Saturday, July 30, 2022

EuroBall Saturday


Saturday, July 30, 2022

If it's Saturday, then it just MUST be time for a EuroBall update on several fronts.

Let's start in Spain with news of a key European League of Football Southern Conference clash with huge playoff implications.

Rhein Fire (4-3) at Barcelona Dragons (5-2)

These are the top two teams in the Southern Conference separated by just a game. A win by the visiting Fire would tie them with the Dragons. 

A Rhein win by five or more points would give the Fire the aggregate season head-to-head scoring tie breaker, if it came to that at the end of the season, over the Dragons who beat the Fire 17-13 in Germany back in a Week #4 game.

A full slate of ELF games this weekend
but only the Fire-Dragons on Saturday

A HUGE win for the Dragons

The Dragons now have both a two game Southern Conference lead over the second place Fire and the possible tie breaker if need be in their pocket by virtue of their two game sweep of the Fire-Dragons series this season.

There is a tournament starting in Vantaa, Finland today . . .

Eight countries are represented
in the Women's Tackle Football
World Championships

The first four games were all
scheduled to kickoff today

The Mexican Federation's depiction
of the playoff bracket

The teams that lose their opening round games will have a Consolation Bracket going in the opposite direction vying for with through eight places in the week long series of games.

Speaking of the Mexican Federation . . .

What the hell?

Back in the Fall of 2019, our Europe Warriors Women's Team traveled to Mexico City to play the Mexican National club.

This game was being used as an exhibition to drum up support for the Mexican squad that was primed and focused on playing in this same tournament in 2020. As you undoubtedly surmised, COVID-19 got in the way and that tournament was cancelled until this Summer.

The long wait was over and the Mexican team was scheduled to fly to Finland last Wednesday.

But they didn't.

To say the least, the
Mexican team was disappointed 

This last minute snafu brought about a proper, well deserved, furious social media storm against the seemingly incompetent Mexican Federation.

Thus, the opening game of the Women's World Championship tournament was first postponed and then cancelled because of the inability of the Mexican Federation to find flights to send the 60 players and coaches to Scandinavia. 

It would have been a waste of a classic . . .

. . . Team Mexico helmet design

Today Team Mexico got a reprieve!

Finally, the Federation, after days of negative publicity and international public pressure, found two flights for the team to get to Finland.

Better late than never, but the forfeit of the opening game against Great Britain places Team Mexico in the Consolation Bracket with no chance of winning a medal. They will play their first game on Wednesday against Team Australia.

A truly sad state of affairs after literally years of hard work by a group of excellent, highly motivated Mexican women.

Team Mexico getting ready to
board their planes bound for Finland

I have to wonder if some of their choices of anti-pandemic face masks for flying had something to do with their delays. 

In other Women's World Championship tournament opening round results today . . .

Canada 33 - Australia 6

We've got some extra interest
in this opening round game

Sara is the daughter of our former
DL Frank Hilgers with our 2010
Hässleholm Hurricanes

Sara is a stater for Team Sweden
at DE making her Dad quite proud!

Sara, #91, entering the stadium


Unfortunately, the host country's Team Finland squad was too much for our Swedish sisters today.

Finland 40 - Sweden 0

USA 63 - Germany 0

Championship Bracket
Great Britain (1-0) vs. Canada (1-0)
Finland (1-0) vs. USA (1-0)

Consolation Bracket
Mexico (0-1) vs. Australia (0-1)
Sweden (0-1) vs. Germany (0-1)

With the 2022-23 seasons fast approaching all over the globe, it was time to start recruiting new players and more fans.

Romania's Cluj Crusaders
have the right idea in attracting
new blood

As does our old French club,
the Bon-Villeurbanne Falcons

Even the NFL's Los Angeles Rams
are drumming up business via
their jersey choices for this season's games

I like the Royal Blue jerseys

I'm OK with the White ones

The Bone ones,
not so much

At least we will only have to suffer watching the Bone jerseys twice this season.

Reading Is FUNdamental!
But sometimes quite tedious too

I received this book from Mark Johnson on our recent stay in Seattle with him and his lovely bride Susie.

It is 227 pages of religious mumbo-jumbo that could have been easily reduced to a ten page pamphlet.

Bottom line, the Roman Catholic Church may be suppressing information straight from the lips of the Virgin Mary who the church agrees appeared to three peasant children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.

A coverup in the Roman Catholic Church?

Who could ever think of such a thing being possible?

Two More Days of Stingers Practices and a Stingers Trip to the Dallas Cowboy Camp

Thurs.-Fri., July 28-29, 2002 

Lots of American football goings on the last two days.

Who would have ever guessed that?

Jacob with the white towel coming
out of the back of his pants

He was one of four players that the coaches picked to lead the stretching exercises on Thursday.

Time to warm up the old neck

One-on-One Drill with
Jacob on Offense

Same Drill with Jacob
on Defense this time

Hand punching a blocking bag
The Agility Ladder is always tricky
Of course you have to Bear Crawl
to finish the drill

The Drill from Start to Finish

Some days forward rolls are easy, other days not so much.

I like his stance

He's got the Hops!

Progression into tackling
come Monday

Overall, another forward step tonight for our favorite Stinger.

The Cowboys are in town again

On Friday morning, the entire Camarillo Stingers program was invited to be the guests of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, a.k.a. "America's Team," at their practice in Oxnard, California, up close and personal.

The Stingers were in the House!

Jacob would be easy to spot all day with his distinctive red hat.

On the stage is Cowboy's legendary
All-Pro Lineman Nate Newton to
greet the Stingers with LOTS of
positive thoughts

It was a BEAUTIFUL day for
American football!

Now, THAT'S a Cowboys fan!

Here come the Cowboys!

The Stingers getting to see the DBs
doing some catching drills

Fill in the blank . . .

Back in the day this QB, #14, was known to have a ____________ for an arm.

QB Dak Prescott throwing

Today was his 29th birthday and he acknowledged all of the Stingers after they sang him the Happy Birthday song.

Jacob and his buddies being
videoed by the Cowboys Media

LB Pass Drops

#5 is the Cowboys Punter
Bryan Anger

He is a Camarillo H.S. alumni who punted for the University of California Golden Bears before being picked in the Third Round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Besides the Jaguars, Anger's NFL 11 year career has taken him to stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans and now the Dallas Cowboys.

The view from the stands

Punt Protection Blocking Drill

Near the end of the two hour practice, players started approaching the fence where the Stingers were watching to give out much anticipated autographs.

#87, Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas

#25, Nashon Wright, CB, Oregon State

#84, Sean McKeon, TE, Michigan

#89, Ian Bunting, TE, California

I like Ian's mouthpiece hanging on his ear.

These were all good moments for Jacob to be sure but then there was the moment of the day.

Jacob's exchange with All-Pro
#21, Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Even though Jacob was wearing the Milano Seaman jersey that Nicolas Principi gave him a few years ago, Ezekiel Elliott still took the time to tell Jacob that he saw the number and appreciated his wearing it.

Talk about a memorable moment that shook Jacob's beliefs in the supremacy of Los Angeles Rams football.

Now on display in Jacob's home, two Dallas Cowboys mini-helmets sporting the autographs that he gathered this morning

In the evening, it was time for this week's fifth and final Camarillo Stingers practice, the conclusion of Hell Week.

Actually, Hell Week actually took up ten days over a span of two weeks.

Last week there were five practices in just shorts and t-shirts. This week the battle dress was full gear but the emphasis both weeks was on agility drills and conditioning.

Practices focusing on actual American football fundamentals and live contact start next Monday.

Still, there were fun moments tonight, like . . .

. . . this six year olds AWESOME
three point stance!

Shoulder bumping to get the feel for
a collision with another human being

Jacob is facing us and is the fourth player from his coach.

Jacob, still facing us,
banging away

Even Dick Butkus had to start somewhere.

Same concept standing up

He's still a little fuzzy on the concept it appears.

He's starting to get it!

A work in progress to be sure, but he's definitely trying.

To celebrate the end of Hell Week, the Stingers President invited the coaches and parents, not the grandparents thank God, to join the teams during the now traditional practice ending Stingers Circle.

The Stingers Circle has the entire six team program circling the field alternating between commands from the Stingers President to jog, sprint, bear crawl or do lunges.

I hoped that all of the coaches and parents participating tonight had insurance.

Michael Bear Crawling

Michael and Jacob running
past me about half way through
tonight's ordeal

To celebrate the end of Hell Week
the coaches bought the kids ice creams
from Mister Softee after practice

Jacob was happy on
SO many levels today

To end our long two days of American football mania . . .

. . . a new book about a 68 year old
American football player

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, he is the oldest ever active person in the history of the planet to play our beloved sport.

I did meet a man, Guillaume Beard, in March of 2013 for lunch in Dijon, France that was 63 years old and still playing LB/OT. I've lost contact with him but have to wonder how much longer he played.

Guillaume's story can be found here about half way down this old blog post of mine:

Maybe Guillaume is the real record holder . . .