Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Rams WIN and Some More American Football Doings


Mon.-Tues., Nov. 23-24, 2020

The Los Angeles Rams (6-3) traveled across the country for an important Monday Night Football contest on national TV against the Tom Brady led Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3).

It shaped up to be a real CORKER!

The Rams needed a win to keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks who upped their record to 7-3 with a win over the 6-4 Phoenix Cardinals last Thursday night.

But first I had to go do some shopping . . .

Camarillo shopping mall
Christmas tree?

THIS I do well!


It was indeed a CORKER!

The Rams are tied with the Seahawks atop the NFL's NFC West Division.

Tuesday was again a big football day for me.

It started with a one hour Zoom
meeting with the Varese Skorpions

This week's topic was "The Inner Workings of the Sweep Play."

I had a good time with it.

The rest of the afternoon was spent
breaking down Monday night's video
of the Pioners' practice in Barcelona

I'm happy to say that the Pioners Offensive Line that I am working with from far, far away is showing steady progress.

Now if the Covid-19 pandemic will just let us have a season in Spain . . .

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Week That Was

Tuesday-Sunday, Nov. 17-22, 2020 

It was another week of good weather in Southern California but mentally I continue in a bit of a fog.

Many factors have contributed to my personal situation including the typical non-changing of seasons in the southland.

Now, combine that with the missing of the usual markers of time like Fourth of July's fireworks, birthday celebrations, dinners with friends, visiting high school football practices, not doing color commentary for the Ventura County Star's Game-of-the-Week podcasts and not going to any high school, college or NFL games. 

All of this has contributed, at times, to my inability to discern what day, month or season we are in after largely being self-quarantined in Italy and the USA for almost NINE months now with no clear end in sight yet.

Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is near at hand, but how soon will its effects stem the tide?

Meanwhile, back to the Wonderful World of American Football . . .

If it's Tuesday, then it's time for . . .

. . . another Zoom meeting with
the Varese Skorpions

This week we answered questions about the mysteries of the Skorpions Counter play with the coaching staff and players.

As always, GRAZIE to Coach Bumba for organizing the session and to Coach Santa for acting as our interpreter.

It was a fun hour with our beloved Italian team.

I was not done with American football
quite yet this week

I also had to breakdown and analyze videos from three of the Pioners practices in Barcelona this past week.

On the plus side, I have seen much improvement in the month or so that I have being doing this labor of love for our good friend, Pioners Head Coach Bart Iaccarino.

On the negative side, Spain is in the midst of the COVID-19's Second Wave, just as we are. Thus, they are facing several restrictions as to their practice times, field usage and on-field protocols not to mention problems getting players to commit to even coming to practice in these iffy times.

Still, I appreciate and look forward to being allowed access to both the Skorpions and Pioners' preparations as it does afford me a modicum of normalcy throughout these troubling timers.

I highly recommend that both
the Skorpions and Pioners invest
in Air Jordan gloves for the 2021 season

We had another good week with the grandkids.

Jacob built a fort

He and his guard dogs kept a
good look out for invading Huns

Mary was enchanted with the
afternoon sunlight going through
the prism-like glass in our front door

Mary is not crazy about insects
and spiders, maybe this will
give her a different perspective

A trip to the park was not all
that easy to actually do

This was the fourth park in Camarillo that we drove by.

We were first checking for a lack of people and people with face masks before deciding to stretch our legs.

It's a good thing that I have
ambidextrous pushing skills!

The next day we rewarded ourselves
for our grand parenting skills

I REALY have to get a better
handle on my salad making

The best map of Spain
that I've ever seen

Saturday night was time for
Huskies PAC-12 football on TV

Arizona Wildcats (0-1)
Washington Huskies (1-0)

Being a traditionalist, I was not crazy about the use by the Huskies of their all black uniforms.

That being said, these alternate uniforms did look good.

" . . . mighty are the men who wear the purple and the BLACK . . ."

That is just NOT how the university's fight song goes!

After being ahead 37-0 in the
Third Quarter, the Dawgs
cleared their bench

The Husky coaching staff did not panic as Arizona made a bit of a comeback with the back-ups on the field and stayed the course giving their younger players valuable playing time.

Speaking of playing time . . .

On Sunday the 113th Apple Cup
Game was cancelled

The annual Washington-Washington State game has been a season highlight for both universities and alumni for a long, long time. This year's game was scheduled for this coming Friday, November 27th in Pullman but a COVID-19 breakout amongst the Cougars team forced the unwanted but necessary cancellation.

It is the first time that the Apple Cup Game has not been played since both the 1943 and 1944 games were halted due to World War II concerns.

This great collegiate rivalry started in Seattle in 1900 with a 5-5 tie, the first of six ties in the series. Washington State was known as the Washington Agricultural College in those days.

As for the Apple Cup's history, the Washington Huskies lead the series 74 wins-32 losses-6 ties.

The Huskies have won the last seven games with the Cougars and ten of the last 11 Apple Cups.

While looking up all of this information, I also came across some more interesting Husky football trivia.

During the 36 year span from 1957 to 1992, Washington had only two Head Football Coaches who each held the post for 18 years.

Jim Owens was the Huskies Head Coach from 1957-1974 going 12-6 in Apple Cup games.

Don James led Washington onto the field as Head Coach from 1975-1992 with a 13-5 record against the Cougars.

What I found interesting was that in the now 28 seasons since Hall of Fame Coach Don James retired, the Huskies have had seven Head Coaches.

These are the marks of these seven Husky coaches in the Apple Cup, a combined 20-7 record:

Jim Lambright, 1993-1998, 4-2
Rick Neuheisel, 1999-2002, 4-0

Keith Gilbertson, 2003-2004, 1-1
Tyrone Willingham, 2005-2008, 1-3

Steve Sarkisian, 2009,2013, 4-1
Chris Petersen, 2014-2019, 6-0

Jimmy Lake 2020-    , 0-0

Reading Is FUNdamental!

An interesting historical perspective
on virtually every conceivable facet
of one of the world's greatest rivers

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Gift, a Tree and the Start of the 2020 Husky Football season


Sunday-Monday, Nov. 8-16, 2020

Lots of little things happened this past week that kept things interesting in the greater Camarillo megalopolis.

First there were the usual witty sayings from the internet.

I hit that age YEARS ago

Isn't that the truth

Our self-imposed pandemic lockdown has not helped on the diet front.

On Tuesday, I had a fun Zoom meeting
with Varese Skorpions coaches and players

Our topic was "The Lead Play in American Football."

Basic but interesting if you are into this sort of thing.

There is a new American football league that has just started playing called simply The Spring League. Of course they are playing in the Fall.

Due to the pandemic they are playing all of their games in a bubble around San Antonio, Texas' Alamo Dome.

The teams have only nicknames, no city names at all at this time.

Two of our former Europe Warriors who played for us in our Senior team game in Chihuahua, Mexico in 2018 are playing for The Spring League's Generals team!

Both of them are Spaniards.

Daniel Docal is a Generals DB

While Mario Flores is a Generals WR

What a GREAT adventure for both of these young men!

Again with my weight gaining issues

I took a long walk outside 
through the Camarillo Outlet 
Mall early one morning

What happened to Thanksgiving?

Christmas it is in the Mall

Italy, Sweet Italy

Speaking of which, I got a present from Italy this week thanks to Skorpion LB/DL turned OL, Ivan "Swito" Raso, and his wonderful significant other, Chiara Lodi Silvio.

He sent me this fun poster from
one of the best moments of the 2019
season when Swito won the Game Hammer

Chiara sent me this 
fun Lego key chain

Need a closer look?


Laurie says that it is me but I don't see the resemblance.

Do you?

When we first moved into our home in Camarillo in 1976, there were three pine trees growing in the ivy in the front yard.

Over the years, two of them died and were summarily cut down.

The lone survivor was not looking good so we made the decision to have it chopped down as well.

Laurie called a professional landscaper to come and cut it down and haul it away for us.

One last look

They lassoed the top of the tree
on their first throw



They hauled away the chopped up
trunk and wood chipped the branches

It took them about 30 minutes from start to finish.

How old was that tree?

I offered to cut down the tree
myself but Laurie had this vision . . .

I still yearned for desserts after
a hard afternoon of watching
our lumberjacks at work

Even though I had my face mask,
I opted not to enter this store

Their attitude was a bit disconcerting.

I did get Laurie an almond
croissant the next morning
at Cafe Ficelle

It had a LOT of powdered sugar

Ah the weekend when this
becomes a reality

Mike and Mary on our Saturday
morning walk

Mary is a Dancing MACHINE!

At 8:00 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday
it was finally the start of the 2020
Season for our Washington Huskies

The Huskies (0-0) were at home against the Oregon State Beavers (0-1).

It was the first time that the Huskies opened a season against the Beavers since 1918 when the were known as the Oregon Agricultural College. That game was also played in mid-November due to, you guessed it, the Spanish flu pandemic.

In 1918, the Huskies won that game at home 6-0 on the way to a final 1-1 season record.

The Dawgs would lose in Seattle to te Oregon Ducks 0-7 the following weekend.

It was 24-21 at the half when I finally fell asleep watching the game. I didn't miss much action in the Second Half it appears.

College Football Playoffs HERE WE COME!

I may be a bit premature on this though.

Mary giving me the Evil Eye
on Sunday morning

That's MUCH sweeter

As usual, we made pancakes
together Sunday

Mary sat with me while I broke
down practice video from Spain's
Pioners L'Hospitalet in Barcelona

Mary making goo-goo-googley eyes

Jacob at the park before the Rams game

Jacob as a Human Sacrifice
to the Great Gods of the NFL
for a Rams win?

Jacob donned my spectacles
to look more like his beloved
cousin Kevin in Las Vegas


Seattle Seahawks 6-2
Los Angeles Rams 5-3

We all rooted the Rams on to a . . .


The tough NFC West now looks like this:
Los Angeles Rams 6-3
Arizona Cardinals 6-3
Seattle Seahawks 6-3
San Francisco 49ers 4-6

Next up for the Rams is yet another tough one on November 23rd at the Tom Brady led Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3).

As the Second Wave of the Pandemic continues to wreak havoc all over the USA and Europe, all of you STAY SAFE!