Sunday, April 22, 2012

Euro Bowl Game: Calanda Broncos vs. Helsinki Wolverines

The call on this Saturday was for a three hour road trip by car to Chur, Switzerland's oldest city that was already settled by the Celts 5,000 years ago. The purpose of the outing was to watch a Euro Bowl playoff game between the Helsinki Wolverines and the home team, the powerful Calanda Broncos.

The Euro Bowl playoffs are akin to soccer's Champions League. This tournament brings together the top teams from the various 2011 EuroBall seasons to determine who has the best Senior team of all of Europe's 750+ American football clubs.

This is Big Boy football at a very high level of play.

Former Catania Elephants Jason Johnson (QB) and Matt Epperson (WR) played for the 2009 Euro Bowl Champion Swarco Raiders out of Innsbruck, Austria.

Road Warriors

I was joined on our six hour round trip journey by Thun Tigers Markus Moser (DL), Adrian Jüsy (WR) and, our chauffeur, Stephan Pulver (C/U-19 Head Coach.

It turns out that Stephan learned to drive playing the video game Grand Theft Auto.

Spietz Park and Ride View

We met here at about noon to start our adventure. After a mild ride by Stephan Pulver standards through the amazingly beautiful Swiss country side including an area dubbed "Heidiland," we arrived in Chur in time to do a little sight seeing before the 6:00 p.m. kickoff.

Interseting but . . .

Considering that Chur does not have a lake, I'm not so sure about this boat motif.

The first of many HUGE people
we would see today

He had a cute girl friend

The Ram is Chur's logo

Our man Gonzo back in Camarillo has
a large fan base in Chur as it turns out

Happy Face


Time for a check of the Chur Art Scene . . .

I thought the choices were guns and butter?

Or was it Jaguars and Jack Daniels?


The Three Leagues of Graubünden

All three of these heraldic signs are on the canton flag of Graubünden where Chur lies and is its capital city.

If I am not mistaken, on the left is the coat-of-arms of the Grey League, in the middle is the League of God's House and on the right is the League of Ten Jurisdictions. 

The Swiss love their bears

We have to paint our house like this one

An OLD gelato sign

Getting hungry

The Three Leagues

Looks like the Star of Thun to me

Chur's quiet streets

Tom's Beer Box

They served 140 different beers.

I picked a Finnish beer

But we were still all hungry.

It was time for food

World's Strongest Special Olympian

We got a hot tip on a place to eat from a shop owner, so we were off to the Stars and Stripes American Bar & Restaurant. It was along the lines of the Texas Cattle Company in Camarillo.

The Steak Menu was a bit rich for my blood

I opted for the 22 Swiss Franc Texas Burger, it was very good!

The Dodgers are off to a great start

Seems to work for Laurie
and Debi Murphy as well

Game Time!!!

We opted for the 20 Swiss Franc ducats

Vintage Ford Mustang

The idea was to parade it on the field during the pre-game festivities but they could not start it up.

Mercury Cougar

On the other hand, this Merc was LOUD and ready to party!

Gian Paolo Ricchi

Gian Paolo has worked with the Calanda Broncos for several years and has followed this blog from the start.

It was great to finally get to meet him in person.

Good guy.

Chur Home Boy?

The seven loudest women in Helsinki

They definitely love their Wolverines!

A packed house in the 30 Swiss Franc section

The Calanda Broncos in red.

The Helsinki Wolverines

Usually the road team wears white jerseys.

#66 Andre Mathis, OL, 198 cm, 160 kilos

Andre is from Germany and his measurements translate into 6'6", 352 lbs.

He looked bigger.

MUCH bigger.

The Alps as a stadium background


Bronco Tino Muggwyler running downhill

Bronco QB Marko Glavic

He was the difference maker tonight. He played in Innsbruck the year before Jason Johnson and Matt Epperson arrived and led the Raiders to the 2008 Euro Bowl title.

The game started slowly with both teams feeling each other out, 0-0 at the end of the first period. 

Trips Left Gun

#32 Bronco D.J. Wolfe had a big game too

Launch it!

Two hands please

A little holding goes a long way

Wolverine RB Mike Andrew down early

#5 LB Efe Evwaraye
Wolverine Sack Time!

#7 Excellent Bronco WR Steve Valentino

Counter off the Fly sweep

1 on 1 on the perimeter

The Chindlifresser?

Where games are won and lost

Pass Rush: Get a hand up!

Wolverine #28 RB Stephen Stokes

He ran tough all night long, very impressive indeed.

Form Tackle?

QB Scramble

Wolverine Punt

If every drive ends with a punt or a kick, things will be OK. It was not to be thus for Helsinki tonight.

It was Broncos ahead at the half, 14-0.

Helsinki QB Cedric Johnson

To be kind, lets just say that he struggled in the second half.

TD Broncos
#32 RB D.J. Wolfe

I might be a Medium in this stadium

Helsinki's #63 is Esa Suhonen, listed at 186 cm, 150 kilos. That is 6'1", 330 lbs. of well conditoned Finn!

Uh, oh!

If he is the Chindlefresser, he looks hungry again!

Great cutback by Helsinki's
RB Stephen Stokes

After three quarters of play, a very, very good Calanda team was comfortably in command, up 28-6.

With the help of a few bottles of wine,
the Helsinki girls were still cheering
for a Wolverine miracle

It was not to be

Calanda showed no signs of weakness as they rolled to victory by a final score of 49-6.

No Contest.

If you are in Europe and want to see a high caliber EuroBall team in action, the trip to Chur to watch the Broncos would be well worth your time.

The trip home was faster I am told, I don't know since I first closed my eyes and may have fallen asleep for part of the drive.

On Sunday, I'm on the road again with my mates to scout the Geneva Seahawks (1-1) playing at the home of the Luzern Lions (1-3).

I'm having a GREAT football weekend indeed!!!

1 comment:

Calanda Gramps said...

Great story & phot0graphy.

Just finished Playing for Pizza!

Following the htree University of Dayton players this year:Valentino with Broncos; Vercammen with Orebro Black Knights & Langhorst with Reggio Emilia Hogs