Saturday, April 29, 2017

First Full Day in Sweden and, Amazingly, an American Football Game

Saturday, 29 April, 2017:

It was a crisp, clear Autumn morning in the greater Uplands-Väsby megalopolis except it was late April.

I decided to join my flat mates, the happiest person on earth Aiki Parts and the mythical Janne Kristofferson, for the 9:30 a.m. combination bus and train ride into Stockholm about 18 miles south of our fair city.

But first . . .

The wonderful Lotta Douhan sent
me this picture today from
last night's practice

See Laurie, I am actually working here in Scandinavia coaching your Wäsby Warriors U15 team!

 Our beloved train station

Stockholm Centralen was
quiet this morning

Santa Klara Church

I was feeling more at home by the second.

And then I saw this . . .

Åhléns Department Store

This is the store that was part of the end of the recent terrorist attack in Stockholm.

Last year during my two month stint coaching the Warriors, I doubt that there was more than a day or two when I visited Stockholm that I did not walk by here.

 Lions guarding the nearby
Drottninggatan pedestrian street

The despicable coward who drove his truck into this heavily traveled shopping path that fateful day tried to run over a similar lion on his path to mayhem.

Fortunately for many of the innocent shoppers, the lion in question did severe damage to the truck, otherwise there could have been many more casualties.

Again, today it was relatively
quiet on Drottninggatan

Line dancers finishing up
about 50 meters from

Where the terrorist's truck
finally stopped after
crashing into Åhléns

 Impromptu remembrances
for the victims

A sad day to say the least in the history of this proud, progressive, upbeat city.

On a happier note,
Spring is HERE!

Who doesn't love a
Golden Owl?

Nice, but definitely not THE
In-N-Out of California fame

Flea Market . . .

. . . full of flowers and . . .

. .. fruits and vegetables

 Guarding the fees market square

My favorite Stockholm
Book Store

I was looking for a Camilla
Läckberg book in English

This was not it. This is her newest Nordic Noir mystery book that was just published.

I was looking for a copy of her work titled The Hidden Child which I had checked out of the Camarillo Public Library a few days before coming to Sweden. Unfortunately for me, I was only half finished when I flew out of Los Angeles. The book is a good one and I really want to finish it.

I checked in at three different book stores today and while they all had Camilla Läckberg books in English, they did not have the one I desired.

The hunt will continue in the coming days.

 You had to be there . . .

I was and I still don't know what this is all about.

But I like it.

Yes indeed, I AM in Europe again

Rich Swedish Crafts

 Stockholm is an International City
beyond question!

Food Truck Mania
comes to Stockholm

I was good and kept walking.

When I go clubbing in Stockholm,
it is usually in this part of town

 Nice old building

Nicer old street light

 The Kungliga Biblioteket

Yes I had a delightful kanelbullar

They are Swedish cinnamon buns.

I only had one great one from this bakery that does not accept cash, all deals must be made via credit or debit cards.

I guess this makes them much less susceptible to robberies.

 Tempting bit I'm a
kanelbullar man to be sure

The old marketplace

I have been told that the inside of the venerable Saluhall food market is an architectural wonder. I have never entered it as it was closed for renovations last spring which I hoped would be done by now.

My hopes were dashed.


 Hedvig Eleonora Church

A bike that has seen
much better days

As I took this picture, I started to hear live military music in the distance. I new that the Swedish Army Museum was only a few meters away so I ambled that way.

I was right,

Let's here them in action

You'll probably need Google Chrome to open it.

I loved the drum stick action!

What's an Army Museum
without cannons?

My military music needs now fully
sated, I entered a newer
version of the Saluhall across
the street from the old one

It is not an architectural marvel
inside by any stretch but the
food was wonderfully displayed!

 Artwork in a Metro station
deep underground

I had to head back to Upplans-Väsby as Lotta was picking me up to see many of our former players now playing for the Sollentuna Stars U17 team (0-1) play a game against their counterparts from the Arlanda Jets (0-0). The game would be played in Märsta, home of the Jets.

Our club, the Wäsby Warriors, is a youth American football club only with a U15 team playing 11-man football, a U13 squad playing 9-man football and three U11 teams playing 7-man football.

When our players turn 16, they have traditionally joined the Arlanda Jets U17 team. This year is different in that Thomas Andersson who coached the Warriors and the Stars last year decided to put all of his time and energy into the Stars this year.

This effort included starting a Stars U17 team for the first time. His roster is dominated by several excellent ex-U15 Warriors from last Spring.

I was looking forward to seeing an Swedish American football game, Thomas and our former players again. 

 Who doesn't love a ref with
a great hairdo?

 Bengt Granlund was filming
as usual

Sollentuna Stars
Offensive Huddle

I like the look of the Arlanda
Jets' 1 Technique Tackle
to the left of the Stars' Center

Triple Team?

Crash Landing

#69 Axel Runestedt
the Stars star MLB


The Stars' offense, saddled with poor field position all day, struggled throughout the contest. So, getting recovering this Jets fumble was huge!

I thought that the Stars defense played well in difficult circumstances today. 

I wonder what restaurants the
Jets #76 might recommend
in the Märsta area?

 Stars pursuing to the ball!

The Pit

Everything important in the game starts here.


They missed the PAT kick but the Arlanda 11 still led early by a tally of 6-0.

Sollentuna Stars
Head Coach Thomas Andersson

 Uh-oh, this does not look good


Cut back

The Pit with the Line rolls reversed

At the Halftime Intermission, the Jets led 9-0.

The Stars liked their running game

But they passed too

In the end, the Jets were just
too much today for the Stars
Final Score: Jets 17 - Stars 0

I must make note of the Jets final points of the day.

After scoring an insurance TD late in the Fourth Quarter, the Jets attempted a PAT kick.

The kick hit the upright and ricocheted into the end zone where a Jets player fell on it.

A late whistle finally blew and the referees had an on-the-field conference to sort out the matter.

Their infallible group decision was to award the Jets two-points.

Nobody from the Stars raised any objections.

AMAZING on many levels!

This was EuroBall officiating at its finest. In case you are not aware, the goal posts are considered out of bounds. Anytime a live ball hits them, the play is OVER.

Apparently there is a need for a few more officials clinics soon.

 Post-Game with former
Wäsby Warrior C/LB
Axel Runestedt

I was able to say hello to Thomas and several of our old Warriors at half time. After the game our kids were naturally disappointed after losing the game but was happy to pose with Axel.

Don't forget Stars . . .