Monday, October 7, 2019

A GREAT, Mostly Bay Area, American Football Weekend

Thursday, October 3 -
Sunday, October 6, 2019

What a BEAUTIFUL weekend to enjoy American football with family and friends!

We started things off Thursday afternoon at Rio Mesa H.S. to watch the Spartans' Freshmen team coached by one of our former Spartan players, Jorge Zaragoza, take on the Channel Islands Raiders.

As I said, it was a BEAUTIFUL
day for American football!

Spartans offense working
a Zone Read play

Taking the cut-back lane

Good blocking led to a Rio Mesa victory

The Frosh Spartans won 32-0 to improve their record to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in Pacific View League play.

Now it was on to Ventura College to watch a rare Thursday night varsity high school game but first . . .

. . . sustenance at Santino's Pizzeria

Santino's is but a short walk from the V.C. Sportsplex, so son Mike and I shared a meat lover's pizza before the game.

St. Bonaventure (gold) on offense,
Newbury Park (white) on defense

The St. Bonaventure Seraphs (5-2 overall, 1-0 Marmonte League) rode a strong second half effort to beat the Newbury Park Panthers (3-3 overall, 0-1 Marmonte League) by a final score of 34-7.

After whetting our American football appetites on Thursday, Laurie and I were up bright and early Friday morning for our drive to San José for not one but two DI college football games.

 We stopped in Pismo Beach for . . .

 . . . a pecan cinnamon roll and coffee

It was a little early in the day for the traditional mid-afternoon Swedish fika break but what the heck, it was Sweden's National Kanelbullar Day!

Kanelbullar is Swedish for cinnamon roll and, if memory serves me correctly, I may have tried it once during our three tours of Swedish coaching duty in Hässleholm and Upplands-Väsby.

I will have to check with Uffe Palmbrink, Lotta Douhan and Aiki Parts to see if I ever did indeed partake of a kanelbullar or seventy.

We stopped in Gilroy for a delicious BBQ tri-tip sandwich with our Las Vegas family (Andy, Jenn and Kevin), our Gilroy niece and nephew (Sarah and John Tidwell) and John's mother Eleta. They were going to the Las Vegas Golden Knights-San José Sharks NHL game on Friday night while we were heading farther north to Mountain West Conference game . . .

New Mexico Lobos
2-2 overall
0-0 Mountain West Conference
San José State Spartans
2-2 overall
0-1 Mountain West Conference

Our first economic anomaly of the weekend was buying two tickets to the game at the Spartans ticket booth for a combined $36 while having to pay $35 to park our car in the lot across the street.

We arrived at Spartan Stadium early so that we could check out the facilities.

I enjoyed the Weight Room

Laurie was MUCH more into
this pre-game team bonding event

Go Spartans GO!

That's one big balloon helmet

Laurie loves a guy in uniform

The San José Spartan Band

They definitely added excitement
to the Brew and Vine extravaganza

On to the game

We had good seats

Actually, they were not the ones we paid for but due to the smallish crowd, we upgraded ourselves without a hitch.

All of the seats on the far side of the stadium were gone to make way for stadium renovations for next year.

Truth be told, what remains of the stadium was more than enough to handle the crowd.

Spartan Stadium can hold up to 30,456 people under its current configuration at the start of the three year renovations. The official attendance tonight was 16,119.

The final score in this entertaining Mountain West Conference contest was . . .

San José State (3-2, 1-1 MWC) 32
New Mexico (2-3, 0-1 MWC) 21

Saturday was dedicated to our beloved Huskies and our shared quest for a spot in the PAC-12 Championship game in December at the nearby San Francisco 49ers' Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Washington Huskies
4-1 overall
1-1 PAC-12 Conference
Stanford Cardinal
2-3 overall
1-2 PAC-12 Conference

Breakfast is THE most important meal

Our needs were met at this excellent San José establishment well in advance of heading about 20 minutes north to Palo Alto home of Leland Stanford, Jr. University for the dreaded 7:30 p.m. kickoff time.

On a good note, we would be joined by family, friends and even two Varese Skorpions!

Varese Skorpions
Nicola "Baffo" Ruggerio and
Giacomo "Jack" Micheli
in Palo Alto for their first NCAA
approved pre-game tailgate!

After leaving our Camarillo home last Tuesday, they had been busy driving up California's Pacific coast via Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, the scenic Highway 1-Big Sur route, Carmel Valley and San Francisco before rejoining us today.

They both looked GREAT in purple!

With sons Mike and Andy
and grandson Kevin

We were all greatly disappointed that grandson Jacob got sick at the last moment and could not make it today.

I think Kevin was a bit devastated not to have an afternoon of carousing around with Jacob as promised today.

Daughter-in-Law Jenn and
Laurie joined the boys

Kevin looking impish

With Baffo and Jack

The Ladies

Selfie with Kevin

My brand new friend Emmett
U of W Class of 1950

His family was tailgating near us and we struck up a conversation about some really old times in UW history.

Meeting new people is such a big part of the charm of tailgating.

We all had a good time tailgating!

A special thanks to locals John and Sarah Tidwell and Tom Garry and Laurie Kerrigan for providing so many awesome treats today!

It was about 90 minutes before kickoff and I thought that Baffo and Jack should see more of the tailgating that was going on at other parts of the Stanford campus.

First stop, the Husky Alumni Association
tailgate complete with the
Husky band and cheerleaders

Let's watch the entertainment

We continued to wander until we found a Stanford tailgate with a HUGE flat screen TV that was monitoring the progress of one of the dozens of NCAA games being broadcast today.

Baffo and Jack were at first taken aback by the size of the TV at this aromatic tailgate.

We were quickly approached by a rather large Stanford man who was in charge of this particular set-up.

Baffo and Jack instantly anticipated trouble on the AC Milan vs. Inter scale from soccer back in Italy since we were all in Husky purple.

Until the Stanford man, one John Olenchalk, offered them a beer and a plate of food.

Again, meeting new people is a great part of any friendly college tailgate!

As it turned out, John played for Stanford in 1974, '75 and '76. After his days at Stanford, he also played in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes and the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.

He looked like he could still play a series or two with the Skorpions if needed!

Good guy!

With our new Stanford tailgate friends

On the left is Rick Hightower who played at Fresno State in the early 1970s, Gary Weaver a linebacker who played with Rick at Fresno State before an NFL career with the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers, Baffo Varese Skorpions, John Olenchalk Montreal Alouettes and Kansas City Chiefs and Jack Varese Skorpions.

The Brotherhood of American Football at it finest.


Jack and Baffo's first look inside
Stanford Stadium

The view of pre-game warm-ups
from our seats

Looking better in purple all the time!

Stanford Stadium holds 50,000 fans for football games, only 33,225 were in attendance tonight with many of them in Husky purple.

Skorpions invasion of Stanford Stadium

Kevin wanted a picture with
Harry Husky badly but
he was down on the field . . .

 . . . but we got one eventually!

Explaining the finer points
of the Read Option play to Kevin
Laurie talked to him at length
about the 4-3 defense

Is Jack throwing a "W" sign at us?


Unfortunately, the game was
NOT so awesome for Husky fans

After all of the fun of tailgating together, walking around the Stanford athletic fields, meeting ex-NFL and college players, entering a beautiful stadium and even finding out that California which handed us our only loss had just lost their second straight PAC-12 game, the game was a resounding dud for our Dawgs.

We played with what appeared to be little enthusiasm as we were outplayed by the Cardinal.

Exhibit A: Stanford out rushed Washington 189 yards to 88 yards

Exhibit B: Stanford's Total Yardage was 482 yards to the Huskies 294 yards

From the historical perspective, Stanford has now won the last six games between these two PAC-12 Northern Division rivals played in Palo Alto.

The Stanford victory evened up the all-time series record between the Cardinals and Huskies at 43-43-4.

The Final Score in this PAC-12 game was . . .

Stanford (3-3, 2-2 PAC-12) 23
Washington (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) 13

It felt a lot worse than the score.

We said our goodbyes to everyone back at our tailgate area.

Our two Skorpions are staying in the Bay Area in order to attend the Monday night NFL game between the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers.

QB Jack is a Baker Mayfield fan understandably while, for some unfathomable reason, Baffo loves the 49ers.

I still love Baffo unconditionally.

But it is hard.

But not as hard as the fire alarms going off in our hotel at 3:45 a.m. We evacuated the building but we were given the all clear signal about ten minutes later.


Incredible News!

The qualifying rounds for the 2020 European Championship of American Football started this weekend.

Team Italy beat Team Austria in a major upset in the opening round Sunday.

Congratulations to Head Coach Davide Giuliano and WR Gregorio Barbagallo both of the Catania Elephants back in 2008 and 2009 who are both part of the Italian Blue team.

Additionally, SS Nicolas Principi and RB Alessandro Brovelli, both Varese Skorpions in 2018, were on the winning side Sunday.

Next up for Team Italy is a game
in Milano vs. Team Switzerland

Don't get cocky Blue Team.

We stopped at beautiful, relaxing
Avila Beach on our drive home

All in all, another GREAT weekend with family and friends!

1 comment:

Uffe said...

Maybe one or two, but who was counting?😊