Friday, July 25, 2014

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 2014

When I first moved to Ventura County in 1970, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys were holding their pre-season Training Camp at California Lutheran University (College in those days) in Thousand Oaks, California. CLU was about a five minute drive from my apartment in those days and the Cowboys had been a Summer fixture in Ventura County for most of the 1960s.

With Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry leading the way, the annual camp was a chance to get up close and personal with America's Team.

At CLU, the parking was free, there was no admission charge and fans were allowed to get as close to the action as they wanted.

I can remember standing about 20 feet from Heisman Trophy winner and #1 Draft pick running back Tony Dorsett when, as a rookie, he was lit up BIG TIME by a veteran linebacker on a one-on-one blitz pick-up drill. They just moved the drill over while the trainers revived Dorsett.

Entry Arch to Practice

Once Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys, Coach Landry was soon fired and the Cowboys stopped coming to CLU.

Years later, the Oakland Raiders decided to train on two manicured practice fields next to the River Ridge Marriott Hotel and Golf Resort in Oxnard about a ten minute drive from our home in Camarillo.

After a few years, the Raiders gave up on the Oxnard complex but a year or two after that, the Cowboys decided to return to Ventura County and train at the Oxnard complex.

About three years ago the New Orleans Saints trained in Oxnard for a week between two West Coast pre-season games.

Now, the Cowboys are back!

Money, Money, Money 

Today it cost $10 to park the car, the admission was free but if you wanted access to the closest view point to the action they wanted another $20.

I opted to stay behind the fence and watch for free.

Friday was the Cowboys' second practice of their 2014 Training Camp. Thus they were only wearing helmets, jerseys (Offense in white, Defense in blue) and shorts.

Coaching up the Kickoff Return Team

Two Man Wedge

#97 is Terrell McClain, a fourth year player from South Florida.

Pinch and Wheel

#90 is DeMarcus Lawrence, a rookie from Boise State.

Center calling out protections

Easy Grab on a No Contact Day

#83 is Terrance Williams, a second year player from Baylor.


#24 is Morris Claiborne, a third year player from LSU.

Tackle's Pass Set

#78 is Jeremy Parnell, a fifth year player from Mississippi.

Brandon Weeden

He is a third year player from Oklahoma State.

Coach on a Hot Seat

Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett needs a playoff team STAT!!!

 Jason Witten

This 12 year veteran TE out of Tennessee has a decent chance to make the team in my opinion.

Catch it at its HIGHEST Point

#13 is L'Damian Washington, a rookie from Missouri.

More Footballs than any
team in Europe owns

Wide Receiver Release Drill

Pizza in the Cheap Seats

It made my hungry.


First Steps 

Dez Bryant Stalk Blocking

Fifth year WR out of Oklahoma State, he needs to produce as much as his Head Coach does this season.

I love the coach's Body Language
"Bring Your Hips"

#64 is Andre Cureton, a rookie from Cincinnati.


#17 is Dwayne Harris, a fourth year player from East Carolina.

 Linemen taking a break


 Field Goal

Half Line at a time.

Field Goal Block

Watching and listening to some of the seriously demented Cowboys fans willing to spend the extra $20 to get in front of the fence was, shall we say, entertaining.

Hard to say from one no pads practice what the 2014 season has in store for America's Team.

Time will tell.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Another Birthday and the Santa Barbara French Festival

Last Monday was my 67th birthday and we were invited over to Mike, Vanessa and Jacob's apartment for some pool time, Mexican food and dessert.

Jacob and I walking to the pool 

Face-to-Face in the pool

He saw right through my disguise

 Stand TALL Jacob

After a good hour in the pool,
it was back to the food fest

Burritos from Taco de Mexico were a BIG hit followed by . . .

Laurie's red velvet birthday cupcakes

A little quality time with Jacob
before the cupcakes

Laurie and Mike having some
quality time as well

 Jacob helping me blow out the
birthday candles

The cupcakes were delicious!

Vanessa loves Paris

Laurie and I love all of France as it turns out.

Takle me with you Papo!

It was a good day, thanks everyone.

On Friday night we joined our friends from our University of Washington days, Mike and Susan D'Antuono and Paul and Joanne Sabolic for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce's Annual Gala to install their new officers for the upcoming year.

I didn't take any pictures but we had a great time!

Saturday we headed over to Rio Mesa H.S. to watch a little bit of their annual 7-on-7 Football Tournament and Linemen's Challenge. 

St. Francis vs. Simi Valley

St. Francis TD!!!

Good stuff as I am a St. Francis alum.

After an hour watching the games at Rio Mesa, we were off to Santa Barbara to experience their 26th Annual French Festival held at Oak Park.

This must be the place

 The Schedule of Events

 CanCan Dancers

Anybody see Toulouse-Lautrec?


Long Line Here

No line here but . . .

 A hot dog stuffed into a half
baguette, FRENCH STYLE!!!

 At a FRENCH Festival?

 Now we're talking!

Edith Piaf is IN THE HOUSE!!!

 Like we have to be talked into this

Lavender = No Scorpions in the house

Not a bit like the one in Paris


Baguettes from the Normandie Bakery & Bistro in Los Angeles.

Not bad.

Another French band

Here is some of their work

Sunday was spent watching the World Cup Final as Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in OT at Brendan's Irish Pub in Camarillo with Laurie and our bartending friend Cyndy Murphy.