Sunday, February 6, 2011

Getting Ready for the Super Bowl

Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4)
Green Bay Packers (13-6)

Today is indeed, SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! The game will be telecast to 232 countries and amongst the estimated one billion viewers worldwide will be Elephants from Catania, Sicily and Hurricanes from Hässleholm, Sweden.

A thirty second advertising spot on today's telecast is going for a reported $3,000,000!!!

The average ticket price for the first Super Bowl in 1967 (Green Bay 35 - Kansas City 10) was $6. The cheapest ticket this year has a face value of $600 and "scalped" tickets are going for as much as $15,000 for one on the 50 yard line.

It is estimted that today, Americans will consume 325.5 million gallons of beer, 1 billion chicken wings, 30 million pounds of potato chips, 8 million pounds of guacamole and 8 million pounds of popcorn.

On the typical Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, 6% of American workers call in sick to work and antacid sales increase by 20%.

With all of this in mind, I needed to get into the proper Super Bowl mood, but how to do it?

Santa Paula's California Oil Museum

This building is where the Union Oil Company (Union 76) was founded in the 1880's. I first drove past this museum in 1971 but have never stopped in to see any of their exhibits on the state's "black gold" business. On Friday I finally drove up to Santa Pauls for the express purpose of seeing this museum.

How was this journey going to get me into the Super Bowl mood you ask?


The History of Santa Paula H.S. Football

I read in Friday's Ventura County Star that the museum was displaying an exhibit on the local high school's football team. Since I am considering writing a history of Ventura County high school football, I thought this would be a good place to continue my research.

The Cardinals played their first game in 1924 against their arch-rival, the Fillmore Flashes. Santa Paula prevailed that day just as it did this past season in the 100th renewal of the rivalry.

Santa Paula now leads the series with Fillmore 56-37-7.


This is about one half of the exhibit that shared a room with an exhibit about American Civil War President Abraham Lincoln.

Cool Letterman's Club Patch

The Cardinals were Frontier League Champions in 1971 and 1972. How can that be history when I was coaching in the county in those same years at Thousand Oaks H.S.?

How old am I really?

Gas Pumps from the "Good Old Days"

After spending about 30 minutes checking out the football exhibit, I had to take a look at some of the oil industry exhibits.

I really didn't like the Shell Oil gas pump.

Now this one I like!


I was compelled to go down the street to the Valero Station and fill up my car's gas tank after leaving the museum.

Mupu Citrus Association

Santa Paula has always been a big player in the County's orange and lemon industies. The Mupus were a part of the local Native American Chumash Indian Tribe.

After a fun afternoon in Santa Paula, I was getting into the Packer-Steeler spirit, but I wasn't quite there yet, I needed something more. . .

The Ventura County Police Hogs

Saturday, at Buena H.S. in Ventura, the Hogs were going to open their 2011 season at home against another police enforcement based team, the Fontana Eagles.

The Hogs have a five schedule this Spring, their other four games are also against law enforcement teams from Redlands, Long Beach, Orange County and Baldwin Park.

These teams are generally made up of equal parts police officers and civilians. Their common bond? They all still love to play American football for fun.

Besides increasing my Super Bowl adrenalin, we did have another reason to go to our first ever Hogs game. Our son Michael is a rookie with the Hogs.


Mike is #32 in the black jersey just getting back into line of the Hogs' pre-game tackling drill.

Hogs' ageless QB John Castellanos

Actually, John does have an age, he is 49! Besides a career with the Ventura P.D., John was also our oldest son Andrew's Pop Warner coach many years ago.

He played remarkably well yesterday and had a key pooch punt that Mike downed at the 1 yard line late in the fourth quarter that sealed the Hogs' victory.

Power Play

As Vince Lombardi always said, "The team that controls the off-tackle area controls the game."

A kick out block on #55 would have been nice.

Contain Man on the Hogs Kickoff Team

Mike would play at Tight End, Free Safety and on Special Teams. It was fun to see him back in uniform after a hiatus of, what, ten plus years.

Mike at TE

This was the first game in his life that Mike ever played in a three point stance. He was a QB, WR and DB all of his career until yesterday.

Half Time with Mike's Fan Club

My sister Linda, Laurie, Mike's Grandmother Florene and wife Vanessa all turned out to support Mike and the Hogs.

Mike Running a Pass Route


Fontana Eagle QB on the loose!

The Hogs built up a commanding 16-0 lead by the end of the third quarter, they were dominating!

Then the fourth quarter started and so did Fontana's team. Their QB made some very key plays including converting on first and 40!

The Eagles scored twice and cut the Ventura lead to 16-13 late in the game. I mentioned John Castellano's great pooch punt to the one yard line earlier. On the ensuing Fontana play, the Eagles fumbled in the end zone and the Hogs recovered for a TD.

The last Hogs Kickoff

Mike is now sporting both a Catania helmet sticker on his back plate as well as a hard to see Hässleholm "Thor's Hammer" decal.

Mike at Free Safety

23-16 Hogs was the Final Score!


Mike was touched that some of his Hueneme H.S. JV players came to watch him play.

Mike with his Fan Club

He was proud of his scrapes and bruises from the game just like every other man or boy who has played a game of American football.

Sunset over Buena H.S.

O.K., I'm mentally ready, BRING ON THE SUPER BOWL XLV!

I'm taking the Steelers to bring home their seventh Lombardi Trophy.

Good luck to both teams and now. . .


Davide said...

I like that elephants decorated back plate

Michael Contreras said...

It was spending time with the Elephants as well as the Hurricanes that made me want to play football once again.

Michael said...