Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Last Week of the Most Difficult of Years, 2020


Fri.-Thurs., Dec. 25-31, 2020

Christmas is always a wonderful day for our family but, like everything else in 2020, we had to make Covid-19 related alterations to our traditions.

In their home, Jacob and Mary
attacked their tree like always
on Christmas morning

Our Christmas normal is to have all of our family including my Mom, sisters and their family come to our home on Christmas Day to exchange gifts for all of my Mom's great-grandchildren.

This is then followed by one of Laurie's amazing holiday dinners.

Laurie was ready to serve dinner

Our tree was ready for gifts

That's as far as we got, our Covid-19 plan called for only our normal bubble to convene on Christmas Day.

Thus we were joined by Vanessa,
Jacob and Mary 

Mike was invited too, he took the photo.

It was much different but still good under the circumstances.

On Sunday, the Rams (9-5) took on
the Seahawks (10-4) in Seattle

We stunk up the place

Reading Is FUNdamental!

A really interesting read about
the 1970 Granada Hills H.S. (11-1)
Los Angeles City Championship season

Laurie's cousin Linda Neumeier sent me this book about her husband Gary's Uncle Jack who coached Granada Hills to the title using the futuristic Spread Offense that he invented especially for that season.

If you are at all an American football historian, then I highly recommend this book to you.

That 1970 season was also my first season coaching high school football at Thousand Oaks H.S. Revisiting the techniques that we all used back then through 2-20 hindsight, it is amazing that we weren't all arrested for child abuse.

Thanks for the great read Linda!

From Laurie and I to all of you . . .

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas 2020 Is Upon Us


Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 16-24, 2020

As I start to write this blogpost it is Christmas Eve. Laurie and I have just finished our delicious dinner alone thanks to our current self-imposed and government sponsored Covid-19 restrictions.

Before I go any farther, may I wish all of you . . .

. . . the Merriest Christmas EVER!

Now, let's look at the last week's happenings.

The 9-4 Rams played the hapless
0-13 New York Jets on Sunday

That's why they play the game.

Being a Los Angeles Rams fan is definitely NOT for the faint of heart!

On Monday night Las Vegas Raiders
Head Coach Jon Gruden was a
bit confused in his choice of hats

It's O.K. Coach, I still call Los Angeles' other team the San Diego Chargers from time to time.

Now, THAT'S a burger

If only I knew where to get one of these colorful delights.

On Saturday, Mike joined us to
watch the PAC-12 Championship Game

The 3-1 Washington Huskies were supposed to play in this game as the PAC-12 North's best team against the PAC-12 South's top club, the 5-0 USC.

A Covid-19 outbreak in the Huskies' program forced them out of the game only to be replaced by the PAC-12 North's #2 team, the 3-2 Oregon Ducks.

So Oregon won the
PAC-12 Championship

Just another goofy 2020 happening.

Because of the spike in Covid-19 throughout the country only two PAC-12 teams, Oregon and Colorado, opted to play in a bowl game this post-season.

The PAC-12 Champion, 25th ranked Oregon Ducks (4-2) will take on the 10th ranked Iowa State Cyclones (8-3) of the Big-XII Conference in the Fiesta Bowl played in Glendale, Arizona.

In San Antonio, Texas the Alamo Bowl this year will see the PAC-12's unranked Colorado Buffaloes (4-1) go up against Big-XII Conference traditional power and 20th ranked Texas Longhorns (6-3).

Good luck to both the Ducks and the Buffaloes who carry the standard for the entire PAC-12 Conference alone this year.

Meanwhile, in internet news from Italy . . .


A Cannoli Christmas Tree


It's Italian and loosely translates as

Yet another spot on commentary
on my current status

The College Football Playoffs
Final Four was announced

Same old, same old . . .

This certainly is one of our
current national issues I believe

Christmas Eve Day's Only Bowl Game

To be clear, the 3-4 Houston Cougars were playing the 4-4 Hawaii Rainbows in something called the New Mexico Bowl played in Frisco, Texas.

And I was watching it . . .

Hawaii won 28-14

After the whole Covid-19 thing is behind us, I HAVE to get a better life.

This sounds wonderful to me

Reading Is FUNdamental!

A bit corny but I do love all of
the accurate references to life in
Sicily's East Coast

Most of this book series is set within a 20 minute drive from our penthouse apartment in Aci Castello just north of Sicily's second largest city, Catania.

Again, I say to all of you. . .

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

An Up and Down Week of American Football


Wed.-Tues., Dec. 9-15, 2020

The week started out with such great promise for Washington Husky football . . .

After all, we were playing Northwest
rival Oregon with the winner earning
a spot in the PAC-12 Championship Game

The Huskies were currently atop the PAC-12 North standings with a 3-1 record while the Oregon Ducks were tied for second at 3-2 with Stanford.

It shaped up to be a real old fashioned
slobber-knocker of a game!

Then this announcement was made

This latest Coronavirus outbreak would eventually wind up being the reason for the game's cancellation.

Since these Covid-19 cancelled games do not count in the standings, it meant that . . .

. . . the Huskies would square off
against the 5-0, PAC-12 South Champion
USC Trojans at the L.A. Coliseum
for the PAC-12 Title

Nope, the Huskies Coronavirus issues were still too severe so the Oregon Ducks took their spot against the Trojans.

Just another of Paul Sabolic's "Why bother?" moments in this fouled up 2020 football season.

Jacob was still happy eating
Fruit Loops with McDonald's
French fries on . . .

. . . an L.A. Rams Thursday night

The struggling, 6-6 Patriots were in Los Angeles to play the 8-4 Rams.

Same goes for most of the Rams

Another solid win for the Rams

The L'Hospitalet Pioners won
their season opener in Barcelona

This is the team that I help from afar via the wondrous HUDL app by breaking down their practice and game videos.


As you well know, many people go all out decorating the outside of their homes during then holiday season.

A house about a block away from us has attempted to capture the spirit of Christmas in a rather . . .

. . . unique way

This pretty much sums up
my plans for Christmas

Dieting is always mad up
of a series of sacrifices


On Tuesday, about an hour before my scheduled weekly Zoom meeting with the Varese Skorpions this time to discuss all of the ins and outs of the Play Action Passing Game, a box was delivered to our home.

Six bottles of Prosecco and two bottles of Aperol were inside the box, holiday gifts from the Skorpions to say GRAZIE for all of our Zoom clinics.

They should last us through the weekend.

Merry Christmas from
Ventura, California

We made a rare trip outside of Camarillo to a deserted Ventura in order to purchase a new kitchen table that Laurie wanted as her Christmas present.

I think we got a good deal on an excellent table.

Hopefully, this table will not be cancelled due to Coronavirus.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Rams Win and Some More Oddball Football Notes


Sun.-Tues., Dec. 6-8, 2020

If it's Sunday, it must be time for some NFL football!

The big game of the day for us was a key NFC West game in Phoenix.

Los Angeles Rams (7-4)
Arizona Cardinals (6-5)

As usual, Mike joined us to view the latest episode in the Adventures of Jared Goff.

After a poor showing last week against the 49ers, Goff played splendidly in the desert. 

A solid Rams win was the result 

The Rams are now 8-4 and tied with the Seattle Seahawks atop the NFC West standings.

Speaking of being an American football fan . . .

As much as I love the Washington Huskies,
the answer is a resounding . . .

As Paul Sabolic would say,
"Why bother?"

On Tuesday, it was time for another
Zoom meeting with the Varese Skorpions

This week we had a good 90 minute discussion on the nuances of Pass Blocking.

The latest from the internet . . .

I am 100% on board with
this observation

I completely understood this
one as well

I believe they are correct

Reading Is FUNdamental!

Great read giving hilarious insights
into our beloved Sicilian lifestyle