Monday, May 18, 2015

French DII Quarter-Final Playoff Game: Falcons vs. Aigles

Sunday, 17 May, 2015:


Another beautiful day in Lyon and it was GAME DAY to boot!

Church in Écully

We accompanied Marianne on a nice stroll into town for a café and as usual some conversation. It was a good idea on a morning like this one.

 The square near the church

Café at a sidewalk French bistro,
is there a better way to start the day?

After the café, we hurried back to Maison Damboise because Master Chef Jean-Charles had been hard at work preparing another one of his magical dishes for lunch.

A delicious rice dish with . . .

. . . a curry and coconut milk chicken
dish to die for!!!


Fully sated, Laurie and I were off to the stadium in Bron for the big deal of the day!

 French Division II Quarter-Final Game
Chambéry Aigles (5-4)
Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons (7-1)

OLB Fast Freddie Bastiand
Reporting for Duty

 Is that a Hammer in the tunnel?

 Here come the Falcons

Hammer Time!!!

Ceremonial Kickoff

In EuroBall, teams will occasionally honor someone by allowing them to have a go at a ceremonial opening kickoff just before the start of the game.

 Today the Falcons honored me with
the Kickoff Duty

I was deeply touched by the team's extremely kind gesture. My 1950s style, toe bash kick was a tad ugly I must admit.


Run to the ball!

Eating French pastries brought 
by Julien and watching the contest
with him and Laurie

Blocking for the game's first PAT
Falcons 7 - Aigles 0

WR Roman Nefise

Les 3 Brasseurs is the local brew pub that is one of the teams major sponsors and a team post-game hang out. 

Aigles punted a lot in the First Half

Coaching the Offense

In the two years since I coached them, the Falcons have made tremendous strides in their overall development.

This year's team has a five man coaching staff that is doing an excellent job both preparing the team and making game time adjustments as you see here.  

Coaching up the Defense

The coaching staff has implemented a rigorous off-season weight training and conditioning program that the players have adopted whole-heartedly.

General Manager Julien Urgenti continues to recruit new players that have improved both the quality of the team and their depth.

The Falcons are building a program the right way and are on the right track to someday soon win the DII championship and ascend to France's elite DI league.

Matthieu Fayard

If every team I coached had a LB with Mattieu's intensity and passion for the game we would be really hard to beat!

The Offensive Line
The heart of the team!

Falcon QB Pete Lalic slinging the ball

 Punt Block team

The Spread offense was in high gear

Although the Aigles made a nice run in the Third Quarter, the Falcons were just too good for them today.

Final Score: Falcons 40 - Aigles 20

The now 8-1 Falcons will next travel to the Bordeaux region of France to play the 9-1 Pessac Kangourous. In their previous meeting in Bron on March 22, the Falcons edged the Kangourous 31-28.

Of course, today was also all about seeing and rekindling many fine friendships.

Cathy and Alain Pfaff
 Cathy Pfaff

Cathy and her husband Alain were such gracious people. We joined them in their home for dinner on several occasions back in 2013.

El Catalan

When God decided how He wanted a Free Safety to play the game, he had Ismael Sánchez in mind.

Julien Urgenti, Ismael Sánchez
and Christophe Thuau

Julien is the teams GM, Ismael was our great FS in 2013 now retired and Christophe is the team's Presisent who will someday run the entire country I'm sure.

Julien Urgenti

He continues to make great moves to improve the team every year.

He is a great friend and I'm so glad that he convinced me to come to France as coach of the Falcons in the 2012-13 season.

Mugging after the win

Brice Rontet is my type of hard nosed,
old school RB

If I had one, I would have given him the Game Hammer today.

Michelle McEvoy and Alexandre De Macedo

A feisty and loving couple who are fun to be around.

Showing off

He swears he did not wear it during the game.

David "Fion" Melin 

One of the funniest characters that I have ever come across, I love this guy!

After the game, we journeyed back into the Vieux Lyon district before rejoining the team later at Les 3 Brasseurs for dinner.

 Lyon's Cathedral

Ancient fountain

Laurie resting

 Grandma's Restaurant

 Charming streets just as
we remembered them


The cathedral again

How old is this?

A sunny day means outdoor seating

Look who we ran into in Vieux Lyon
Marianne and . . .

. . . Jean-Charles
Good hosts, Better people

Looking good in the Vieux Lyon

We then drove to our most enjoyable dinner with the Falcons.

Steven "First Down" Berthomier
and Alexandre De Macedo

At dinner, Steven was excited to show us how much he had improved his English speaking skills. He scored three touchdowns today, so I have to say that he has improved his American football playing ability a lot more than his language skills in the past two years.

Pierro " Spicy Coyote" Theyssier

Pure speed, WR Pierro had missed the last few games with an injury. He came back with a vengeance scoring the game's first TD on a scintillating run after catch.

It was great to see so many great people here in Lyon the last two days.

We experienced a flood of GREAT memories this weekend from the 2012-13 French DIII National Championship Season.


Meanwhile, the Serie B playoffs continued South of the French border . . .

2015 Serie B Playoffs

Over the weekend, the semi-final games of the Spanish Serie B were also played. The results were as they should be, although I was a bit surprised by the score of the the Black Demons-Rookies game. In the end, it will be two 9-0 teams, the Reus Imperials and the Barberà Rookies, battling it out for the championship and the right to ascend to Serie A in 2016.

Saturday/Sunday, May 2/3, 2015
Las Rozas 27 - Murcia 14
Granada 46 - Santurtzi 13
BYES: Par #1 Reus (8-0) and Impar #1 Barberà (8-0)

Saturday/Sunday, May 16/17, 2015
Reus 48 - Granada 7
Barberà 28 - Las Rozas 21

Sunday, May 31, 2015
Barberà (9-0) at Reus (9-0)

Next Circumnavigation Tour Stop: A beach on the Mediterranean coast of Le-Grau-de-Roi, France for two nights

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