Monday, May 7, 2018

Thun Tigers Game Day in Zürich

Sunday, 6 May, 2018

One of our goals for this EuroBall campaign was to see a Thun Tigers American football game once Laurie arrived in Italy.

The Tigers are the Swiss Division II team that I had the pleasure of coaching back in 2012.

After five of the Tigers surprised me by showing up unannounced to our Sant'Agata Knights game a few weeks ago, it was even more imperative that we return their kindness.

Today would be that day.

We left the Villa Skorpion at about 9:00 a.m. for the three plus hour drive to Zürich where the Tigers were scheduled to compete againsthe hometown Renegades.

But first we had to stop for a café wherLaurie fell ilove with this . . .

. . . Lady Bug Cake

Finally ready for the road, we were off for Switzerland!

Our drive to Zürich would require us to drive under the Alps through that famed marvel of Swiss engineering, the Gotthard Tunnel.

This tunnel is 16,942 meters long, i.e., about 10.5 miles in length beneath the St. Gotthard Pass and has only one lane flowing in each direction. It serves as an alternative connection for the northern and southern parts of Europe during harsh times in the Alps.

It is not for the claustrophobic.

Once out of the Gotthard Tunnel, we decided to stop, stretch our legs and have some more café.

Wassen, Switzerland
looked like a good spot

It had a view othe Alps
and a nice fountain . . .

. . . with crystal clear
Alpine water

That table on the far right
had our name on it!

The view from our table

I was back to admiring this
pristine fountain before . . .

. . . enjoying my café

I thought that Laurie was taking my picture until she asked me to move aside. What she really wanted to photograph were . . .

. . . these Alpine flowers

Onward to Zürich . . .

Where we got lost for about 30 minutes when our GPS lost all connection to the outside world.

Somehow Laurie came through and miraculously got us to the Renegades well hidden stadium!

BRAVO Laurie!

OK, let's set the stage

This was a Swiss Division II contest between the Division's last two undefeated clubs for the undisputed midseason lead.

The 5-0 Tigers

The 4-0 Renegades

To be sure, it was a GREAT day for
American football in Zürich!

We got the chance to do a lot
of visiting witold teammates before,
during and after the game 

Two othe Tigers who visited a few
weeks ago proudlwearing their
Sant'Agata game Victory Decals!

Given that these five Tigers drove eight hours round trip from Thun to root us to victory, I felt the least I could do was give them a Victory Skorpion Decal to commemorate their trip.

Here we go!

Center Marco Feller, RG Brun Krebs
and RT Mathias Krebs

QB Nicu Leibundgut

RT Mathias Krebs pass blocking

Punt  Return

#54 LT Stephan Pulver

Protect the QB at all costs!

And do it OFTEN!

I like the look of this play

BIG Renegade Offensive Linemen

Is he blitzing?

Tigers WR ithe open field


Nice Grab!

Stephan Pulver run blocking


The PAT was GOOD!



In his defense, he did say
that he was "Sorry"

The Pit


On the left, longtime Tigers
Defensive Coach Ueli Sutter

Ueli is one of EuroBall's really good guys!

Go Nicu GO!


It was a good, hard fought game as one would expect from two undefeated teams but this time the Renegades prevailed 20-7.

These two powerhouse clubs will meet one more time but next time in Thun. 

The Skorpions U19 squad got an
invitatioto thiBowl

I hope thathe Skorpions agree to make the trip to Thun.

We had a long drive home so we said a few more good-byes and we were on our way back to Italy.

We took a rest in lakeside Flüelen

It was comforting to know that the Incredible Hulk has his own WC in Flüelen.

In Flüelen the lake shore
comes right up to the Alps

Flüelen Church

I needed to use the restroom in the restaurant after my café break.

On the way there, I saw their proud collection of . . . 

. . . Cow Bells

In Switzerland, they award decorative cow bells like these for just about any and all competitive situations.

Seeing these put a big smile on my face because . . .

. . . The Thun Tigers gave me this Cow Bell
the night before we flew home in 2012

Still the single best, most unique coach's gift that I have ever received!

Grandson Jacob helps me ring it in our front yard every time the Washington Huskies or the Los Angeles Rams score a TD during a game we are watching together on TV.

Past Flüelen Champions it appears

Great laurel wreaths, but in what sport, competition or discipline are they champions?

I hope they all got a really awesome cow bell as well as the laurel wreath.

A hedgehog in the wild flowers

The end of a glorious day
in Switzerland

But we still had a few more hours
driving through the awesome
Alps and . . .

. . . seeing lots of waterfalls

Now, if the Tigers could just have won . . .

Payback in Thun I'm hoping!

Meanwhile, back in Italy . . .

Division II - Week in Review

Week #10 Results
Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (6-0) 31
Cagliari Crusaders (1-5) 2

Modena Vipers (6-0) 27
Sarzana Red Jackets (2-4) 20

Sant'Agata Knights (1-5)
Varese Gorillas (0-5)
Varese Skorpions (4-2)

Group C Standings
1. Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (6-0)
2. Varese Skorpions (4-2)
3. Cagliari Crusaders (1-5)
4. Varese Gorillas (0-5)

Week #11 Schedule
Saturday, May 12th:
Varese Skorpions (4-2) at Cagliari Crusaders (1-5)
Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (6-0) at Varese Gorillas (0-5)
Bologna Warriors (6-0) at Sant'Agata Knights (1-5)

Sarzana Red Jackets (2-4)

With the Blue Storms victory in Cagliari over the weekend, two thing happened mathematically.

First, the Blue Storms clinched no worse than a tie for the Group C title. One more win or one more Skorpions loss would secure them sole possession of the Group C crown.

Secondly, the Crusaders loss meant that your Skorpions secured a no worse than second place finish in Group C this season. That further means that the Skorpions earned one of the automatic playoff bids that go to each of the six DII Group's to two teams.

Here are all of the current DII Group standings for your viewing pleasure:  

Again, the 12 teams that make the 2018 DII playoffs will be seeded 1 through 12.

Seeds 1 through 4 will have First Round Byes.

Seeds 5 through 12 will play Wild Card games the weekend of June 9-10, with seeds 5 through 8 getting home games.

That's all well and good but we still have two games left in the regular season starting with this Saturday night's road trip via airplane to the island of Sardinia to play the dangerous . . .

The came back strong against us
in the Second Half two games ago

We won that game 34-14 but the Crusaders left Skorpion Field feeling that with a little more time they could have done some damage to our season.

That's why we all play these game, with hope for another bright moment in the Sun.

We'll be back at it at practice Tuesday night getting ready for the Crusaders.

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