Read the thoughts and musings of a cultured redneck here
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.
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 laptop...lol. Like it could be my computer's fault or something...lol. 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 know....lol. 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 itself...it 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...
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
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