Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A Day at the Shore and Some International American Football News

Mon.-Tues., June 28-29, 2021 

Much of the western United States was suffering under a record setting heat wave that I'm sure did not phase the anti-global warming crowd's mindset, but definitely caught our attention.

Seattle was heading to a high
of 104°F/40C on Monday

Usually, a day in the 80s°F is considered a scorching day in this beautiful Pacific Northwest city.

By comparison, in this Nevada
mecca, 100°F is a normal
temperature this time of the year

Having seen these outrageous numbers on Monday, we opted to head to the beach on Tuesday.

Did I mention that we are definitely
NOT having a heat wave where we live?

Regardless, we headed to the Carpinteria shore for our first beach day of the Summer.

Of course, a sumptuous breakfast in
Carpinteria was the first order of business

A short walk was needed to improve the digestion before hitting the sand.

Yes, there is some fun art in Carpinteria

Carpinteria has used this slogan
for as long as I can remember

Acrobatic seal fountain

The Sun was starting to make a valiant effort to pop through the traditional "June Gloom" morning cloud cover, so we headed to the beach to stake out our territory.

We would plunk ourselves down
just to the north of the State Park

World's Safest Beach

Not many people at the beach on a
Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

As more people arrived, the Sun did a disappearing act.

By 10:30 a.m., the "June Gloom" was back in full force and it became a tad chilly. Laurie was wrapped in beach towels to combat the low temperatures combined with the breeze.

By Noon, we decided to head home for the day.

In the evening I drove to LAX to pick-up Mike, Vanessa, Jacob and Mary who were returning from their two week vacation in Maui. It was great to see them all again and to hear the wonder in the grandkid's voices as they related all of their Hawaiian adventures to me.

On the international American football front . . .

The poster for the Modena Vipers (6-1)
at Varese Skorpions (7-0) DII Semi-Final
playoff game this Saturday in Italy

The poster for the Catania Elephants (5-0)
at Barletta Mad Bulls (5-0) DIII Quarter-
Final playoff game also on Saturday in Italy

In Spain this Saturday in Week #3 of
European League of Football action
it's the Hamburg Sea Devils (1-0) at
the Barcelona Dragons (0-2)

This week, the Mexican collegiate American football scene became clearer as the 2021 conference alignments were announced.

The Conference of the 14 Bigs'
Green Group

These seven universities comprise one-half of Mexico's elite conference for the countries super powers of the game.

Our Europe Warriors lost a close game to the Pumas CU at Mexico City's Olympic Stadium in the Summer of 2017. 

The Conference of the 14 Bigs'
Red Group

The Red Group is the other half of the Elite 14.

The next three conference groupings would be akin to the NCAA's old Division I-AA level of football.

The National Conference
has only the one group of universities

Our Europe Warriors beat the Águilas UACH in Chihuahua, Mexico back in August of 2018.

The Central-South Conference's
Southern Group

The Central-South Conference
Central Group

I found it interesting that two American Universities apparently each have an auxiliary campus in Mexico that play American football in the Central-South Conference Central.

In America, the Arkansas State University Red Wolves play at the NCAA's top FBS level in the Sun Belt Conference and they will visit the University of Washington Huskies for a game on September 18th of the upcoming season.

Arkansas State's Mexican campus is located in the the city of Colón in the state of Querétaro about 130 miles north of Mexico City.

The football field at Arkansas State's
Mexican campus

The University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals' main campus is located in San Antonio, Texas and they are a member of the NCAA's FCS  level Southland Conference.

UIW's Bajio campus is located in the Mexican city of Irapuato about 200 miles northwest of Mexico City.

Looks like the UIW team in Mexico
still needs to work hard on their
Offensive Line Get-Off 

While I need to do much more research on these two programs of interest in the near future, I need to spend time with Kevin, Jacob and Mary more.

Road trip?

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Weekend of Relaxation and Lots of EuroBall Action

Fri.-Sun., June 25-27, 2021

Rest and relaxation was the only way to go after the nine day road trip combined with the high temperatures in SoCal the last few days.

I hear that the Pacific Ocean is cooler and nearby but we opted not to fight the weekend crowds at the beach.

Meanwhile, across the pond . . .

Our Varese Skorpions were
starting their playoff run

It was an Italian DII Quarter-Final game for the #1 seeded, 6-0 Skorpions who were hosting the #8 seeded, 3-3 Sarzana Red Jackets.

We were up early to watch
the game on-line

I thought that the Skorpions gave their best effort in this game after a bit of a lackluster second half of the regular season.

The result of this focused effort, you ask?

A solid win!

A bit hard to see, so here is the
complete recap of the
DII Quarter-Final games

#1 Varese Skorpions (7-0) 41
#8 Sarzana Red Jackets (3-4) 14

#4 Modena Vipers (6-1) 21
#5 Brescia Bengals (4-3) 9

#3 Verona Mastini (7-0) 44
#6 Padova Saints (4-3) 12

#2 Torino Gianuari (7-0) 35
#7 Cernusco Daemons (3-4) 25

So, the DII Semi-Finals will be played next weekend with the four league champions sporting a glossy, combined 27-1 season record should make for some quality American football games.

The Semi-Finals will look like this:

Saturday, July 3rd at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time
#4 Modena Vipers (6-1) at #1 Varese Skorpions (7-0)

Sunday, July 4th at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time
#3 Verona Mastini (7-0) at #2 Torino Giaguari (7-0)

The Italian DIII Playoffs
also started this weekend

Sixteen teams of the 32 DIII/CIF9 teams earned berths in the nine-man football playoffs including our old squad, the Catania Elephants (5-0) who won a hard fought contest by a final tally of 8-0 over the Golfo del Tigullio Predatori (3-2).

Next up for the 5-0 Elephants is a rugged Quarter-Final road game against the 5-0 Barletta Mad Bulls.

The Italian DI Semi-Finals
will also be played next weekend

Only the top four teams in the elite, seven team DI circuit make the playoffs.

The Milano Seamen have lots of former players of ours from our Skorpions and Europe Warriors days on their roster, not to mention friend and Seamen Head Coach Mike Wood.

The DI Semi-Finals shape this way:

Saturday, July 3rd at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time
#3 Lazio Ducks (4-4) at #2 Milano Seamen (6-2)

Sunday, July 4th at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time
#4 Firenze Guelfi (4-4) at #1 Parma Panthers (8-0)

There was also second week games being played in the new, ambitious European League of Football.

Our favorite ELF squad, the
Barcelona Dragons, were looking
to rebound on the road

The Hamburg Sea Devils (1-0)
and Berlin Thunder (0-1) had byes

A tough loss for the Dragons
who are now 0-2

Poland's Wroclaw Panthers (2-0)
look to be the bad boys of the ELF

They have scored a whopping total of 109 points in their two wins.

Here are the updated ELF standings:

Wroclaw Panthers 2-0
Hamburg Sea Devils 1-0
Leipzig Kings 1-1
Berlin Thunder 0-1

Cologne Centurions 1-1
Frankfort Galaxy 1-1
Stuttgart Surge 1-1
Barcelona Dragons 0-2

Our 0-2 Dragons have a tough home game this coming Saturday against the 1-0 Hamburg Sea Devils.

All I have to say about next weekend's EuroBall action is:

Go Skorpions GO!

Go Elephants GO!

Go Seamen GO!

Go Dragons GO!

Friday, June 25, 2021

The End of the Journey, From San José to Camarillo by Way of San Luis Obispo

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Another day, another chance to explore on my daily morning walk. Let's see what interesting sights downtown San José had to offer on this overcast morning.

I felt a tad weak so I headed quickly to a potential source of sustenance that I had spotted yesterday on my afternoon's stroll around the neighborhood.

It looked like a health food
emporium to me


Apple Strudel was the correct call

It brought back great memories of my "apple-a-day" strudel from my days coaching the Thun Tigers in Switzerland.

Energized, I was off to see lots of interesting architecture, signage and art.

I like brick buildings

Fun looking street full of eateries
and funky shops

Two old school signs that
caught my eye

100% TRUE!

More eye catching signs

The Knox-Goodrich Building
made of sandstone in 1889

I absolutely LOVE ravioli!

President William McKinley
statue in a quiet park

President McKinley was assassinated
a mere four months after making this
speech in San José

The first of many wonderful
murals that I would spot today

The Bank of Italy building
built in 1925

This 14 story edifice was the second branch of the Bank of Italy founded in San Francisco in 1904, which later became the Bank of America.

Bank of Italy columns

That ship is the old school logo
of the Bank of Italy/America

More local color

Decorative art on a parking lot wall


Looks like a good place to work

Heartfelt artist

This area was San José's Chinatown

At least until a fire of suspicious origins burned it completely down in 1887. At that time, many in the surrounding business community wanted the Chinese out of the area. After the fire and now homeless, the Chinese were forced to relocate.

If I had time for lunch, this tapas bar
would have been worth exploring

San José's Gold Exchange?

The sandstone San José
Museum of Art

It originally served as a United States Post Office from 1892 to 1933.

A pleasant looking entry
to the Museum of Art

I entered Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park

That is the colorful Tech Interactive Museum across the way.

This tablet commemorates that
California's first state capital building
once stood across the street

San José was the state capital from 1849 to 1851 before Sacramento became the hub of state political life/strife.

What the heck is that?

Ah, it's Quetzalcoatl, the
Plumed Serpent of the Aztecs

It is Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park after all.

Lots of majestic redwoods can
be found in northern California

Another great old sign

The California Theater
was built in 1927

It was getting late and I still had five more hours of driving before getting home to Camarillo. Thus, my walk came to and end but I did have one more stop to make in San José.

I needed to stop by the San José State
football offices

On Tuesday, while I was walking in Eugene, Oregon, I received a message from Joe Bommarito who is coaching in Germany with the European League of Football's Leipzig Kings. He needs to sign an import Center NOW!

I was about 200 yards from the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium football complex, so I sought out and found the Ducks Offensive Line Coach Alex Mirabel to see if he had a recent alumni Center that might fit the bill.

No luck.

Today, I would try my luck with the Spartans coaches.

San José States Training Center

Another good looking college
weight room inside the training center


Let's take a look at the football stadium


A training session with lots of medicine balls was about to commence.

Inside the coaches offices

The spoils of recent
Spartan football success

Unfortunately, the Spartans also had no Centers to recommend for the Leipzig Kings.

I was now off once again, heading to another possible EuroBall recruiting spot . . .

. . . Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Home of the Mustangs

This is their beautiful, new synthetic turf practice field.

Lots of equipment in this end zone

The Cal Poly, SLO Stadium
has natural grass

Mustang Memorial Plaza

On October 29, 1960, a chartered aircraft carrying the Cal Poly, SLO football team crashed on takeoff at the Toledo, Ohio airport.

Sixteen Mustang football players, a team manager and a Mustang booster were killed in the crash. Another 22 Mustang passengers were injured.

This plaza outside the Cal Poly, SLO stadium is dedicated to their memory.

In the Cal Poly, SLO football
offices I met with Coach Paul Wulff

EUREKA! He had not one but TWO possible candidates to fill the Leipzig Kings Center needs.

When I finally arrived in Camarillo, I had a nice conversation with one of the two who just finished playing in the Spring League.

The wheels of progress are turning . . .

Cal Poly, SLO has a rich
football tradition

 I had one more stop to make before the last push for home.

Mo's BBQ in Pismo Beach

They make the BEST BBQ sauces and Laurie said we were running low, so stopping here was a moral imperative.

More news from EuroBall . . .

The 2021c Italian DII Playoffs
start this weekend

Our 6-0 Varese Skorpions are hosting the 3-3 Sarzana Reds Jackets on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Central European Time/9:30 a.m. Pacific Time. The game will be live streamed and we will be watching and rooting for the Skorpions to continue their magical run.

As for my nine day road trip, it was . . .

Thanks to my understanding and supportive wife Laurie for letting me have my mini-Jack Kerouac experience.