Sunday, October 8, 2017

Special Olympics

By Uncle Hans

It's been two or three weeks since we have had a game and the coaches decided that we need something competitive to keep our competitive spirit alive.  They decided to have a Special Olympics at practice on Friday.

     They also decided that freshmen would be the captains, which landed me the job of Captain. They had an NFL style draft, and this is my team. We called ourselves The Ineligibles, since three of us are just that.

20171006_163914

If you're wondering why a college football. team would waste  practice time with seemingly silly games, it turns out that it's not that uncommon. The coach of the team we played last week routinely sets aside part of each Friday afternoon practice for Grade School playground kickball. It lets the guys compete, have fun, and still provides football-useful skill training, throwing, catching, running, kicking, agility, Etc..

Here we are strategizing for the next event which was a straightforward Punt Pass and Kick contest.

20171006_170119

 

I punted a weak, but acceptable 30 yards. The rest of the guys pull their weight and we took a second in this event.

20171006_165826

The next event was a hodgepodge relay. Here we are discussing who are the best in the group to do which activities.

20171006_171057

The third guy sprinted 40 yards and the fourth guy, which was me, sprinted 20. Here I am about to tag off to the fifth guy.....

20171006_171401

  

If you're wondering why they picked the slowest guy on the team to sprint, it is a strategy. The difference between my time in the 20 yard dash and someone fast is only one or two seconds. Not really significant in an event which takes a minute or more….

20171006_172303

 

Guys five and six had to throw a tennis ball and a football into a target bucket about 10 yards away. We won this event in 49 seconds.

20171006_171407

The last event was the classic tug of war and we took second.

20171006_173556

Unfortunately, that left the score tied at the end of four events so a sudden death tie breaker was instituted.

20171006_174107

The tiebreaker event was called The Dizzy punt. One try, one team member, spin in a circle 10 times and then punt the football. Our guy looks like he's punting after a 12 pack. The other guy didn't look much better, but his kick went about five yards farther, so they won.

20171006_174205

( my thanks again go to the team managers, who did the photography)

Uncle Hans

Now you can go back to the beginning of the story and catch up on what you've missed so far including all the pictures. CLICK HERE

Friday, October 6, 2017

FALL WEATHER

DSC05922

I’VE OFTEN SAID THAT THE WEATHER IS PERFECT EVERYWHERE IN OCTOBER. THAT’S HALF TRUE, IN THE DAYS WE SPENT AT HOME IN THE MIDWEST WE WERE USUALLY RUN OUT ABOUT THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER. IN THE MOHAVE VALLEY THE TEMPERATURE RUNS IN THE HIGH 90’S UNTIL THE SECOND HALF OF OCTOBER.

IN OUR QUEST FOR “SUNNY & 80” THE LAST FEW YEARS WE’VE SPENT ON SOUTH PADRE ISLAND IN TEXAS. THIS YEAR WE’RE SPENDING OCTOBER ON THE MOUNTAIN. SO FAR WE’VE LUCKED OUT WITH SUNNY AND 75 DEGREES IN THE AFTERNOON. WE ARE STILL IN SHORTS AND T-SHIRTS AND SITTING OUTSIDE ON THE PORCH.

TOWARD THE END OF THE MONTH MARY HAS US VISITING DAVE AND CINDY IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN TO WARM BACK UP TO SUMMER TEMPS. THEN IN EARLY NOVEMBER SHE HAS US BOOKED FOR A WEEK AT SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, BEFORE SHE GOES BACK TO CASINO WORK IN LAUGHLIN. IF WE FIND “SUNNY & 80” IN THE HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAINS OF CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA I’LL EAT MY SHORTS. I JUST HOPE WHEN IT SNOWS IT’S LESS THAN 6 INCHES.

ACTUALLY IT’S BEEN 8 YEARS SINCE WE’VE BEEN AT LAKE TAHOE AND WE ARE BOTH LOOKING FORWARD TO SPENDING SOME TIME THERE TO SEE WHAT’S CHANGED AND RECONNECT WITH SOME OF THE DEALERS WE WORKED WITH. OUR FRIENDS THE HUNTERS WILL BE IN A CONDO IN THE SAME COMPLEX SO I KNOW WE WILL HAVE A GOOD TIME.

WHEREVER YOU ARE I HOPE YOU’RE HAVING PERFECT OCTOBER WEATHER !!!

DSC05924

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rained Out

By Uncle Hans

Yesterday we traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota for the game with the University of Northwestern JV team discussed in the last blog. This much-anticipated game came after three other games had been cancelled off our schedule. Game cancellations are normally very rare.

      So we were shocked and dismayed when we arrived at school to prepare for the trip and learned that our quarterback had undergone appendectomy the night before. Our backup quarterback is suffering from a leg injury. We immediately went to the gym for an emergency "offensive walkthrough", so we could teach three new guys how to be a quarterback............... in an hour.

     I took this picture approximately from my position as outside linebacker. I did have to take a few steps back in order to include the coach on the left side calmly walking the new guys systemically through about a dozen plays to make the game possible. A team typically has about 40, so this will be interesting.

20171002_073749

Since it's not an overnight trip, we pack lighter.  Once on the bus the guys start talking about what football players like to talk about........ lunch. The coaches had contacted a Subway and orders had been faxed for 30 sandwiches. That's when I found out that the subway was in, of all places Melrose Minnesota. That's where I graduated from high school! I got on the phone and called my 87 year old ex-father-in-law, Dick, so he could come out and have lunch with me.

20171002_085946

Of course the faxed order got all screwed up and Dick and I had an hour or more to visit while rest of the team played catch in the parking lot......

a1

..... some of the guys chose to use the time doing their homework.

20171002_130329

Oh, wait!   Maybe they're coloring!

We got to St Paul came upon the campus, dressed and went out on the field to warm up. It started to rain, and more importantly, there was some lightning. The NCAA has established firm rules about avoiding lightning. The area must be lightning free for 30 minutes before any outdoor play can occur. The referees have an app on their phones to monitor this. We were sent to the softball dugout to wait.

a2

Given the open field, some guys couldn't resist throwing the ball around.

20171002_163813

Then there was a lightning strike, they made us go totally indoors to the men's soccer locker room.

20171002_173329

Then the storm arrived, it was torrential with a lot of lightning strikes and they canceled the game.

a3

The coach of the other team felt so bad that he bought us all pizza. Which, of course, took an hour and 15 minutes to arrive. It was just that kind of day. We got on the bus and rode home, arriving at 12:30 p.m.

20171002_192333

BTW, the small player in the center of the picture is smallest college football player I have ever met at 115 lb. He is a freshman, his size belies his ability, and he plays some in every game........

Uncle Hans

Monday, October 2, 2017

TONTO NATURAL BRIDGE

WE TOOK A WEEK-END ROADTRIP BACK TO PRESCOTT, AZ. THIS OUR THIRD TRIP TO PRESCOTT THIS SUMMER. ON THE WAY, JUST BEFORE PINE, AZ, WE STOPPED TO HIKE AT THE TONTO NATURAL BRIDGE STATE PARK.

DSC05906

WE HIKED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE NATUAL BRIDGE, TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK.

DSC05908

IT WAS TUFF TRAIL STRAIGHT DOWN….

DSC05916

BUT A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT, PERFECT WEATHER, A FUN HIKE.

DSC05914

DSC05915

DSC05908

DURING OUR PICNIC LUNCH A DEER RAN BY THE PICNIC TABLE NOT MORE THAN 5 OR 10 YARDS AWAY. I DIDN’T GET THE CAMERA OUT IN TIME BUT DID GET A PICTURE OF THE HAVALINAS GRAZING NEAR BY.

DSC05921

THE PURPOSE OF OUR THIRD TRIP TO PRESCOTT WAS TO MEET OUR GOOD FRIENDS THE HUNTERS FOR A TRIBUTE SHOW, THE BLUES BROTHERS.

BAND

IT WASN’T ONLY THE SHOW, BUT THE ELKS THEATER BUILT IN 1907 THAT WE WANTED TO SEE. A THREE STORY OPERA HOUSE THAT HAS BEEN REBURISHED TO IT’S FORMER GRANDEUR.

THEAT

IT WAS A FUN SHOW WITH LOTS OF AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION AND THE FEMALE USHERS WERE IN PERIOD DRESSES. THE SHOW WAS SATURDAY NIGHT AND OF COURSE WE SPENT FRIDAY NIGHT ON WHISKEY ROW, WHICH I CAN’T REALLY REPORT ON, OTHER THAN TO SAY THE HANGOVER WAS PAINFUL……..

  “SUNNY & 75”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Jake’s Birthday

By Uncle Hans

So a few days ago at practice I showed up looking like this. In commemoration of Jake's birthday, I wore his old away game jersey from high school. It caused quite a reaction and I got a lot of nice comments.......

20170925_162102

........... especially when the guys saw the back!  Jake is my 41 year old son and he graduated from Spooner High School in Spooner Wisconsin in 1994. He was a punter and a wide receiver. Happy birthday Jake!

20170925_162114

20170925_162114-001

I asked one of the team managers to take a few pictures for the blog. Here I am watching while the offense practices their repertoire.

20170925_165635

Here we are doing an agility drill. Agility is not my long suit.

20170925_170731    

We have been struggling because of our small numbers, as you know. We have been trying to pick up a game with a good college team's JV Squad. We had one set up for Monday the 25th and they called to cancel because they had too many injuries and small numbers. Tonight at practice the coach announced that they had arranged to play the JV Squad at University of Northwestern in St Paul Minnesota on October 2nd.

Uncle Hans

Now you can go back to the beginning of the story and catch up on what you've missed so far including all the pictures. CLICK HERE