This week was pretty much made up of Mario and I trying to visit and see as many people as we could before we left. This week also featured the wedding services for Mr. Paul Tucker and Miss Kristina Engelstrom. There were around 20 people from the US in attendance at Paul's wedding in a very old and pretty Church in Djuresholm Sweden. The mixed Swedish/American wedding was pretty neat, specially the reception. The reception had an MC if you will and he was called the ToastMaster. Paul's wife, Christina's brother was the toast master. He pretty much ran the whole reception and would ring a bell when it was time for someone else to make a toast. The food was good and everything was nice, as the reception was held at the Djureseholm castle. One highlight of the wedding was the band that played in rotations at the reception. They were called " The All Time Players " and they were all definitely players and all wore top hats and the average age had to be somewhere around 70. Needless to say...they rocked. While I participated in all the wedding activities Mario was still running and working out and doing other little things. Since Paul was getting married there were many people from Pageland in Stockholm and even my parents and brother came. Pat's girlfriend Fernanda even flew in from Portugal for the occasion. So I was semi downtown/airport taxi/club guide. It was neat to be able to show my friends and family places that I have been and things I have seen. Many times when I have been overseas I have wished that I could show my friends and family certain things or share certain experiences and so this time it finally came true. Now that mama and Big Frank came over and spent a few days in Stockholm they can have an understanding of how understandable it is that I come home broke. So everyone was leaving Sweden on the same day, but since I was flying KLM ( Royal Dutch Airlines ) I didn't have the same flights as anyone else. We had to leave the place at 4 am so Mario and I just stayed up all night. We went on a last minute mission with Chief Swole Ankles so that our stay would be complete. It was like the final piece to the Lord of the Rings puzzle or something. Then after that we were on the computer and packing until late. We stopped by the Hilton to get Pat and Fernanda at 4:30 and we also picked up some of the other people's luggage and headed to the airport. Mario flew out at 6:45 and I was scheduled to fly out at 10:35. Thus I was extremely early. Fernanda had to fly out at 4 in the afternoon so I just sat and talked with her for a while before I went to my gate. We both fell asleep on the chairs briefly. Then it came time for me to go so I left her with a 60 minute internet card to keep her busy and I headed to my gate. On the flight home from Amsterdam to Memphis it was funny because about 20 minutes before we landed a gay flight attendant came out with a female flight attendant and they made an announcement that someone in the area I was sitting in smelled like a controlled substance. They were giving out warnings to change clothes and saying that the drug dogs in Memphis were tough. They were saying that this is a common occurrence as people will sit in those coffee shops in Amsterdam and do drugs and then try to fly the next day. I sat beside some woman on the plane that was a vegetarian, so yes, you know I was eating double all the way home. Then when I finally got to Memphis you know the first thing I did was to go get me a good greasy cheeseburger. It made me happy to not have to pay 8 to 9 dollars to get a burger. Ahh...the US again. I caught a plane from Memphis to Charlotte and Mario picked me up from the airport then I headed to the house only to knock out.
Well this was officially my last week here. It is starting to get pretty cold here too. I could no longer sleep with my window open. I was in long pants and hooded sweat shirts every day here. Everyday I was telling Marlon..." this is your last tuesday, wednesday...etc " because it seems like its been a while. I also took an hour and a half tour of the castle that I earlier visited. You could really get lost in there.
So if you are reading this then you probably want to know about the game. Well this week we played the Finnish National Championship game in Helsinki vs the Helsinki Roosters. Our guys had lost to the Roosters 7 years straight and were kind of psyched out for the game. All this week we scouted their film and we stayed up til like 3 am one night breaking down their schemes. We pretty much knew what they were going to do, we just had to see how they blocked it and had to narrow down their tendencies.
So the game was a long hard fought battle. Defense shut down the roosters running game and so they had to resort to passing, which didn't work. The first quarter went by quickly as they were running all day. Then in the second quarter my boy Rio took a kick off back about 90 some yards for a td and got us some momentum. I can't remember what quarter it was but I did throw one Td pass, putting me at 38 Td passes and no interceptions for the whole season. We were up like 14 to 3 going into half time. The second half we scored, maybe it was the pass but we scored and then they were down 21-3 for the whole third quarter. Then we were playing ball control the whole fourth quarter and trying to run out the clock. They got the balls and kicked a field goal then on side kicked it and got it, and then scored, but by this point all we had to do was to get a first down and run the clock out. So we ran qb follows and the clock went out and so finally after about 9 silver medals the Trojans have been crowned with their first Gold medal and Maple Championship trophy. All game they were late hitting me and trying to talk junk to me to get me thrown out. I did pimp slap one guy in the pile and the referee got on me about it. So the defense bent, but didn't break and that was the key to the game. The leagues leading rusher was shut down and this is a credit to our whole defense.
After the game I was getting interviewed by the tv guys and so that was pretty neat. I gave all the credit to God and to the rest of the team because I couldn't have done any of it by myself...as I told the reporter. I did have some females yelling Clinton, Clinton, Clinton ...and all that so you know. The most rewarding part for me was to see these guys on our team that have played for so many years and not received the gold finally get it. Some were laughing, some crying, some didn't really know how to act. It was kind of weird. So that made me feel good that I could be on the team that did it. The guys were all telling me that I really didn't understand how great this was and that the monkey was off of their back now. After the game they gave me the MVP trophy, but I didn't go get it because 1.) I was doing an interview and 2.) because I couldn't understand what he was saying in Finnish. However, I didn't deserve the MVP of the game so I gave it to Rio because he had a kickoff return for a TD as well as an interception and his play on the field wasn't as crucial as what he did off the field. He was the main reason that the defense succeeded so much because he had them scouted to the T. So we got gold medals and championship hats. The Helsinki team didn't even stay on the field while we received our medals. I guess they were still in shock as many of the guys on our team were. After my shock and awe campaign the last time in Helsinki (where I dropped 7 td passes ) they had signed to US defensive backs to try to slow our passing attack down and they didn't blitz as much so they were trying to sit back and make me pick them apart....so I did throw somewhat, but I just checked to runs. There coach was calling our defense over rated and stuff all week so I think some of the guys felt good about the victory.
I won't even get into the ride home. I will just tell you that we listend to " we are the Champions" a million times. I'm typing to you now and all of the guys are waiting for me downtown so I must go. I will post again tommorrow so if you are reading and care, I will be home on Tuesday with another gold medal. And in the words of Coach Al Usher back in
1997 ....IT'S TIME TO GO STRUT, so that I must do.
PS: I was also in some sports magazine over here. I will try to get some copies of it and will bring them home. It just has some pictures of me in it and I will try to get a translation of it so that I can understand.