Clint Patterson's Blog


Read the thoughts and musings of a cultured redneck here

Clint Patterson
Clint Patterson
Clint Patterson's Blog

Week 9 / Game 4

On Sunday of this week some of the fellas and I went out to a nearby lake and grilled out.  It was pretty neat and relaxing.  It was unique because we went out there at like 6 pm and stayed until like 10 pm and the whole time the weather was cool, but yet the sun was still out.  The sun just hung in the sky forever and never went down.  Usually at home you know it would cool down and shortly thereafter get dark, but here it cooled down and just stayed light.  We did have an attempt at catching a fish, but nothing came of it.  We ate hot dogs and hamburgers and just sat on those huge rocks.  We bought some " American Dressing " at the store for hamburgers and its weird because I have never seen this dressing at home, but it did taste ok.   Maybe its the secret McDonald's sauce...who knows.  The only bad part was that my ankle was throbbing the whole time from the game.  Turns out that we had 3 people with problems related to that great field that we played on last week.  So I was hobbling up and down the rocks and we were throwing fishing lures at mallard ducks.  It was the first day of sunshine like all week.  I think when David came he brought the rain because this week was nothing but sunshine all week long.

Early in the week I went and got my ankle X - rayed to make sure that it wasn't fractured.  It was an awkward injury and for that matter still hurts, but the location of the injury and how it happened was weird which made me curious.  I'd never felt something like that before so they took me to get it looked at.  Some fat guy fell on my foot while I was lying face down on the ground and his weight hit my heel right where the Achilles tendon attaches.  The next day my ankle was all swollen and black and blue and started from the bottom of my foot and then went upward so I had to ice it.  I could walk on my toes, but couldn't put much weight on my heel.  I walked on my toes so much that my calf became sore.  So we went to the doctor and after waiting ...ALL DAY LONG...they said it wasn't fractured so that was all I needed to hear and so I played this week.  They didn't tell me what exactly was wrong with it, but just that it wasn't fractured.  One thing I did notice that was different in the hospital here was that you pay a flat fee before they do anything and it covers whatever services you receive unless you stay overnight then they charge you a small fee per night.  I think this is possible due to the taxes or whatever, but am not sure.

Since the sun was out and I knew my ankle wasn't fractured I went downtown a couple of times and yes I did have a pimp limp.  This week they had this festival of restaurants I guess you could call it downtown.  They were playing music and had a lot of restaurants in tents there and you could eat and just hang out.  It seems when the sun finally does come out in these Scandinavian countries that any excuse to be outside is good enough.  Though its warm it's still not that humid so its pleasant.  As I was downtown I noticed the streets being overly packed. I kept hearing loud music coming from different directions.  There were the like 14 flat bed trucks or dump trucks riding around playing loud music with teenagers, in what looked like sailor caps, riding around on the back of them drinking, dancing, and yelling.  See the high schools were graduating over here and so a tradition that they have is to parade downtown in the streets and ride in the streets on trucks drinking and listening to music.  You could smell beer in the air and many times they were throwing it at people.  The sailor looking hats are there graduation hats so they don't look like our graduation hats at all.  I remember seeing hats like this in Finland as well.  While downtown and also while we grilled out, I saw like 7 hot air balloons in the sky at the same time.  I don't think I've ever seen more than 3 in the air at one time and that was in Switzerland so that was a unique site.  I think they were trying to advertise on the balloons near the restaurant festival as the balloons were relatively close to each other.  This week I finished Deuteronomy and have started on Joshua and am in the middle of Psalms.  My stats from last weeks game are posted on this link.  The guys on the team said that the 9 td's was a record.
The Game

This week we played a team called the Sundsvall Flames. Sundsvall is a 6 hour ride to north Sweden.  We had to get up at 6 am just to make it there by game time.  On the way we had a debate on the bus in between me and 2 other American guys (with swedish residency) on the team.  One is a player and one an assistant coach.  They were trying to represent California and Maine.  Its like what is there to represent you know  They actually thought that California and Maine were better than the Carolinas.  Don 't worry I held them off as there was no evidence that they could produce to back their arguments.  After educating these outcasts we finally arrived and went to their field to check it out.  They had a turf field with the good turf so it wasn't that bad to play on.  The stadium sat at the bottom of a small mountain or foothill so the wind was only blowing in one direction.  Before the game I had to get my ankle taped to support my heel.  So I had a little extra support, but it still was hurting during the game.  Sundsvall also had an American quarterback, but I'm not sure where he was from.  The Dj before the game was getting everyone hype by playing some dirty south music on the speakers.

We won 60 - 35 in another offensive shootout.  I ended up with 4td passes and a swollen ankle again.  I got late hit two times and one of them was on a Td pass.  We were finally able to establish a running game yesterday so that was good.  The defense played better and caused a few turnovers and that was enough for us to hold on to the win.  I split one of my receivers down the middle of his numbers and the ball popped off his shoulder pads into the air and so euro pick #3 occurred.  One thing that is a terrible rule that they have in Sweden is that the referees bring new balls to the games and we are suppose to play with those balls.  Well up until now they have not been bringing them and yesterday they finally did.  So its like trying to throw slick leather squares to your receivers when we have perfectly fine, broken in balls right there on the sideline.  I asked the referee about this before the game and he could not give an explanation other than the fact that " we were going to play with the new ones ".  So as you can imagine that was great news to get like 3 minutes before the game.  They have the slick, oily, film on them and are difficult to throw.  I can't see a benefit to having this rule, but for whatever reason it exists.  So now we are 2 - 2 and seem to have things on the up and up.

And in other Scandinavian sporting news the Turku Trojans of Finland beat the Crocodiles ( the team in the race with Solna to see who can have the worst turf  in Europe) and are 2 - 0 and looking to make a run at the Maple League title again.  Good luck guys and see if you can make it back to back rings this year.

Now I am returning home to the states for a month to work.  In Sweden they have a month long break in the middle of the season.  This is another thing that I don't understand, but for some reason they have a break in the season.  I think its so they can vacation in the summer.  So I am returning on Tuesday and will be home for a few weeks and then will return back to finish the season.  Quite the schedule, but I have to do what I have to do.  So until then I will drop my web page and pick it back up when I return for round two.




Week 8 / Game 3

As I stated last week, my cousin David had flown in to visit and so this week we toured around the city and tried to show him a little bit of Scandinavia.  We had a good time, though it rained the majority of the week, which limited our sightseeing since we were mainly traveling by foot.  Having David here on his first time in Europe it made me realize some differences that I saw in Finland and Sweden as well, but since my eyes have become use to them I failed to mention them on here.  I will try to recap a little.  I have failed to mention are the fact that there are rocks everywhere here and they are some big ones at that.  The fact that everything is in the metric system can get confusing sometimes.  The fact that I never really know how much money I have or am spending unless I specifically count it and convert it in my head.  I think I did mention the stop lights going from red to orange then to green.  The general structure of bathrooms is different.  There aren't many bathtubs and usually you have a floor with a drain in it and a squeegee to push the water toward the drain when you're done.  The structure of the buildings here is different than at home.  This is probably due to the age of them.  The buildings are very artsy in the fact that they are pleasing to look at. They have like designs, or peoples faces or scenes carved in the concrete or stone and statues are frequently found around the streets.  They use spiral staircases over here a lot.  The keys that you use to get in your house are cut in a different manner than the ones we use at home.  A mall here is not the same as a mall at home.  They are just set up differently on the inside and the building structure is also different.  Its like not as open aired and spacious or whatever.  So those are some things that I have failed to mention, but that hearing David talk about them opened my eyes to the fact that I did not write about them.  Not to mention the price of gas over here.  We also took some pictures with his camera, but we couldn't get them to my computer because he uses some off the wall brand chip that isn't compatible with my  Like it could be my computer's fault or He is going to email them to me so I'll have them up sometime soon.

We pretty much had the same routine and schedule as any other week just with a little less time on the net.  He even went and watched practice this week.  We did bust up in the KPMG headquarters over here in Stockholm and get him a tour of the complex so he can have some international contacts you know.  Got to get that networking down.    We went and saw the changing of the guards and while we were there the Royal family was exiting the building so we saw all of them.  We saw the princess who is all over the magazines over here.  She wasn't all that, but I did get eye contact so you Also this week one of the guys on the team had us over to eat at his place which was nice of him.  We ate some steaks, fries, and some béarnaise sauce.  This is a sauce that I've never seen at home, but I have never really looked for it either.  It's really buttery and I can't eat too much of it, but Rauge (self proclaimed " Diesel " ) said he could live off of that stuff.  I think David was also VIP 3 times in 3 different places over here so that's not bad for an App State graduate you know.  I guess there is hope after all.  We did see a Michael Jackson impersonator who was dancing for money and he danced all day long.  David also sat in a real sauna and officially threw some "loylu".  One funny comment that David made was that he said " Watching those girls dance made my hip hurt "....hahaha.  I thought that was hilarious, but then again it helps to have seen what girls he was talking about.

The Game

So for the game ........the Tyreso Royal Crowns are no longer winless.   We got our first W yesterday against a team named Solna in a very crazy game.  First of all let me talk about the field that we played on.  David has pictures of it and I will definitely post them because my words will in no way do it justice.  This field may be worse than the turf in Sejaiolki (or however you spell it ) Finland, but its a close call.  I'm not sure which is better to fall on; the turf with small rocks all in it or the turf with sand all in it to cut your skin up.  Its a close call and right now I'm torn between the two.  You could lift this turf up and look under it every ten yards.  It was so outdated that I couldn't believe that they still let people play on it.  There was like half a centimeter of padding on that thing.  Before the game they were lifting up the mat (in 10 yard increments) and sweeping the rocks back under the turf.  When it rains it brings all that stuff to the surface and the small rocks come out.  I had seen this stadium before so I was prepared and I had about 8 wrist bands on going up one side and down the other on both of my arms.  It was like I was sponsored by Nike or something.  I got out of there without too much turf burn, but with an odd ankle bump.  Some D-lineman fell on my ankle and when he tackled me and right now its just sitting here throbbing.  Never fear...time is the best healer and I got some ice and athletic tape.

As for the game was an offensive shootout.  Neither team's defense could stop the other team's offense.  The final score was 67 - 62 (Yes, really) and I threw 9 td passes and ran a 2 point conversion.  There are rumors of 9 Td passes in one game being a Swedish record, but I'm not sure about that.  It was a very boring game to watch probably as there were not too many pads popping.   However there were some pads popping on one play as the other team had the ball with like a minute or two to go and they tried to run a play action pass and our defense finally stepped up and hit the Qb, he fumbled, and our guy picked it up and ran it in the zone from about 55 yards out.  This put us up and they got the ball back and tried to throw a pass, but it got picked.  We then ran the clock out.  Due to the odd nature of that game, the play where he got hit, fumbled, and we scored has been coined by the guys over here as " The miracle at Bergshamra ".  Bergshamra is the name of the field.  The great turf field that is.   After the game they gave the MVP of the game to one of our receivers, but he just turned around and gave it to me so that was pretty nice of him to do that.  I guess there was some hating going on somewhere around there, but who knows.  Everyone got paid in Stockholm this week and so we all went out and the streets were packed and so David again missed his flight, but this time purposely, and is again flying standby.  In other news: Turku Trojans defeated the Pori Bears 24 - 7 in a head to head battle in the maple league of Finland.  And another page turns...



Week 7 / Open Week 2

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.




Week 6 / Game 2

This week the weather was very fickle. On Sunday it was pretty 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.




Week 5 / Open

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.

The castle from the road Hallway inside - before you pay...obviously

Celing in the corridor China room - (no mom I didn't touch)

Entering the court yard the trees make a tunnel scene These guards walk in circles around the castle

A pic of the courtyard 

Fountain in the middle of the courtyard Another courtyard shot

Castle from the back Another pic of the castle from the back

The Ghostbusters pic They told me this was a Finnish soldier being killed by a Swedish soldier

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.

A Coastguard like boat guarding the waterway Here's the theme park

A zoomed in shot A side-view from where we were standing

A cruise boat going to Finland

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. 

The bus driver 

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

Nice haircut A burly fellow




Week 4 / Game 1
This week it is starting to warm up to a more comfortable temperature.  I have been able to wear T-shirts outside, but at night you still need a coat.  Earlier in the week I got stopped by a Jehovah's witness in the subway and she handed me a tract/pamphlet (in English) and we had a discussion for a little bit.  She said she believed in the bible, but was not part of the church ?  I went downtown a few times this week and one thing that I noticed was that you have to pay in most places to use the restroom.  You even have to pay in Burger King and McDonalds.  Around mid-week I had to fill out my papers for obtaining my visa or work permit here in Sweden.  It was good to do this due to my previous record in Scandinavia so hopefully there won't be any more hang ups in the airports around here.  This week I also went to a practice that the Junior team had to see what that was like.  They practice at a different field than we do and so I went to the different location.  Ilija and I got a little turned around on the way, but finally made it there.  Getting to a new place is always a possible adventure when you aren't in a familiar environment.  Anyways, during their practice I noticed 2 deer that just walked out carelessly across the practice field like everything was cool.  They just mosied their way across the field and back into some woods.  I was tempted to try to pet one.  Finally on Friday night we went to a bon fire.  They said it was like a Swedish tradition or almost holiday that every year they have big bon fires on a certain day.  I was informed that it is a historical event that started way back when to keep the witches away and that the tradition is still carried on today.  The bon fire was held at a field near a pond and there were a lot of people out there as well.  The bon fire was not that huge in comparison to some I have been to, but yet was bigger than the annual Jamie Jowers Thanksgiving night Campout fire.
We did have our first game this week and I think the best way to describe it would be " less than stellar ".  We got beat 54 - 6.  The team we played was said to be the top contender in the league for the championship. They were way more physical than we were.  They pretty much walked the dogs on us.  We could not stop them running and they passed at their pleasure along with blitzing almost every play on defense.  It was like a scramble fest for me.  I was on the move so much that I could barely call the plays in the huddle because I had cotton mouth so bad.  Then I would try to lick my fingers to get a better grip on the ball, but might has well wiped my face cause my mouth was so dry.  I think I had my feet set for like 3 throws the whole game and the rest I was scrambling or sprinting out.  I got hit by somebody nearly every play.  I made a few good runs, but many times couldn't break contain enough to do anything.  One time a guy hit me and my chinstrap went up on my face and my nose started bleeding for a bit, but stopped shortly thereafter.  Some have referred to it as " The Passion of Clint " saying that they crucified me on the field and after the game some fans commented to me " you take hits pretty well " and " do you want me to call an ambulance for you "....just to give you an idea. So you can imagine I am pretty sore today and have several areas that I have to take care of.  Since this is my first game in a while all of my neck muscles are sore from not being use to getting hit.  However, our guys did not give up or give in and played until the game was over so I was at least proud of that.  I did sneak away with one Td pass that my receiver made a good play on in the corner of the end zone.  On a side note the referees in Finland weren't great, but these over here are on a whole different level by themselves.
Since 2 of the teams in this league are playing in the Euro bowl the league has been adjusting the schedule around a bit to accommodate their needs and we were suppose to play a game this coming week, but now we are not because of a schedule conflict.  So we have an off week which should give me time to heal up hopefully.   We will have to get a lot better if we want to compete for the championship over here.

Week 3
As you can imagine this week started off rough coming back from Germany and having to recuperate.   When I finally got my sleep straightened out I started back into my routine.  After 2 weeks of wearing everything I had, and much of it twice, it was time to wash clothes.  This was another experience, but I will say that the set up here is a little more efficient than the one I had in Finland... that never drained the water properly.  Over here they have a key and lock system for washing clothes.  Each person that lives here has  a lock specifically for their room number and it is stored in a grid on the wall in the laundry room.  This " grid " is almost like a bingo board or something.  It has sectors divided up into the dates of the month and is broken down into 3 hour sections.  So if you want to reserve the slot for Friday from 9 - 12 then you place your lock in that hole and leave it there until your time comes and then you go and wash your clothes.  When your time comes you take the lock out and then put it in the door that leads to the laundry room.  That door also has a main lock that everyone has a key to, but to keep people from stealing your clothes you have to put your personal lock in the top space that is also built into the door lock. This makes like a double lock.   Now I understood the principal, but not being able to read Swedish and they also put dates backwards here in Europe makes it a little difficult.  However, I had some of the guys explain it to me and I got it done.  I also hope I pushed the right buttons on the washing machine, but they came out smelling better so I guess I did.  They also have a machine in there that I have never seen.  Its like a roller or something that gets the wrinkles out of your laundry.  I don't even know the name of it.  Basically is has a cloth on it that wraps around  itself and you place your sheets or clothes on it and it pulls them in tightly and gets the wrinkles out.  It was neat to see.  Here are some pictures to hopefully help you understand.
Early this week I received official confirmation in the mail that Garth ( G - Funk ) Knight will indeed be gravitating in May.  I'm sure he will accept all gifts prior to, and after graduation, so send him something.  Rumor has it that it took a lot of prayer to get that boy through, but he did make it so what else can you say except... God is good.  hahaha.  The second half of the week here was dreary and rainy so I kind of stayed in for the most part.  We still had practice and are preparing for the game this coming week.  We still have a ways to go to be good.
At practice on Wednesday there were 3 people that came and stood on the field while we practiced.  Everyone was like who are those people, but it didn't take us long to figure it out.  These people came to do drug tests on our players.  After practice they had selected like 6 or so guys to take the test.  They wouldn't let those guys leave until they got it done either.  They ended up coming to the club house because some of the guys couldn't make ends meet for a while.  To me it looked legit and just like an NCAA drug test from the procedures that they were going through.
On Thursday I traveled with one of the coaches down to one of the southernmost points in Sweden.  A town called Malmö.  They said that Malmö is like the 3rd largest city in Sweden. It was a 6 hour ride (one way) and it was pretty neat to see the country side of Sweden and some of the coastline.  When we got to the very bottom you could even see Denmark from the shore.  It would be like being at Myrtle Beach looking over the ocean and when you could only see the horizon and at this point you would see towers and buildings.  To me that was odd to be able to see a different country in the distance, but they said that Copenhagen was right there.  We went to Malmö to watch a football scrimmage.  The Swedish national junior team had a scrimmage and this coach's son plays on the team so we went.  They played well and I think they even won.  I think they scored twice or something.  They play against the Junior national team from Holland on Saturday.  We got back at 4 am on Friday.  On the way I saw this building on the coast.  It is like some ruins of some castle like structure. 
I finished reading Numbers and Proverbs this week.  I was reading them at the same time and now I will start on Deuteronomy and Psalms.  I am jumping around a little bit I trying to cover some ground.  Numbers was tough for me to read because it was so much detail.  This week I also saw a hedge hog.  From watching that thing I don't think that they are intelligent creatures.  I also keep getting these Swedish pop-ups on my computer too, some of which are pretty hilarious.  I noticed that when cars ride by some are quiet and then some are loud, speaking of the tires against the road that is.  It is because they have special tires for the winter with small spikes in them and some people have changed over and some haven't.  They had these in Finland as well, but these spikes must be bigger or something because they are louder.  These people have 2 sets of tires.  One for the summer and one for the winter.
On Friday, Ilija and I went to lift weights.  After we lifted we went to get in the sauna.  Well there were like 7 kids in there and when I opened the door I noticed that it wasn't too hot.  These kids were probably around 13 - 17 years old.   I figured they didn't know what it was all about so I grabbed the water bucket and went and filled it up.  When I came back in they were looking at me like I was crazy.  I started to consistently throw water on the sauna heater and they were trying to be hard core, but pretty soon they started moving to the lower levels and when the lower level got full you could  hear them saying " ne ".  ( Ne means no in Swedish).  I just kept throwing and they kept saying " ne, nee, nee ! ".  I was laughing at them.  They sounded like a bunch of horses in there saying " neigh "  It honestly wasn't even that hot, but they started peeling out of there like flies.  Like two of them stayed the whole time and when the rest had left one of those guys looked at me and said " what are you Finnish or something? " .  I said yeah half Finnish half American how'd you guess.  So now I have a group of kids at the gym that hate me and look at me funny when I go lift. How great.  I had heard rumors that the Swedish sauna is not as intense as a Finnish sauna and I guess they were right.
So now its game week so we have to get ready.

Germany Camp
Well this past weekend we had camp in Germany.  It was a fun experience overall and was also my first time in Germany.  Everyday I stay up late surfing on the net and messing around and usually don't go to sleep until 1 or 2 am (European time).  Our plane to Germany left on Friday morning at 6:30 which meant that we had to be up and stirring around 4:30.  Since I have gotten into a small routine with my hours it was difficult for me to go to be early so I only got like 2 1/2 hours of sleep the night before we left.  We were scheduled to land, check-in, eat lunch, then have the first of 2 practices for the day.  I knew it would be a long and tiresome day with the sleep I got, but nevertheless I was still excited.
On the way to the airport I saw around 20 deer just standing out in the middle of fields over here. I don't know if its not season over here or if hunting is not a big sport, but the deer were sure out.  I also saw some tree house style deer stands which reminded me of back home.  We flew out of a different airport than the first one I flew into.  This one was much smaller and it would be pushing it by a long shot to say that this was a maximum security airport.  After we got our tickets we had to exchange money so that we could buy stuff in Germany.  This can get aggravating sometimes.  Could you imagine having to exchange money every time you wanted to buy something in NC?  It's not the same, but similar.  I think the flight cost less than 100 $ per person as well.  Also, our whole team didn't go.  I think we missed a few guys due to various reasons.
After 1 1/2 hours we landed in Frankfurt Germany into another small airport.  This airport, as well, did not hassle you  much either while traveling.  I didn't even get a stamp in my passport book that says Germany so I was a bit upset.  Upon landing it was obvious that it was much warmer than back in Sweden.  Over the weekend the whole team got sun burned.  The heat reminded me of home, minus the humidity.  During practices there was talk of being dehydrated, but I was thinking to myself these guys have no idea.    We took about an hour and a half bus trip from the airport to the hotel in Russelheim.   Along the way I noticed that Germany is very green and the scenery is somewhat hilly with a lot of farming going on.  I saw another deer and another tree house stand there in Germany as well .  It was like dejavu 2 hours later, but yet in another country.  They also had these big windmill turbine things in the middle of some fields.  The kind where the wind blows and they make power.  They were pretty big.  On the way from the airport we passed Wes Baiten (spelling) Army Base.  This is an American Army Base in Germany.  It was pretty big and sat right off the highway.  I believe I have some friends who have been there and told me about it.  Seeing a road sign that said anything about the US was weird.  I couldn't help but to think about Neil over in Iraq when I saw the base, wondering what was going on at that time and all.
Then we finally arrived in Russelheim and to our hotel.  The hotel was nice and had an internet station and sauna as well.  Yes I did throw more loylu.  Somebody had thrown in some eucalyptus in the loylu too so I , again, had flashbacks of Finland.  After we all checked in we walked down the street to get a bite to eat and wouldn't you know it that sitting right there was a Super Wal-Mart with a McDonald's on the inside.  Now though it was a Super Wal-Mart it wasn't as big as the ones at home and did not carry as many different products, but the set up was pretty much similar.  I did return and take my camera to get this sight documented.  I also noticed a sign that stuck out to my eyes that I got a pic of.  I remember seeing this sign in Switzerland as well.  That would be the " ausfahrt " sign.  It stands for Exit.  In Sweden they are called " utfart " and I have seen them just haven't gotten a chance to get them on camera, but now I have spoiled it so who knows.  On a side note, over the weekend I also noticed that many of the buildings and houses in Germany are made out of either stucco or concrete and that the water has a weird aftertaste to it.
The German exit sign Wal-Mart in Germany
After we ate we went back and got ready for practice.  We had a half-pads practice at 2 and then came back that evening and had a joint-team practice with the team from Russelheim.  They are called the Russelheim Razorbacks.  There practice and game field sat right beside a river and was obviously close to another airport because these huge planes kept flying over all day long and huge barges kept going down the river.  Both practices went well, but we did have a  lineman to get hurt during some of the drills so that wasn't good.  Their practice field left a little to be desired, but they did have a nice game field.  After both practices we went back to the hotel and got some food then just messed around for a while before going to bed.  The next day, Saturday, we had a morning practice @ 10 then we ate lunch together with the other team at the field.  After lunch we all just kind of laid around for about 45 minutes then we had a controlled scrimmage.  It was weird having lunch with the other team and all like that because the two teams talked and hung out, even did drills together, and helped each other out with football fundamentals.  This was unique because I was thinking there would be some tension, rivalry,  or " non-communication " in between the teams since we were about to scrimmage them, but it wasn't like that at all.  The other team had one coach from Canada and one coach from Washington State.  The majority of the people in Germany, like Sweden, spoke English well.  
As far as the scrimmage .... it was a controlled scrimmage in the fact that the Qb's were not live and each team only got 5 plays on then we switched sides of the ball.  Our team did well and got better as the day went.  It was tough to score in only 5 plays when you have 70 to 80 yards to go, but I think we scored once and the other team did as well.  It was difficult to sustain a drive.  I played decent, but did not throw any Td's or interceptions.  You could tell from watching the other team that  their guys were drilled on their defensive schemes and techniques.  They were showing one thing, then rolling to another.  They had some good athletes on their team, but I thought we hung in there well with them.  I had to scramble a lot and throw on the run.  We still have some work to do on our " hot reads " on offense, but we are getting there and hopefully we will have everything clicking well here soon.  Here is a pic of both teams after the scrimmage.  My team is the red team and I wore # 12 this weekend.  You can see how the teams are integrated here rather than each on his own side and the coaches were even standing side by side.  This is an example of what I was just mentioning.
Teams Pic
After the scrimmage we all went back to the hotel again and took showers.  We were in a hurry because we were late for the " power party " , which is basically a big tail-gating event before the NFLEurope game that we went to.  We saw  the aftermath of the power party though and I will say that it looked like they had a good time there.  We watched the Frankfurt Galaxy play against the Rhein Fire.  Both teams were 2 - 0 coming into the game so it was a pretty hyped up game.  I was interested in seeing the Qb play in this game as well.  I believe there were 27,000 people on hand and it was weird to be in that environment with nothing but other languages that I couldn't understand going on.  They say that American players make up  80 % of the NFLEurope teams.  The Rhein Fire had a hyped up Qb named Chad Hutchinson, who was the Qb for the Dallas Cowboys last year.  I was not that impressed with his play in the game, but he was under a lot pressure from the defense too.  When they brought the lefty in he moved the team down the field.  I was flipping through this game day program (which was in German) and was looking at the rosters to see if I would recognize anybody.  They didn't list the schools that the guys came from so that made it difficult, but when I was reading the names for the starting o-line I came across a name that stuck out to me.  Kevin Breedlove was right there in front of me playing right guard the whole night and I didn't pick up on it until about the 3rd quarter.  Kevin Breedlove played at Daniel High School in Daniel South Carolina and went on to play at University of Georgia.  I'm pretty sure that we graduated in the same year as well.  This was also weird.  The Frankfurt Galaxy ended up winning the game which was good for the home town I guess.  They do it up just like an NFL game.   I mean they have 3 sets of cheerleaders/dance girls, TV timeouts, American referees, mascots, loud music, did the wave, and a jumbo tron.  The fans were in all purple because that's the Galaxy's color and I was surprised at their support for their team.  I did take my camera to the game and get some footage of the game.  The only thing that I could say that was different was that the fans were blowing whistles the whole time.  I don't know if it's illegal to bring a whistle and blow it at a game in America, but I don't think I have ever heard anyone actually do it.  These fans were blowing on them the whole time.  Our guys had a good time at the game to say the least.  We got on the jumbo tron 3 times during the game because our section was so crunk.  We had a few guys leading some chants for the crowd.  Some of our guys were so hype that they had drunken Germans doing Swedish cheers for the Galaxy.  Neither them, nor I, had a clue what they were saying, but I did pick up on one cheer.  It goes Bira, Bira, Bira, ...Bärs, Bärs, Bärs...................Bira......Bärs and so on.  I think it has something to do with beer, but for whatever reason they were sure yelling it a lot.
I wore my shirt that said " Suomi " to the game.  Suomi means Finnish of course.  Well some guy came down there and asked me if I spoke English and I was like yes of course.  Turned out that he was from Texas and was playing ball in Europe too.  I think he said in Switzerland.  I didn't know they played in Switzerland, but whatever.  He had seen my shirt on the Jumbo Tron ( 1 of the 3 times that we were on it mind you ) and came down to our section because he had played in Finland a few years back.  He played for the Roosters though so I did let him know that they were de-throned as of last season.
Here are some pics from the game: (notice the beer guy who frequented our section with the latest technology in beer dispensing and Germans take a lot of pride in their beer I learned)
Beer Dispenser Guy
After the game some of the guys went back to the hotel.  As I was walking one of the guys asked me if I was going out and I told him that I didn't have any plans basically because I didn't even know where I was and I was an American in a foreign country, which these days puts you at a disadvantage.  He was like don't worry I know where to go and I will get us back.  So I thought to myself...ok this could be the only time I'll be in Germany so I might as well see what its like and after all Coach just said be there by the time the bus leaves.  After the night was over I was glad that I decided to go out with the guys too because we had a good time.  We went to a place called the " Halli Balli " or something close to that.  It was a nice place that played good music and it was big.  When you first walk in they take a picture of you and hand you a card.  Anytime you buy anything you slide your card and then when you leave you scan your card and pay for whatever you ran up.  I got out of there for around 9 euros.  Some of the Galaxy players came in there later on.  You could tell they thought they owned the place too.  I spoke with a few of them, but it was just " what's up", where you from " type of stuff.  I also spoke Spanish with some girls from Portugal, which was neat.  After this we got a cab back to the hotel and when we got there everyone was eating  breakfast.  We just filed right in line and ate then I went and took a shower and we all got on the bus and headed for the airport.  I was knocked out for this whole ride and then we did it all again and ended back up in Sweden around 9 am.  So that was a pretty long day for me.  I went to sleep at like 5 pm and just woke up at 10 am today.
Below are some pictures that one of the guys on the team was nice enough to email to me .....for your viewing pleasure that
A view out of the windo over Denmark
A view right before we landed in Germany
Me and Pearlan
Hasse och Oliver
The pre-scrimmage coin toss
NFL Europe game pics
We were on TV at the game
Chad Hutchinson
After the game the players thanked the fans

Week 2
Not too much happened during week 2 that is worthy of writing about.  It did warm up here though towards the end of the week so hopefully it will stay pleasant.  I got into somewhat of a routine this week.  That is staying up late talking on IM, sleep late the next day, lift weights, come back and eat, check email, then go to practice, eat, then start it over.  There are some deviations during the day, but that's the general schedule.  One thing that I have noticed again here, as it was in Finland, is that no matter how fast a car is going or at what point the color of the light is.....if you go to cross the street they will stop and let you cross.  They don't give you a mad look either.  I always double look and then hustle across the street, but here its more like no look and take your time.  I see people just walking out in the road and I think that they are crazy and about to die, but then the car will stop and let them cross.
Practice was ok early in the week, but we picked it up towards the end.  I feel we still have a ways to go though.  Sometimes its hard for me to adjust to the pace of the game here.  I will overthrow receivers big time or throw it when they aren't ready or looking because I am use to the pace of the game at home, but I will adjust and hopefully the receivers will too.  I guess it won't happen just like that.  So it may take some time.  I believe it took a little while in Finland as well so hopefully we'll all get on the same page soon.
So I can officially count to 10 in Swedish.  Now I can do it in Swedish, Finnish, English and Spanish.  Maybe I'll get German here this weekend.  I am trying to learn the basics of the language here so that I can get by, but really there's no need to because everyone speaks English.  I can say " excuse me " , "you're welcome " , " I don't speak Swedish " and " I want to have a good practice/game " in Swedish as of now.  I will have to build my vocabulary in hopes of aiding in tracking down females.  Speaking of seems I get one to two random emails a week asking me why I don't have a woman here yet.  I don't know what the big deal is and didn't known that I was supposed to be  in a hurry.  I'm trying to stay focused over here and my mama told me to be picky.  So if you have a problem just email her about it (or if you're married to her or happen to be her other son then just ask her).
So I finally got my shoulder pads and a helmet that fit.  I was hoping that I would get those soon seeing as how we leave for Germany tomorrow  With that thought I must begin to pack.

Week 1
After the scrimmage with the roosters coach gave the guys the week off because some were banged up and also because it is Easter.  On Monday I lifted weights and for all of my Finnish readers I did locate the sauna in the gym and did throw loulu, but it wasn't the same without Marlon by my side.  I had no one to talk to while in the sauna and felt as though I was breaking tradition or something.  Then for lunch I went with one of the guys on the team to the Tyresö Centrum.  Later on that evening my boy Ilija and I went  threw on the field.  It took me an extremely long time to get warm due to the coldness.  I couldn't feel my fingers for like the first 15 minutes.  We threw for about an hour and then went and ate pizza at a local place and caught up on old college days.  Can you believe that a medium pizza could cost 17 US dollars.  I have got to watch myself over here or I will be spending everything that I have without even knowing it.
Then on Tuesday I went into the city of Stockholm to meet coach for lunch.  I took a bus then a metro that took us underground and then we popped out in the dead center of town.  This  was a new experience for me.  I don't remember ever taking a metro before in my life other than in Venezuela or Atlanta.  So I finally saw some of the females that everyone has been talking about and no Pat and Adam I don't have any pictures of them  because I don't carry my camera everywhere I go.  The city really has a lot of stuff going on down there.  I will have to get some footage of that place because there is water everywhere, bridges, neat looking buildings and such.  There are also all kinds of people there as well.  I guess you could say melting pot if you want to.  Coach just showed me around and gave me the tour on how to get to different places though in relationship to the city we really didn't get too far because there is so much down there.  It was interesting and I definitely will be heading that way again.
When I returned we had offensive meetings here at the club house.  The offensive coordinator was going over the playbook and the routes, blocking scheme, cadence, and theory of the system.  I started to understand how things worked and hopefully I will have a handle on it sooner than later.  After offensive meetings I went with 3 of the guys to watch the movie " The Passion of The Christ ", which made my second time seeing it.  The first time was in Aramaic and English and this time it was in Aramaic and Swedish.  Though I could not read the words, I knew what was going on and even sometimes explained what was happening to one of the guys who went with us.  It was a pretty neat experience to watch it over here though the movie theatre was smaller, the ticket cost like 14 US dollars, and there were less sniffles in the crowd than when I watched it at home.
The next day offensive skills had a short practice.  Skills meaning everyone except the lineman...sorry big guys, but its the truth.  Anyways we were throwing and getting warmed up when one of our receivers popped his Achilles tendon.  It was pretty bad and he has already had surgery on it and will be out for the season.  He was in his starting stance and when I said " hutt " he immediately went to the ground.  I guess when he tried to take off it just gave way.  This kind of put a damper on practice, but we still made some strides.  I have to memorize the system quick or I will be in trouble, but I am getting there.  Hopefully I will pick up on things with more reps in practice.
I have noticed that here, like in Finland if I remember correctly, that the stop lights don't go from red to green, but rather go back to orange in between.  The lights also can sense when a car is coming so if you are alone on the road you will see the lights changing as you get closer to them.  Just a little factoid for you there.  Also, I mentioned that the people dancing in Finland looked as if they were catching full body cramps.  Well if they were cramping in Finland then I guess we can say that they are having seizures here in Stockholm or at least from what I have seen in the past 2 days that is a safe statement.
Ending up the week I have just been trying to figure out how to keep my laptop online and have been throwing the past 3 days in a row.  Ilija came through and got my laptop online for now, but its tricky on how to get it to stay online.  My arm is getting into better shape now that I have been throwing more.  Also this week I took the bus, to the sub to the city....hung out got on the subway from a different location then back to the bus and made it home.  That sounds like an ordinary day for someone who lives here, but for a country boy it was good to be able to find my way around.  I will post a picture of the subway routes so you can see what I am saying.  I think we have a few more practices then we are going to be heading to Germany for camp and a scrimmage against a team in  Russelheim. Our team is also going to go watch an NFLEurope game too because our coach has to scout the game.  I will be posting again before that and afterwards have a Germany trip entry as well. 

Clint Patterson

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