Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Poland Goes KAPUT, EuroBall Updates and Another Glazier Clinic

EuroBall Updates

Lots of things going on in EuroBall this past week, some bad, lots good . . .

Our first stop is Gdańsk, Poland where I had agreed to coach the Wikingowie in 2016 back in November. Since then things became a bit murky and finally came to a head about ten days ago.

Apparently, the Wikingowie was in arrears in paying the Polish Federation all of their 2015 dues and a fine for forfeiting a game in 2015 as well. Part of the problem stemmed from unresolved issues due to a change in the leadership of club.

The Polish Federation finally set a hard and fast date for the Wikingowie to settle their accounts. That day passed and the Polish Federation promptly banned our club from playing in the league in 2016.

There have been some attempts to keep the team going by A. Having players join another team, the Słupsk Griffons, located about 75 miles from Gdańsk and B. Placing the team into the Baltic Sea League which is more of a costly international tournament than a league.

After talking it over with Laurie and some key members of both the Griffons and Wikingowie, I have decided not to join the Wikingowie/Griffons for the 2016 EuroBall season. The timing of these decisions is really bad for me, as most teams in Europe have already signed their coaches for 2016 for the many seasons that have already started or are about to kickoff. Unless something unexpected happens, we'll stay home in 2016.

But there is still a lot of GREAT news coming out of EuroBall and the teams that I have coached in the past!

France's Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons

I coached here during the 2012-13 season.

The Falcons are off to a flying start at 4-0, the only undefeated team left the French Division II.

Their results so far are:
Beat the Montpellier Hurricanes 21-7
Beat the Chambéry Aigles 27-17
Beat the Cannes Iron Mask 41-0
Beat the Nimes Centurions 31-28

Spain's Murcia Cobras

I coached here during the 2015 season.

Lot's of excitement in the Southeast corner of Spain as well as the Cobras have broken from the gate with a 3-0 record and are the only undefeated team in the Spanish Serie B.

Their results so far are:
Beat the Granada Lions 14-0
Beat the Mallorca Voltors 9-3
Beat the Gijón Mariners 30-0

Italy's Catania Elephants

I coached here during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

The Elephants are playing in the Italian Division II this season. They played their first game of the 2016 season last weekend, a 36-0 win over the Grosseto Veterans.

Switzerland's Thun Tigers 

I coached here during the 2012 season.

The Tigers will open their season April 3rd on the road against the Geneva Seahawks.

Sweden's Hässleholm Hurricanes

I coached here during the 2010 season.

The 'Canes will open their season May 7th at home against the Helsingborg Jaguars.

Continued good luck to all!

Time to Learn

Last Friday I headed down to the city of Costa Mesa in Orange County to go to the Southern California version of the national Glazier Clinics.

My goal was simple enough. I wanted to learn more about integrating old-school Wing-T principles into a modern Spread Offense.

Thus, I sat down to listen to Georgia's Roswell H.S. coach Bruce Cobleigh's five one-hour lectures on the topic.

He talked about how they use high speed tempo to wear opponents down, new developments in the Jet Sweep series, simple run-pass option plays, the misdirection game and using bunch routes to control the defense.

These were all things that I had wanted to implement in Poland before the drama of the past few days. Still, it was a great clinic and I saw many old friends.

It was GREAT to see old friend
Bill Williams at the Glazier Clinic!

Reading Is FUNdamental

Just as was preparing to leave to coach the Hässleholm Hurricanes in 2010, our good friend Mike D'Antuono gave me a book to read, Stieg Larsson's highly acclaimed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not only did he give me this excellent book to peruse, he also gave me an article about all of the great, dark Scandinavian mystery writers.

This entire episode, inspired by Mr. D'Antuono, has led to my addiction to the writings of Larsson to be sure and also to the criminal musings of fellow dark, dark, dark Scandinavian writers like Peter Hoeg, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø and Håkan Nesser.

These writer's would make you think that Denmark, Sweden and Norway are the murder (butchery?) capitals of the known universe.

When we lived in Sweden in 2010, we travelled extensively through these countries and felt nothing but 1000% safe at all times. It makes me wonder where they come up with their evil plots?

Regardless, I read two more Scandinavian chiller/thrillers since our last blogpost.

 The continuation of Larsson's
Lisbeth Salader Series

Stieg Larsson died in 2004 having written the first three of a planned ten-book Lisbeth Salander series. These first three books are referred to as the Millennium Trilogy and were all really good reads.

Amazingly, this best selling Millennium Trilogy series of books were all published posthumously.

I thought Lagercrantz did a good job in reviving the series with this book and certainly left the door open for a fifth installment.

An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery

This book centers on tracking down a killer who wields an ax to behead three victims.

What was not to love about it.

Thank you Mike D'Antuono!!!

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