Friday, February 6, 2015

Prisoner for a Day in La Hacienda

Friday, 6 February, 2015:

A few weeks ago I sent out a general e-mail to several members of the American football coaching fraternity in Ventura County asking for their help.

You see, the Cobras are woefully short on quality protective equipment for our Junior team members and any and all rookies.

Most players buy all of their own equipment at fairly high prices by U.S. standards due to increased shipping costs and Customs duties on new equipment. The rookies have to rely on the limited group equipment that the Cobras do own to share. Sizing, as you can guess is an issue. At our Junior team practice we usually have from two to four players doing their best without a helmet to wear either because we don't have one their size or we just don't have any more to hand out.

 Equipment Check on Monday

We went through all of the gear in our equipment cage before the Junior practice on Monday to see what we actually had to give out and what we could cannibalize to make some things usable again.

Close but no cheek pads

Still a bit sketchy by U.S. standards but we are getting closer. We were able to create three usable helmets out of the rubble and a few shoulder pads as well but we are still far from where we need to be.

Before this latest plea went out, we had received very high quality, used, donated game jerseys and game pants about two weeks ago that have become valued treasures as practice gear for all of the Cobras.

Before the arrival of this clothing, many Cobras practiced in shorts with battered t-shirts serving as their practice jerseys.

 Juniors after practice
back in December

Seniors after practice
back in December

Seniors looking SHARP
after practice now!

We, at the very least, now look like an American football team during our nightly workouts.

As for the protective gear, generous friends of the Cobras donated 16 used helmets and five used shoulder pads. This is, to the Cobras, the equivalent of finding of King Tut's tomb.

The world's best coach's wife, Laurie Contreras, had boxed up all of the gear that had been donated and sent it to us via the United States Postal System at relatively low cost.

While the clothing took a long time to reach us as we were fighting with both the Christmas and the Reyes Magos gift sending season, the protective gear arrived in Spain in just a week!

Thus, after checking the USPS Tracking System on-line the first thing this morning, I saw that the first of our four boxes had arrived in Murcia's Main Post Office this morning. While the other three boxes are still in Madrid going through Customs, this first box should be delivered sometime today.

Thus, I have opted to stay in La Hacienda today until the departure time for our 6:30 p.m. Junior practice or the box is delivered, whichever comes first.

I do not want to miss the Spanish Correo's delivery and later have to go to the Post Office to have to drag any of these boxes back to La Hacienda via the R20 bus.

So, today was about Zaragoza game preparation, house cleaning, reading and video watching.

Finally, time was up and it was time to board the tram for the ride out to Guadalupe for the first of our two practices tonight.

We enjoyed two good workouts tonight, so that was the good news.

the Spanish Correos attempted to drop off the box of equipment to La Hacienda at 8:22 p.m. At about that time we were just finishing up our Junior practice.


More days . . .

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