Read the thoughts and musings of a cultured redneck here
Well there was not too much going on this week as it was rainy and dreary outside and since we had no game. As I stated before this was our originally scheduled off week. Since it was raining outside a few days this week, I stayed in and messed around. The weather over here is very fickle. For those of you with a weak vocabulary, fickle means that it changes easily. It will be hot one day, then cold the next and rain can come and go at the drop of a hat. During the week I was on the net until my eyes crossed and then I watched some TV as well. This is when I noticed that the censorship here is not as tight as it is in the states. That is audio and visual censorship. It was similar in Finland as well. We still had practice this week and I lifted weights a time or two, but I was still sore from the game.
I squeezed in my first tennis match early in the week. I have never played tennis before and if I could keep it between the lines its pretty hard to return, but the keeping it between the lines part gives me some problems. I went and played with some friends and Ilija and his brother. When Ilija and his brother played it was like watching 2 professionals. They made me stand in there for a few hits and the balls were coming so fast I couldn't hardly see them, much less return them. Tennis is a big sport over here, but soccer seems to be #1 with hockey coming in at #2. Who knows where American football falls in that sequence. I also saw a rugby match this week as well.
This week they had a holiday on Thursday, I believe, so everyone was out in the street during the day and out on the town at night. During the day they have people just singing in the middle of town square to everyone. Its like a free concert if you like that kind of music. They seem to draw somewhat decent crowds. I went to the big mall here called the NK one day with some friends and also went in several other stores downtown. Lets just say that I will never be buying anything inside of the NK building. One of my friends here bought a T-shirt that that would equal a price of 40 dollars...just to give you an idea. Though there were some attractive females on the inside. On a side note...I don't think that I have my hours adjusted totally as I continue to stay up late and sleep in. This way I can talk to my friends on line from the states as well as manage my schedule here. The nights are starting to be lighter longer which makes it hard to adjust to.
On Friday night some of the guys went out downtown. We went to 2 different clubs/restaurants or whatever you want to call it. There was a woman in there taking pictures. I asked her what she was taking them for and so she informed me that there is a nightlife website for Stockholm and so I jumped in behind two girls while they were having their picture taken. I was laughing, but click here to see it. Then I was able to get Ilija away from all of the women long enough to get a picture with him. Check it out here. Yeah so maybe I should have shaved, but there wasn't anything worth me shaving for in there anyways...hahahaa.
So on Saturday since we didn't have a game we went to watch 2 teams in our league play. I also met another guy from my last years team in Finland at the game. We had planned to meet there and so it was good to see none other than Mr. Kasper Johanson and his woman at the game. He rode the boat over to hang out with his brother who lives in Stockholm so he just swung right over to the game and watched it with us. We watched the Stockholm Mean Machines vs Carlstad. Upon entering the game we got a free magazine that had half clothed women in it. Another thing you wouldn't see at home. Carlstad is the team that wore us out in the first week and Stockholm beat them 26 - 21. Stockholm capitalized on some big plays during the game and were able to hold on for the victory. There was some pad popping going on in that game too. During the game one player injured his inner thigh. So what did they do...he just laid down on the sideline, pulled his football pants down and the female trainer was their massaging his inner thigh. I mean he still had other clothing on, but it was just something that you would not have seen at home. At half time they had a punt, pass, kick contest, but I didn't enter though I would have won by a long shot. I was tempted though.
On another side note Arlanda beat the team from Moscow in the Eurobowl series. I'm trying to paint a picture here for you so you can see how the deck is stacked. The team I played for last year ( Turku Trojans ) beat Arlanda 10 - 0 two weeks ago. The following week we played Arlanda and lost 22 - 21. Turku lost to Moscow 42 - 0 on that same day and then Arlanda beats Moscow this weekend 17 - 7. So it seems that on any given day any team can be beat. Hopefully we'll get our act together and be able to compete.
Today is Sunday and my cousin David Patterson flew into Sweden. He just recently graduated and this was his first time in Europe and I was present when he sat foot in Scandinavia. On the way there and on the way back we saw some moose. We saw a total of 3. One of the guys, " Diesel " as known by females all over Stockholm, was with us and he said that its not that frequent that you see something like that. He said that he's seen maybe 3 or 4 in his whole life. So as you can see whenever you have more than one Patterson at the same place anything magical can happen. Who knows what will happen downtown this week. We had some girls at McDonald's giggling already. I think they notice that you're not from Europe when they see you with baggy pants on. That's pretty much the tip because baggy is not the style here. We will try to get some good pictures while David is here and post them on the site next week.
Now we are preparing to play against the Solna Chiefs. We need to have a good week of practice because its time that we get a W. Hope all is well for all of you.
This week the weather was very fickle. On Sunday it was pretty hot...like T-shirt and shorts hot and then the rest of the week it was very cold. I often get caught without a jacket when it's cold or with too much on when its hot because its difficult to plan because you never know what might happen. When the sun goes down you better have a jacket some where close though.
Since I got a package in the mail last week I have been sharing Reese cups, oatmeal pies, and jolly ranchers with all of the fellas. It was the first time for a lot of them to ever eat them and they liked them all, but said that the Reese cups were too rich for them. It was pretty neat to witness the " Reese cup reactions ". Can you imagine being deprived from Reese cups your whole life?
This week I washed clothes again so that was another process that was good to get out of the way. I even cleaned my room up. Yeah you know I am bored if I clean my room up huh. Also, this week Britney ( Fame made me go psycho ) Spears was in concert over here at the Globben. Can you believe people actually paid money to go watch that? Usher is soon to be in concert on June 8th. I called my boy lil john and he answered the phone and said " yeeeeaaaah " and I was like can you send me some tickets and he was like " wwwhhhhaaaattt " and I said can you send me some tickets the finally he said " okkkkaaayyyy ". So I may try to go to that one if he comes through on it. lol
On Friday I met one of my good friends from Turku here in downtown Stockholm He and some friends took the boat over just to hang out in the city. His name is Kari Toivonen and he is the media guy and webmaster for the Turku Trojans. It was good to see him again and he even brought me a 2004 schedule poster that had a picture of me on it along with a game day program that had a picture of me as well. So that was neat. Since I was downtown I visited some stores and went into the Hard Rock Cafe and also went into a store that only sales goods from the US that you can't find in stores here. For instance products like...peanut butter, reese cups, hershey's white chocolate bars, certain kinds of cereals, pop tarts and a whole lot more, but I didn't buy anything just checked it all out.
The Game This week we played against the Arlanda Jets. This team won the championship last year in this league. We ended up losing 22 - 21 in a tough game. We passed all day and they are an option style team. I wore # 16 instead of #7 because the #7 jersey was sewn up tight and thus hindered the full range of motion so I just grabbed #16 and wore it. Our team played a whole lot better from game 1 and showed more heart, but a few inches here or a different / (correct) call there and it could have been a different outcome. They scored like 11 points with their field goal kicker. I still had to scramble, but not as much as the first game and the good news is that I can still feel my ribs today. However there is some bad news. I hate to break it , but the inevitable has happened. The streak is over. After 40 td passes in Europe I threw an interception. I dropped back and went to throw and a d-lineman batted the ball up in the air and then some other guy caught it. I tackled him too!. I ended up throwing 3 td passes and yes 2 interceptions. The last one was on the last play of the game. There were like 23 seconds left on the clock and we were down by one point and I was trying to scramble around and throw a deep ball and just didn't put enough on it so in desperation hopes I threw another pick. After all you have to take some chances every now and then or you'll never succeed. Though this time I gambled the wrong way. Now we have our originally scheduled off week coming up this week and then after that we play the Solna Chiefs.
This week we were supposed to have a game, but the team we were scheduled to play is competing in the Euro Bowl so that game took precedence over a regular league game thus giving us an open week. Each year whichever team wins the league championship in their country gets a bid to the Euro Bowl in the upcoming year. Well last year at Turku we won so this year they are playing in the Euro Bowl series. The leagues in different countries across Europe intertwine the regular season games with the Euro Bowl games so it can get confusing. Anyways...Turku played against the Arlanda Jets from Sweden and beat them 10 - 0 this past Saturday and now will be heading to Moscow, Russia to play in the next round. So congratulations again to my guys in Finland. Many of them called me after the game and it was good to speak with the guys again. I hope they can pull it off in Russia as well. Now our upcoming game for this week is against who...none other than the Arlanda Jets. Yes, it seems like a coincidence to me too, but who knows.
Since we didn't have a game I did a little sight seeing. Some of the guys here took me around to different places in Stockholm to see some sights. We went to the castle as you will see in the pics. It was a pretty big place that sat right by a lake and seemed to be on the outskirts of town I guess. They have guards that walk around in blue to " protect " the castle. They walk with a unique step I might add. The king has a nice sized yacht sitting out back beside the castle as well. I did not go in for the tour because I'm too cheap to pay money for that. The pictures will explain the castle better than my words so I will just let you view them here.
So as you can see the King is fit to throw a good party if he wants to. Somebody said something about a single princess around their somewhere, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's good enough to be Mrs. Patterson you know. So after we did MTV cribs at the king's house we went into town and checked out where he works. There were guards there too and we just happened to catch them when they were changing. If you care to view a small segment of that then click here . There is more to it than what that video shows, but I don't have enough space on my server to put it all up there. So that was pretty neat.
After this we went to the highest point in Stockholm, which has a good view of the city. I put a span view of the scene there online too, so click this if you want to see it. I can't make the resolution to high on these for storage sake as well. If you look at it you will see a theme park on the right hand side of it right when the clip starts. They have a drop zone that is higher than the one at Carowinds. Needless to say I will not be participating on that ride when we go there. From this view I got some pics as well. Check them out.
We saw some more things as well in the city, but none that I thought I should put on here (picture wise that is )...for example we went by the embassy. This was all early in the week. I still did the general weight lifting and practice stuff too so don't think I'm trying to slack. I did receive a very nice package in the mail this week too so thanks Karen for throwing the hook up and I do mean the hook up. We also had some fun @ McDonald's this week. Check out the European version of the double nodd . However the double nodd was unsuccessful in achieving anything. Speaking of McDonald's ... I went into a McDonald's and was looking around when I noticed that they serve beer. I was informed that its only " light beer " so its ok. hmm. I was thinking of suing because they didn't offer low carb beer with the meals, which aids in making consumers fat due to lack of beverage options, but I'm not sure if I'll pursue it or not yet. lol. Since we didn't have a game some of the guys went on Saturday and scouted some of the other teams in the league that were playing. It was a pretty good experience, but I saw some turf that I am not looking forward to playing on. Then on Sunday I went down with the juniors and watched them play a game in Nyköping Sweden. It wasn't a bad ride. We had a pimp bus driver that Rauge interviewed. Seems he was a guru of facts on Thailand so therefore he gets his picture on the page and also because he also gave us a ride to McDonald's after he dropped the team off.
I know I have said McDonald's like 70 times now, but you don't realize how many McDonald's there are over here. They have a monopoly. You can find a Burger every now and then.
Also I saw some of the weirdest referees ever...check out the pics
Now that I have been here for a few days I can catch up to what's been going on. First of all it is very cold here and I have seen snow on the ground in some places. The river was frozen in some places as well. The first day I was here we went to the field to see it. The field is near to the Centrum, which is the shopping center in the middle of the town. The turf is better than any turf field in Finland, though the stands/stadium leaves something to be desired, but I would rather save my knees/elbows and skin than have a nice bleacher section. After I saw the field the coach and I went inside the Centrum and ate. We ate kebabs, which I haven't eaten since Finland either.
Where I am staying is like a 10 minute walk to the gym, to the Centrum, and to the field so its not that bad. Zooming out on your mapquest view Tyresö is about 15 minutes (in car) southeast of the dead center of Stockholm. From what I can gather its in between Stockholm and the sea. I would say it would be the same distance relationship as like Pineville to the dead center of Charlotte, only without the ocean! I am staying in the clubhouse which is like where the main offices for the team are. There are several rooms here like I said before. The team has meetings and watches film here and there is one other guy that is staying here with me. His name is Christian and he played D-III ball in Wisconsin so he speaks English very well and for that matter every person I've met here speaks English well.
So later that day I went shopping for some snacks around the house. The stores here are about the same as they were in Finland. They resemble themselves in the manner in which they are built and how they operate. However things here are pretty expensive and as always when I'm in other countries I can never tell exactly how much money I am really spending. The conversion here is like 7.5 crowns to the dollar so I freak out when a cheeseburger is like 50 crowns or whatever. It may take me a while to get use to it and all of this metric stuff. Whoever thought I would have needed to learn that stuff in high school. Maybe I should have payed attention. During the daytime it is pretty much cold in the shade and warm in the sunlight. So later that night I went out with my friend from GWU, Ilija Sekulic. Ilija was the star tennis player at GWU ( that is along with B-Shoc of course ). He was also a computer major so we are pretty good friends from school. You can imagine how crunk we were to be seeing each other again, only this time in his country...not mine. So he came and picked me up and we went downtown. The city is a very nice city and is lit up a lot at night. We went to a Yugoslavian place and the music was different as you can imagine. You may ask why we went there...well the females we were with wanted to go there so once again I was along for the ride. We just hung out there for a while and then came back. It was good to hang out with Ilija again and I'm sure we'll hang out more as well. So yes the girls in the place did look good, but nothing to make me write on this page about yet. That was pretty much it for the first 2 days until we scrimmaged the Roosters, which will be the next entry to come.
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