Friday, April 29, 2011

Malin Janssons, Hässleholm Hurricanette for a Day

Worse Than Giving Birth?

NorraSkåne Reporter Malin Janssons
in the White Jersey

Malin, black helmet, going out for a pass

Malin, now on defense

NorraSkåne published a nice article by Malin Janssons, a female reporter for the paper who suited out for a practice with the Hässleholm Huriicanes. She claims that practice was definitely not worse than giving birth!

If you click on the link below you will get both the written article and a three minute video of her at practice.

Where did they ever get all of those Buena Bulldog jerseys?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Sunday and Football Photos

Easter Sunday 2011 was a small but pleasant affair at our home. Vanessa, Mike and Grandma Florene joined us on this peaceful afternoon for food and friendship.

Mike and Vanessa's Easter Basket

Where the Easter Bunny found the Fernando Valenzuela autographed baseball is way beyond me.

Lots of snacks to ruin your appetite


You have to have an Egg Tree!

Swedish Towel

This towel was in the Easter basket that the Palmbrinks gave me last year in Skåne.

A traditional Swedish Easter Egg

Also from the Palmbrink's Easter basket, it was filled with candy just like last year.

It was at about this time that Vanessa took my camera outside to take pictures to prove Laurie's gardening skills.

Spring Flowers

A Future Peach

Stairway to ?

A Glass Bunny

A Garlic Bunny

My Bunny

Time for Dinner

Fully Sated

Dessert, Peeps Optional

Football Pictures From Sweden

Hurricanes Foot Stool
hand made by Molly Grip

It was not easy getting this home from Sweden. I have it in my computer room/den and it always reminds me of the great people I've met through football, on and off the field, in both Sweden and Sicily.

Our friend Shawn Cordeiro sent me over 1,000 photos from Saturday's season opener between the 'Canes and the Predators. Here are some of them.

Martin Andrä

In every one of my 44 seasons of coaching American football both here and abroad, I've had the fotune to meet lots of wonderful, special people. Martin is one of those people. Great guy who brews a mean bottle of moonshine.

I wonder if he still sports a "My Little Pony" sticker on the other side of his helmet?

You had to be there.

And I was.

Kristianstad Head Coach Ryan Bolland
leading the Predators in their
first ever Division I game

Coaching Note:
Nose and Right End still need a little
work on getting off on the snap

Hurricanes Opening a Huge Hole

The basis of the Predator's attack is
the Spread Zone Read

Bombs Away

The big key in the game was Kristianstad's ability to throw the ball as I understand the game reports. In a non-import division like Sweden's Division I, a good passing attack is a devastating weapon.

Bomb Completed for Six

It happened more than once in the first half

Frank Hilgers
#66 in your program, #1 in your heart

Another one of the really good guys I've had the good fortune to meet due to EuroBall.

For my beloved Hurricanes remember, "Nothing is ever as good as it seems and nothing is ever as bad as it seems. The truth is somewhere in the middle." Work harder and prepare, in two weeks, to


Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Three Hour Cruise, Baseball and a Some EuroBall too

Tuesday proved to be a very busy day. First up was our annual cruise of the Ventura Harbor in an 18 foot, electric Duffy boat at 11:00 a.m.

This event features a Skipper and a bevy of beauties . . . what's not to like?

The Skipper at the Helm of the Minnow II

This was a grim duty brimming with equal doses of responsibility and adventure.

The Bevy of Beauties

From left to right, we have Patti Walker, Cathy Saltee, Laurie Contreras, Christine Bell and Debi Murphy. We didn't sink and we saw some wonderous boats and homes on our mini-cruise.

Good Times Indeed!

I got an e-mail over the weekend from one of my former football/baseball players at Westlake H.S., one Gene McMillion, about using his tickets for Tuesday night's Dodger game against Laurie's favorite team, the Atlanta Braves.

Of course I said "YES!", so on Monday I met Gene for lunch at Maria's Italian Kitchen in Encino to catch up on old times and get the four tickets. It was great to see Gene after all these years, still trim and fit as he was 30 years ago.

We invited Mike and Susan D'antuono to join us for what promised to be a fun evening in Dodger Stadium's posh Dugout Club.

Laurie and Jackie

Pre-Game with David Lassen
"The Hardest Working Man in
L.A. Sports Media"

If NorreSkåne ever needs another sportswriter to cover the Swedish sports scene, David is your man.

Laurie with Fernando Valenzuela

The Dodgers were honoring the 30 year anniversary of "Fernandomania." In 1981, Fernando first joined the Dodgers and turned Los Angeles on its collective ear. All of us in attendance received a commemorative Fernando Valenzuela blanket.

Only a lucky few received Fernando's autograph on this special night.

These just CAN'T be comfortable
for nine innings

Laurie with Tommy Lasorda

Like great soccer players in Europe, there are certain Dodger heroes whose first name is enough. Like Fernando, Tommy is one of them. The legendary Hall of Fame Dodger manager signed a picture of himself in the book Laurie is holding about the history of Cuban baseball.

Why you ask? Simple, it it is a picture of Tommy in his role as a pitcher for the Almendares, a Cuban Winter League team in 1959. In the picture Tommy is on a tank holding a machine gun in Havana with a group of Barbudos, i.e., Castro's Revolutionaries who have just come to power.


The First Pitch from our Fourth Row Seats

Gene said that they were good tickets, but my goodness!

On Deck for the Dodgers, Matt Kemp

Andre Ethier ripping a Dodger double

James Loney taking a practice cut

At bat, Laurie's favorite Brave
Chipper Jones

We stayed until the bitter end

We definitely had to savor every second of these fabulous seats and great dining while enjoying time with the D'Antuonos.

The Dodgers were only trailing 2-1 entering the 9th inning and then the Braves pushed eight runs across thanks to some generous Dodger relief pitching. The Dodgers lost 10-1 but still, what an experience. . .

Again, THANKS Gene!

On Thursday, I again had Dugout Club seats, this time at Hueneme H.S. for Mike's Frosh game against Oxnard. It was the second game with the Yellowjackets this week for the Vikings, having lost Tuesday's game at Oxnard H.S. That was the only Viking game I've missed this season due to the Dodger game. Oxnard won that first one.


Give it a shot


Go Down and Get It

Hitting Away

We were actually hitting!!!

Getting ready for a collision

The Vikings dropped another one but their bats are coming alive, pitching and fielding are a whole other issue all together.

On Saturday, it was time for a non-league game in Ventura against St. Bonaventure's Soph-Frosh team. No ump showed up, so an injured Seraph player acted as umpire and did a fairly good job.

A Beautiful Day for Viking Baseball

Bear Down

He's Going!!!

Good Secondary Lead

Digging for Home!

Swing Batter!

Hitting a rope to center


Hueneme actually led 6-3 after three innings but the Seraphs would strike back often down the stretch.

Rally Caps

Mike tries any and everything to get the team their first win of the campaign. Only five games left as they take on the other five teams in the Pacific View League one more time in search of that ever elusive first victory.

EuroBall News

The Hässleholm Hurricanes opened their season at Kristianstad against the upstart Predators led by Head Coach Ryan Bolland. As you may recall, Ryan called the Hurricanes offense in our post Summer Break games last year, so this was a tough one for me as I wanted both teams to do well.

Ryan had his young team ready to play to say the least, the final score saw the Predators destroying the Hurricanes 50-0, thanks to an excellent first half aerial attack from all the reports I've received from my various Skåne sources.

A tough start for the 'Canes, hopefully the upcoming BYE week will give our boys in Green and Black a chance to right the ship.

2011 Division I Södra Standings
The top two teams at the end of the regular season will play in the 2011 SAFF Division I Playoffs with the top two teams from each of the other three Division I Conferences

Kristianstad Predators (1-0)
Ystad Rockets (1-0)
Ekeby Greys (0-0)
Lugi Vikings (0-0)
Hässleholm Hurricanes (0-1)
Limhamm Griffins (0-1)

Week 1 Results
Kristianstad 50 - Hässleholm 0
Ystad 6 - Limhamn 0
BYES: Ekeby and Lugi

Week 2 Games
Saturday, April 30th
Ekeby (0-0) at Kristianstad (1-0)

Sunday, May 1st
Lugi (0-0) at Ystad (1-0)

BYES: Hässleholm (0-1) and Limhamn (0-1)

No games were scheduled in the IFL this weekend due to Easter. The Catania Elephants continue to get healthier as they enjoy a BYE in the schedule again this coming week.

Italian Football League Standings
The top four teams at the end of the regular season will play in the 2011 IFL Playoffs

Bologna Warriors 4-0
Ancona Dolphins 3-1
Catania Elephants 3-1
Milan Seamen 3-1
Parma Panthers 3-1

Milan Rhinos 2-2
Bolzano Giants 1-3
Reggio Emilia Hogs 1-3
Bologna Doves 0-4
Lazio Marines 0-4

Week 6 Games
Saturday, April 30th
Reggio Emilia Hogs (1-3) at Milan Seamen (3-1)
Bologna Doves (0-4) at Bolzano Giants (1-3)
Parma Panthers (3-1) at Bologna Warriors (4-0)
Milan Rhinos (2-2) at Ancona Dolphins (3-1)

BYES: Catania Elephants (3-1) and Lazio Marines (0-4)