Sunday, August 20, 2017

Aztecas vs. Burros Blancos Scrimmage Game, a GREAT day for American Football

Saturday, August 19, 2017:

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, a perfect day for a college American football game in Mexico City.

Seven of us, the last Warriors still in town, were all set to board a van for the 45 minute drive across town to see in Universidad De Las Américas Puebla Aztecas play a pre-season scrimmage game against the Instituto Politécnico Nacional Burros Blancos.

After spending the better part of three days at UDLAP interacting with their coaches and players this week, we were all excited to see the defending Mexican National Champions in a game situation.

As for me, I wanted to see the Aztecas outstanding offensive left tackle, #51 Diego Bedolla, in action.

I would not be disappointed in his levels of effort and total domination today.

With Ana Piña our
Radisson Paraiso Hotel
housecleaning phenom

One of the fun things about spending over two weeks in the same five star hotel is forming friendships with many of the people who work at the Radisson Paraiso.

Ana is always upbeat and has really taken care of Mike Wood and myself during our stay in room 617.

On to the game . . .

Entering the gates of the venerable
IPN campus

The scrimmage game would be
played on a practice field behind
the Burros Blancos American football
facilities building

The Burros Blancos have a nice stadium across the street from this building but, because of the unseasonable torrential afternoon tropical rain storms the last few days, opted not to tear up the turf in their stadium with the entire home season slate of games still to be played. 

Part of a random American football
femenino team was in attendance

Burros Blancos Pride
is cute

Aztecas Pride
is fierce

Final UDLAP pre-game
tone setting

Head Coach Eric Fisher did most of the talking and as usual was under control and in full bore teacher/coach mode.

I like that his approach is not one of hyper frenzy but of solid, positive support of the concept that the team's preparation over the many months will carry the day.

Through their hard work, the Aztecas culture has lead them all to not think that they just want to win but to 100% believe that they have earned the right to win through their effort and preparation.

Great approach Aztecas coaches!

The Aztecas marching
to their sideline

Defensive Coordinator Robert Peay
and his troops just before kickoff

Mike Wood's keen eye got us two empty seats in the shade of the Aztecas otherwise packed stands.

Much better than standing all day in the Sun.

The Burros Blancos kicked off
to start the game . . .

. . . and the Aztecas
took it to the HOUSE!

A 100+ yards return for six was a nice way to start the day for the men from UDLAP.

The Burros Blancos offense
got off to a rocky start

At the end of the First Quarter it was Aztecas 14 - Burros Blancos 0.

The Burros Blancos played hard
but the Aztecas defense was
suffocating in the early going

Aztecas QB Keeper

The Second Quarter saw both
clubs moving the ball

The Aztecas ability to pass and
make big plays was the difference

Wait, Bedolla, that's the
Left Tackle I came to watch

As it turned out, we were sitting in the middle of the Diego Bedolla Fan Club, aka, his family and friends.

Another Aztecas score with the
Diego Bedolla Fan Club cheering
in full support of the Aztecas

At the Half Time break it was Aztecas 21 - Burros Blancos 7.

The Diego Bedolla Fan Club with
Diego's Mom at the lower right

According to the other members of the Fan Club, Momma Bedolla is a highly respected lawyer here in Mexico.

We had a long talk at halftime about Diego and his future in American football.

My advice was as follows:

1. Concentrate 100% on the current Aztecas season, Diego's Senior campaign and fourth year as a starter.

2. After graduating this Spring, enroll in Graduate School at UDLAP to earn both his Masters Degree and, under Mexican college rules, gain an additional two years of playing eligibility.

3. She said that Diego had drawn some interest from the Canadian Football League. Depending on what was offered, they would have to seriously consider this option.

4. After he is done completely playing either his four or six years of playing for the Aztecas and the CFL situation is done with, and only then, he might want to consider the cultural opportunities awaiting him a few years down the road competing in EuroBall.

Diego who I spoke with on Wednesday appears to be a fine young man. After speaking with his family I can see why.

The Burros Blancos drive to start
the Third Quarter was a good one

Good Burros Blancos
pass protection

At the end of the Third Quarter, the Aztecas were still in control leading 35-13.

Burros Blancos Read Option

Give it to the Running Back

When the game ended, the Aztecas had won the day by a final tally of 42-27.

It was a fun game to watch with the fans of both clubs intensely but positively into the game.

As should be expected after only two weeks of practice, there were several minor mistakes that need to be cleaned top by both sides but then again that is what scrimmage game is all about.

I felt that it was a good tune-up for both clubs as their opening games are just two weeks away.

On Saturday, September 2nd, the Aztecas will host the UNAM Pumas that we played a week ago in the UDLAP's renowned "Templo del Dolor."

That should be an interesting match-up, I hope that it is live steamed.

The Aztecas paying tribute
to their rabid fan base

The Bedollas after the game

Hard to read but the two words
across the back of this youngsters
jersey say "Pieles Rojas"

That translates to Redskins in English.

I wonder if there is a PC uproar over this team's nickname in Mexico too?

We were all hungry and thirsty after the game and we wanted to celebrate our Europe Warriors/Osos Rivas DE Alberto Pardo's birthday.

Where to go?

Why Hooter's of course!

Normally, Alberto dotes not wear a chicken suit but, after all, it was his birthday.

Feliz Cumpleaños Alberto!

Young Joey seemed happy

Must have been the chicken wings.

Bringing home a few spare
wings to the hotel

Joey takes a lot of good natured ribbing from the coaching staff but he has always come through when needed in his role as aide to the coaches.

For this young man who is a lineman in Spain for the Reus Imperials, this has been an interesting two+ weeks in Mexico City to be sure.

As this billboard declares,
"Living Is Incredible"

I could not agree more as these past two weeks were filled with so many great people and experiences.

It has simply been amazing time for all of us I'm sure!


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