Out, Punt.

BARCELONA BALL: Three and Out, Punt #3 thanks to a huge, physical sack on third down by blitzing LB Jorge. YAHOO!!! But it got much better when Alberto blocked the Búfals punt and Largo scooped and scored it from 20 yards out! Alberto's PAT was wide left but the Cobras led 20-6.

BARCELONA BALL: Alberto kicks off his fourth touchback  of the game. The Búfals are forced to punt but one of our DTs lined up offsides giving Barcelona a key first down. That is followed by a late hit on their QB to set up a 20 yard TD pass by the Búfals. Their PAT was good and the Cobras lead was cut to 20-13.

MURCIA BALL: The Cobras fumbled the ball away deep in our own territory on third down, our first turnover of the season.

BARCELONA BALL: Largo intercepts a Barcelona pass in the end zone but one of our DBs is called for pass interference. Not to worry, Largo intercepts the ball again at the one yard line and returns it 80 yards before being dragged down.

MURCIA BALL: We throw an interception as time is running out on the First Half.

BARCELONA BALL: The Búfals tried a desperation double pass but we played it well as they picked up a few meaningless yards as the First Half came to an end with the score Murcia 20 - Barcelona 14.


Pablo Serrano Punt Return

Monsanto AstroDirt Fields
are State-of-the-Art

Celebrating Largo's
80 yard interception return

Or maybe just a Republican salute from the Spanish Civil War Days . . .

This Búfals WR was tough all day long!

COBRAS BALL: A good drive was stymied by a fourth down holding call that led to a field goal attempt that was off the mark.

BÚFALS BALL: A big stop by the Cobras on fourth down, the defense's second of the day gave the Cobras solid field position.

MURCIA BALL: We were stopped on fourth down as well.

BÚFALS BALL: Barcelona is driving as the Third Quarter comes to a scoreless end. The score is still Murcia 20 - Barcelona 13.

Bryan with a catch

Mini-Q with tenacious coverage

Largo giving Mini-Q five for his efforts


BARCELONA BALL: The Búfals continued their Third Quarter ending drive but Kiki was able to intercept a Búfals pass thanks to a great hit on their QB by Alberto as he was releasing the ball.

MURCIA BALL: Angel found Largo open on a big third down pass that covered 40 yards to keep the drive alive and secure excellent field position for the rest of the game. The Cobras would eventually turn the ball over on downs.

BARCELONA BALL: Largo comes up big again at his FS spot, breaking up a Búfals fourth down pass attempt. This was fourth down stop number three of the game for our defense!

MURCIA BALL: We go for it on fourth down at about the ten yard line but don't make it as we are at about the one minute mark.

BARCELONA BALL: Jorge and Brady come up with a vicious fourth down QB sack to put an exclamation point on the game!

MURCIA BALL: The best play in American football, Victory Kneel Down, gives the Cobras their second win of the season and the three way tie for second place in the Impar Conference that we were hoping to earn today.

 I don't believe #4 caught this one

Alberto on a PAT attempt

These last two artsy photos are courtesy of Catalina Saavedra.

The Game Ending Sack
by Jorge and Brady

Largo won the Game Hammer

Alberto made a lot of plays and probably deserved one too.

Holding the Cobras youngest
dues paying Socio,
Jesús Javier Fernández Cerezo

Largo got to hold Jesús too

To sum up the day's efforts, we played great, opportunistic, physical Defense. We also made some big plays in the Kicking Game. Our Offense should great improvement today but we need to finish drives to be a contender down the stretch.


More days . . .