Monday, August 29, 2016

The End of Summer and the Start of American Football

Summer is finally winding down and we are still in full fun mode.

Let's start by looking at my Mother's 92nd birthday/pool party.

Great-Grandmother Chuny
with little Mary

 Jacob is part fish and . . .

. . . part daredevil

A birthday cake and ice cream
were a must . . .

. . . as were great-grandchildren
Jacob, Mary and Max to help
with the candles 

The day after my Mother's birthday I was up bright and early for the drive to Culver City's Sony Studios for the taping of America's favorite quiz show . . .


No, I did not win $250,000, this was just a prop in the lobby.

With Doug, Travis and Linda Wade

Denver was our Line Coach in 2009 with the Catania Elephants in Sicily. He was a contestant on the Jeopardy show and did well.

If I gave you anymore details, I was told that show host Alex Trebek would personally come to our home and beat me within an inch of my life.

Mums the word!

First Day of
Transitional Kindergarten

 Jacob will further his
formal education starting today

He fits in nicely and 
says he loves his teacher!

His teacher also happens to be his Mother.

American Football is HERE!

I opted to spend much of the last two weeks watching high school and junior college practices as well as attending NFL pre-season and high school games too.

Fillmore H.S.

The Flashes are coached by good friends Matt Dollar and Curtis Garner.

The Flashes are running the
Wing-T out of Spread Formations

Fun to see this updated version of a fun, old school offense.

Junior College Football in the
San Fernando Valley

It was a hot day at Pierce

The Brahmas are coached by Jason Sabolic. I went to the University of Washington with Jason's Dad, Paul.

I have been asked to spot for the Brahmas on game nights from the booth.

Ventura H.S. at Newbury Park H.S.

This scrimmage was a good one as these two traditional powerhouse programs put on a good show.

Newbury Park's Junior QB Cameron Rising, a University of Oklahoma commit, looked sharp.

NFL Pre-Season Game

A First for Us

We drove down to the Expo/Sepulveda Metro Station, parked our car for $2 and bought round-trip Metro tickets for $4.50 each. Total cost for the three of us thus came to $15.50.

We had none of the headaches of bumper-to-bumper traffic going to or especially leaving the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Oh, by the way, the cost of parking a car for the game at the Coliseum was a whopping $50!

Not my hat but Christmas
is just around the corner

Jacob wanted a lift

 Tailgating on the Coliseum lawn

The ancient Jack Youngblood jersey is a family heirloom that was passed down from Mike to Jacob.

We brought our own food and drinks which turned out to be a good thing.

Once inside the Coliseum we found that a tall can of Corona beer cost $16, a bottle of water sold for $7 and a BBQ beef sandwich was a bargain at $13.

We bought nothing as we were allowed to bring our remaining food and water bottles into the stadium.

Jaco had Ram Spirit

 Jacob warming up his arm 
if the Rams needed him

 Jacob's first Ram game

Mike, a sleepy Jacob and me

My first Ram game at the
Coliseum was a 24-24 tie
with the Bears in 1958

 It was a GREAT night for
American football!

 Winning is a good thing

JV football practice
at Channel Islands H.S.

The Head Coach of this team is one of our former Rio Mesa H.S. players, Jorge Zaragoza.

With only about 25 players on the Raiders roster, depth will be a daunting task as the season wears on and on.

Pierce College at El Camino College

This scrimmage occurred about 60 miles/100 kilometers from our house. It took me three hours to get there.

How I love L.A. traffic.

Pierce has a lot of things to improve upon.

Road Trip to a H.S. Game

Laurie and I were up early for the 275 mile/445 kilometer, four hour drive to Oakhurst, California to watch the first high school game of the 2016 season.

But first . . .

A Fika break in Kingsburg which
bills itself as a Swedish Village

 Who would have guessed that
their HS's mascot would be
the Vikings?

As for us, we were headed to Yosemite H.S., home of the . . .


LeGrand Bulldogs (0-0)
Yosemite Badgers (0-0)

This would be an interesting game on several levels.

LeGrand is a traditional power in central California in the small schools division.

Just a few years ago, Yosemite played in the small schools C.I.F. Central Section Championship Playoff Game four years in a row, winning two of them.

Then a new school, Minarets HS, was opened and Yosemite's enrollment dropped drastically down to its current 600 students but the Badgers continued playing in a league with much larger student bodies with a predictable lack of success.

The home team Badgers entered the 2016 season on a 27 game losing streak. Their last win came on September 13, 2013.

In 2015, the Badgers played with mostly underclassmen, so hopes were high that all of the returning experienced players would turn the tide in the upcoming campaign.

With Yosemite Defensive
Coordinator Erik Peterson

Erik played for us at Westlake HS in the early 1980s. His son Ty, a Junior, is a two-way starting lineman for the Badgers.

On the left, Leslie Peterson

She is married to Erik and is in charge of the Badgers' two snack bars until the Varsity game starts.

End of the JV game

A hard fought, 26-14 win for LeGrand.

 Selling Badger Gear

I like the display of the different Badger helmet styles one the years.

Varsity Game Time

The Badgers looked great!

They led 14-0 at the half and ended up coasting to a 35-0 streak busting win.

Although first game penalties slowed both teams down, the Badgers ran the ball well and Erik's defense recorded nine QB Sacks.

Ty and Erik after the win

Everyone was extremely happy as you can expect and we had a great time enjoying two community schools playing each other.

Reading Is FUNdamental

Farfetched but fun

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