Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Typical Days in Camarillo

After just a couple of days back in California, I'm back into the Rio Mesa H.S. football routine although I'm nowhere close to getting over jet lag!


The NFL Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

The Dallas Cowboys have a very long history of holding their pre-season training camps in Ventura County.

During the Golden Years from the early 1960's until the late 1980's when the legendary Tom Landry was their head coach, the Cowboys trained at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

When Jerry Jones bought the team 1989 he quickly decided to move the Cowboys training site to someplace in Texas after 1 or 2 more summers at Cal Lu.

Jones brought the team back to Oxnard about 3 years ago and spent 2 great camps there so naturally he moved them back to Texas last summer. This summer he is back in Oxnard! 

Oxnard's River Ridge

The Dallas training camp is held on 2 manicured fields that sit side by side next to the River Ridge Golf Course (behind the trees in the background) and a Marriott Hotel where the players are housed.

This site is only about 3 miles from Rio Mesa H.S. where I coach. 

Spectator Rules

I think that Rule #1 may be the reason you see so few Italians at the practices.

The Cowboys even bring their own portable mini-Hall-of-Fame.

Super Bowl Trivia

Every REAL Cowboy fan knows that Chuck Howley is the correct answer to the question: "Who is the ONLY player on the losing team to ever be named the Super Bowl MVP?"


You have to be under 13 years of age to get into this autograph line, QB Tony Romo IS the hot number around the camp amongst fans.

Offense is in White

Defense is in Blue

Be More Fan Friendly

One thing that bothers me about Cowboy practices is that when it comes time for team work they always move the team to the field farthest away from the fans.

In the Landry days, the fans were allowed as close as 10 yards from ALL practice activities!

Cowboy Souvenirs

The Cowboys will sell you any and everything! Nice leather helmet on the salesman.

They will sell you Jerseys, Pictures...

... Seats from the old Texas Stadium...

... and even Paving Stones at their new stadium

Cowboy Mascot on the Rampage

Norm Chow visits the Cowboys

Norm Chow is one of the greatest offensive minds in football having been the very successful Offensive Coordinator at BYU, USC, the NFL Tennessee Titans and now starting his first season at UCLA.



As you know if you follow the blog, I just signed my Letter of Intent with Arsenal to be their newest fan. As it turns out I may be their newest fan but at the Cowboys camp I wasn't the biggest fan! I don't know where this large fellow is from but I know his dream is to someday see an Arsenal game at Emirates Stadium.

The glove I'm wearing is NOT a tribute to Michael Jackson, I'm actually at the Cowboy's Camp...

... Working the Rio Mesa H.S. Football Food Booth

As a result, I have to wear these gloves if I'm handling the food.

The Cowboys have offered the local high schools the opportunity to sell food concessions to the spectators during their time in Oxnard. Our booth sells pizza, breakfast croissants, nachos, meat ball sandwiches and all sorts of non-alcoholic beverages.

Labor intensive, it is a GREAT fund raiser for us!

I know, we are not up to Sicilian standards

I'm in charge of cooking these steaks on the BBQ to later cut up and add to our nachos. I fully understand that there SHOULD be cipolata, involtini and Italian sausages on the grill too but I've only been back 4 days!


Arsenal Fans Are All Over Ventura County

After finishing my morning shift at Cowboy Camp, I met the Ventura County Star's ace sports reporter, David P. Lassen, for lunch at Jack's Deli in Westlake.

We both showed up wearing Arsenal jerseys. David's O2 (a communications company) style is the former sponsor's version. I'm sporting the current sponsor's red version.

We had a nice visit about the end of the Elephant's season and his upcoming trip to Beijing to cover the 2008 Summer Olympics where he will be following the 10 or so U.S. Olympians with Ventura County roots. After the Olympics are over he will vacation in Australia, I'm jealous!



After lunch it was back to Rio Mesa to open up the weight room for the team to work out. I got their about 45 minutes before the players were scheduled to arrive.

It has taken several years to equip this room and we are very proud of it!

Rio Mesa Football History

Besides being a workout facility, we also try to instill pride in our program in this room. Here are pictures of many of R.M.H.S. alumni who have gone on to play college and NFL football.


The highest honor a player can earn in Southern California is to be named to the All-C.I.F. team. In our 43 year history, 41 players have earned this honor. When they do, their jersey number, name and position are added to the ceiling as depicted here.

We had a great Nose Guard by the name of Calvin Burnett a few years ago. He made All-C.I.F. his senior year and asked me to tell him when I was going to install his information onto this Row of Fame. When the time came he steadied the ladder for me and told me that the first day of summer as a freshman when he saw these numbers, he vowed to someday be up there too! I guess it worked as a motivational tool.

Team Pictures

All 43 varsity teams that have represented Rio Mesa on the football field have their team pictures on the walls too. These are the photos from the last four very successful seasons.

So, that's it, the drill is basically football, football, football.


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