Clint Patterson's Blog


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Clint Patterson
Clint Patterson
Clint Patterson's Blog

Week 3 / Game 3

Well week 3 went by pretty quick, though we did have some things happening around here. We did go lift weights and sit in the suana on Monday through Wednesday which was nice again. I couldn't bend my leg due to the charlie horse so the first few days were pretty tough and I really couldn't do squats, but most of the time I was stretching and doing leg exercises trying to pump some new blood into leg. I did get 2 massages on it and we did go to the  The Caribia Spa Hotel and that helped out a little too. By the end of the week I could run and all, but my leg was still tight and sore, but mainly just at the top.

Marlon and I also located the mall in town. It's inside of some buildings just right here in town. The malls here have a different construction type than the malls at home. The ones at home are more roomy and there is more free space. This one has like stores on top of stores. Marlon and I walked through there for a little while one day when we didn't have practice just to see what it was like. It was pretty neat and yes the girls do shop there. As we were walking through the mall one gentelman stopped us and told us that he was on the board of directors for the Trojans and that he wanted to let us know that we played a good game. It was pretty nice of him I thought. Every day Marlon and I go eat at the restaurant Blanko just in case you want to see some pics of it.

Well on Monday the head coach of our team told us that our offensive coordinator would no longer be calling the plays and so that was kind of a twist for the week. We are still using the same terminology, but just signaling the plays different and trying to mix the formations a lot.

This week we played the Vaasa Vikings. This was an away game and it was like 4 1/2 ride to get there. The team we played had a pretty good middle linebacker (his brother is playing at Nebraska now). I got to know him well throughout the day as he flushed me from the pocket very frequently. We beat them like 56-0 as their offense was also lacking. I played the whole game until the 4th quarter when I scrambled right and was running and had a collision with this linebacker and he rung my bell a little bit. I did stay in and finish the drive though and yes we did score. I came out after that as I was a little foggy in some areas. I haven't seen the final stats, but I think I threw 3 td passes. I actually threw 4, but our tight end was having some problems as he fumbled one into the end zone from the one yard line with no one around and I also had a pass dropped in the endzone as well. I didn't feel like I played that well though because I couldn't sit back in the pocket and pick them apart because I was having to roll out of the pocket so much. I did run over a corner back though. That was about all that there was for the game.

On the way home we saw a moose in the road. They have signs everywhere on the roads here saying watch out for a moose crossing the road. I was wondering if we would ever see one of these huge animals and so we finally did see one and man they are big. I wouldn't want to hit one of those in a car at all...because they may would flatten the whole car. So I have been telling you about how the guys drink on the way home and so I got some pics of it so that you can be visually informed. Check these pics out



Week 2 / Game 2
Well this week has been ok. It has been colder these past few days than it was in the beginning. The festival started this week and as you can see from some of the pictures the people were out and about. My week was pretty much the same as far as my schedule. We went to the gym in the mornings and had practice at night. We also had to travel to some kids sports camp in a nearby city to talk to some kids and teach them how to play football. They honestly had no idea. I don't guess that they have ever seen a game on TV or anything. We had a pretty good time doing this though and it was funny to see the kids throw and tackle for the first time ever in their lives. My friend David Corley and I have been emailing and he is telling me how tough it is in Canada and I'm going to call him and see whats going on. If I find anything out I will keep you all posted because many of you know him as well.
JP on a skinny post for for aTd
We had our first home game this weekend, which was against the Pori Bears. It was neat because they call you out position by position at the beginning of the game. We like ran out of the tunnel onto the field. Its kind of like they do it at the Shrine Bowl game. By the way we have a grass field if you can't tell from the pics. Now this week I did have a belt, but I had a different helmet although it didn't fit well and we had new jerseys...I was #1 this game. The jerseys don't have the patches on them yet, but he said that they will. I got to wear my own cleates this time so obviously they fit and I was glad that I packed my rib pads for this trip too. Thanks to my equipment manager.This was one of the sloppiest games I've been in. We did win 46-0 in the end, but it wasn't a pretty game to watch. The defense was on the field for maybe 4 to 6 plays a drive because the other team's offense wasn't that good. I threw 5 TD passes, but one of them got called back due to holding. I'm not sure the stats and yards, but you can click on the stats link on the homepage to see them when they come out...probably on Wednesday. I had to scramble all day because they were blitzing linebackers and and we couldn't pick them all up and there's no hot read that I know of right now. 
Me and Marlon
Anyways in the 4th quarter I scrambled one time and went downfield and this guy gave me a charlie horse. He put his helmet right into my thigh and it was and still is hurting. I had to limp/hop back to the huddle, but no fear the next play I threw a strike on a skinny post for about a 40 yard TD then I came out and didn't go back in. (and yes I do already have an appointment for a massage) I think we have the potential to win the championship this year, but we have to get everyone on the same page. We weren't hitting on all gears as we say. The starting center is about to leave and go to Italy for his vacation and will miss 3 games so that means I will have to get use to another center. Marlon got MVP of the game. After every game they have both teams line up in the middle of the field, similar to how we did at the state championship in 94, and they call out the MVP and they give you like a present. Since one of our sponsors is "Fenix" (a ketchup company), Marlon got a box of all kind of condiments. One of them was caviar (i think thats how you spell it, its the fish eggs) So anyways that is a neat thing that they do here that we don't do at home. One funny thing that happened at half-time was that I was sitting in the locker room and I was messing around and then I picked my head and looked and one of our recievers was outside smoking a cigarrette. He came back in smiling and said he felt better. I ain't mad at him though cause he caught a hitch and took it to the house the next drive we had the ball. He said that the nicotine helped calm him down and get him in his game.
Scrambling a little
As you all know (assuming that you have been reading) this week was a big festival here in our city. So even though I could hardly walk I did c-limp down to the river where there were tons of people. I didn't even go until about 1 o'clock in the morning. I probably wouldn't have gone, but I received a phone call from a certain female hinting that I should go. The streets were packed with people and all of the bar/pubs/night clubs had extremely long lines going to them. "Down by the river" there was all kind of food to eat and some of which I've never heard of. I didn't check out the Al Amir tent though because I figured they might catch on to me being American and try to drop bombs over baghdad on me. Speaking of that ...there are 2 stores over here that are named "Baghdad export/import". I'm wondering what they sell, but I don't think that I'll be going into them anytime soon. Well I went down and hung out a little bit. It was kind of like Mrytle Beach at know as in the amount of people. I went to the bar called Blanco and stayed for a while. If you could see how some of these people dress you would trip out. A lot of the guys here dress like they are gay, but I was told that this was just fashion and to be open minded. I could feel myself begin to cramp in my legs (and no, this wasn't my attempt at dancing the finnish way) so I had to get on back to the house eventually. So that was that for week 2 and game 2. Everyone says that our opponent this week is like the worst team in the league so we'll see I guess. 
The stadium crowd
Thanks to those of you who sign the message board. It makes me laugh sometimes and gives me something to look forward to when I get in at night.

Week 1 / Game 1

The Week

      That's me with the A on my helmet
   That's me with the A on my helmet

Well week one is coming to an end already. Today I went to lift weights with my friend Ennis (tight end) and Marlon. Ennis is from Bosnia and last year he played in Italy with former Gamecock Boo Williams. We went to a gym named Sali 82. It is a power lifting gym. It was fun and afterwords we sat in a Finnish sauna. Suanas are a big tradition for this country or something. We went to practice later that day. The coach told me that I would play one quarter at the game. I was ok with this seeing as I had just got here on Tuesday and really don't even know the system that well. Later on that night I got my first finnish massage from a girl on our hall. She just graduated from Massage Therapy School and yes it was nice. The guys here really look after us and are always calling to see if we want to do this or that or go here or there. Since its a little colder over here my sinuses have started acting up and I have the congestion or whatever. I have a small cough, but its getting better. I am learning some finnish too. I know about 10 words now and can convey to the people that I don't speak finnish and a few other key terms and words. They usually already know and can tell by looking at us and they will approach me in English. Finland as a whole is nice. It is cleaner and greener than back at home. More people are outside walking and stuff all the time, but maybe this is because they can only walk in the summer because during the winter it is too cold to leave their houses. I also saw some rabbits over here.....they look like rabbits on steroids or something. They are huge. Some of the guys took me out to a movie tonight. We went and watched The Matrix II. It was an ok movie I guess. Can you believe that the movie theatres over here have assigned seats. Not only that, but the movies were packed as well. They guys won't let me pay for anything either. Well we have our first game tommorrow and it doesn't even seem like game week to me. We'll see how it goes. All I know is that we are leaving at 9 in the morning and its late now so I better go to bed.

 Me Qb'ing in the first game of the season

The Game

Well this was an experience all in itself. First of all let me start off by saying that I've never played on turf this bad before in my life. Tennesee Tech was close, but this beats all. There was no padding underneath the field and the turf had sand all over it, which would cut your skin if you fell on it. I got some turf burn on my elbow. We had about a 5 hour ride north to some town and played a team called the crocodiles. I was a bit nervous, because I knew I would play at least a quarter, but things turned out differently than planned.

Juka Satola after he caught a Td pass I threw him

Lets start with my equipment. I have some decent shoulder pads and I brought my rib pads. Now my helmet is loose a little bit and my pants don't have a belt so we duct taped them up and I wear a size 13 shoe and during the game I was wearing 11 1/2's so you can imagine how it was. The jerseys and pants we wear have sponsor patches all over them. Kind of like a soccer jersey would look or something. I will try to keep mine so that I will have it for the Turkey Bowl this year.

Me holding for the extra point

The older Qb was to start and I was to get a quarter sometime later in the game. Well on the first series he got a neck inury and so I went in second series and played the rest of the game. My first series in on the 3rd play I hit the Tight End down the middle for a touchdown. It felt good to finally have the feeling again, but I must say it was like playin C.A. Johson or something. I ending up throwing 3 TD's on the game. I passed for 243 yards and rushed 4 times for 44 yards and one of these was a sack. I think the guys like me or atleast I try to bring them together and stuff. Sometimes I wonder if they understand me. We won the game 28 to 0, but we should have scored 50 points on them. I was 10 for 20. After the first score I found out that I was also the holder for our team, something that I have never done before either. I held for all of the extra points and we made them all so I guess it was good. I am excited at the outcome of the first game, but I also realize that the competition was not that great and the game does go at a slower level. While we play we have to wear a big A on the back of our helmet so that the ref's will know how many americans are in the game at one time. It was kind of weird. I was also a captain during the game. One time I rolled out and threw the ball towards one of our guys and he couldn't catch it and it hit the referee right smack in the nose. He immediately dropped to his knees. They had to stop the game because the ref got injured, but he came back after about 5 minutes and fnished the game. Everytime I threw a TD pass I gave the lineman a tap on the helment or a five letting them know that they were doing a good job and I think they liked it. You can tell they are expecting me to be a leader and some of the guys on the team even told me that. I hope that I will do good enough to please them, but they seem happy as of now. The coaches told me that I did well for the first I am happy for now. I mean I don't even really know whats going on with the system totally. The other team had a linebacker from Maryland and we talked a little after the game so that was neat. After the game we took showers and sat in the sauna that was in the locker room.

Me dropping back in the pocket

Now the bus ride home was something totally different. We stopped in the town that we were in at a local store and the whole team, including coaches got off of the bus and went into the store and bought loads and loads of beer. I couldn't believe what was going on. I happen to be on the phone with Mr. J.E. and Mrs. Karen Aldridge at the time and was telling them about this. So the whole team, except for Marlon and I got drunk on the way home. We had to stop the bus 3 times so the guys could use the restroom. We would just pull over on the side of the road and the guys would line up and just go right there. I may take my camera on the next game and take a picture of this because it is quite the sight (pictures of the backside only though so don't worry). The guys were singing and talking/yelling the whole way. Marlon had his Cd's on the bus and so we put in a Snoop Dog cd to make the guys be quiet and because we knew they would hate it, but they let it play all the way through.

Another shot of me holding for the extra point

After all of the stops we finally made it back to Turku. The team was half lit by the time we got here and these guys got off the bus and went straight to the clubs. Marlon and I got a ride back here and cleaned up a little bit then went out with the guys. Once you go downtown people are going every which a way so its hard to keep track of everyone. We got into 3 clubs, for free with no wait so that was nice. Many of the guys on the team are bouncers at the clubs. It's funny to see these people dancing in clubs because they really think that they have it going on, but if you were to see them, you would be asking yourself what in the world they are doing. Its funny to watch them. Just imagine a person catching cramps all over their body is the only way I can describe it. Yesterday was graduation for the whole country of Finland so it was packed. While we were out I met a girl named Maria and she was nice. She speaks 5 languages and is dark headed. There are a million blondes over here. I may just have to see about her. Everyone over here has a cell phone and it is always a Nokia because there is a huge Nokia plant here so of course I got the digits. And that was that for the night.



The First Days

Day 1

Well I must say that after the flight over and all of the arriving hassles I did get some sleep though it doesn't really get that dark at night. It is cold here too. It has to be cold for me to be getting cold and these people are over here riding around with the tops down on the convertibles. Its like 11 o'clock at night right now but the sun looks like it is 6 o clock in the evening. The town I'm staying in is nice and up to date technology wise. When we got to my room I met our neighbors that my new friend Marlon had already been getting to know. They seem to be nice girls and they came over to make sure that I had everything that I needed. They gave me food and were nice. It isnt bad that one of them just graduated from massage therapy school. And yes they both speak spanish due to spending time in yeah I can hablar with them.

The place I stay in is downtown on the second level of some buildings. Its on top of some stores, one of which is a bar/pub so its pretty neat. I have never lived like that before, but I can get to things pretty quick if I need to. The room itself is small, but is also liveable (check out the video). Ya'll know me and as long as I have the internet then I'm fine. Well I have the high speed connection in here. I also have a Tv with cable, a bathroom, shower, microwave and bed. So I have everything I need. I can stand up with my arms spread and touch the walls on each side of the room.

One thing that is weard about the people here is that they dip tobacco, but they don't put it in their bottom lip. They put it in their top lip. I'm going to get a picture of one of them while they do it just so you can see how weard it looks. Thats all for today. I have to go to some kind of function that the team puts on for the kids tommorrow for publicity and then, meet with the offensive coordinator, then have practice in the afternoon. I will let you know how it all goes when its over. I really hope that my luggage gets here tommorrow like they have said.


Day 2 (The First Practice)

Today I had to get up at like 7:30 in the morning. We then went to our home field and had an exhibition like demonstration for the kids. These kids were like in high school and middle school. There were a bunch of them...enough to pack a stadium infield. I have never done something like that before, but it was ok. There was also something funny going on there which I did capture on video. There was a guy there with a dildo who was teaching the youngsters how do put on a condom. He was letting the boys and girls do this. I couldn't believe it, but they said that this was normal. I will put the video online so you can see this. I was about to die laughing at this, but I guess its a cultural thing. There were a bunch of tents there also.

At this point I was informed that my luggage had arrived. I was happy with this and so the coach brought it to me. However, the lock was missing from my bags. I looked through my bag and cannot find anything missing, but someone did take my lock. Maybe this was due to me not knowing how to set the combination. I have all of my clothes and stuff though so I'm ok. After that Marlon and I went to meet with the offensive coordinator and we met for 2 hours and went over the plays and then had lunch in a hotel. I was so tired at this point cause it would be like 3 in the morning or something over at our place that I had a headache and had to take a nap. I took a 2 hour nap and got some rest. The sun was out the whole time which made it difficult to rest well, but it felt good to sleep.  

So now I had to go to my first practice knowing only half of the plays and stuff. I did get a majority of the reps today too. I think this is because they want me to learn it quickly. I understand the concepts and it is nothing that I haven't seen. I just have to learn the terminology and remember the plays and then have to figure out what the coach is trying to tell me. Sometimes they use different words than we do for routes or coverages. I did do well today though as far as throwing the ball and stuff. Some of the guys weren't use to "the heat" and not use to "the bomb". After the practice I was talking with the head coach and it was kind of funny. He came up to me and asked me "if I had gotten any sex yet" and I looked him in the eye and told him..."coach I came here to play ball and win games" and he looked me dead in the face and laughed. So you can see the difference in culture here. He also told the team that Marlon and I had changed the sex life for the whole team since we were now here. Assuming that the guys had harder chances to get girls now that we were here.

After practice Marlon and I came back here and showered then went to eat at the place where we get free meals. Tommorrow is a national holiday so you can imagine how many people were out. There were people all over the streets. There is a river that runs through the middle of this town and that is where all of the restuarants/clubs and stuff are. While we were there you could definitely tell that people were recognizing that we are americans and stuff. They were staring and stuff like that. After our meal we came back and chilled out for a bit. since my luggage had arrived, I began unpacking it. Then Marlon told me that some of the guys were going to take us out tonight. Well I couldn't tell them no, so I went with them. We went to a restaurant and by the time we got there 11:30 at night all of the people were wasted. These old women were coming up to us hovering all over us and stuff. It was very awkward, but I just went with the flow. Then we went to a club (Prima), and got in VIP because one of our friends knew the guys at the place and it was nice. He knows the owner so we met him and talked for a bit. This was a younger crowd and you could also tell that they knew that we were Americans. I was scooped up by a girl and taken to dance within an hour. I went to dance to a Bon Jovi song so you can imagine how the steps were. I didnt know how to dance and the girl was laughing at me most of the time. After this the guys and I talked about football and they asked me questions about everything and we got to know each other. It was a pretty good night. These girls over here are more blunt and don't mind staring or letting you know that they are interested in you. As we were walking I had one girl slap me in the chest with her pocketbook while we were going and said something in Finnish to friends said that she said I looked good, but I've never had an encounter like this and I was ready to fight her, but they told me that she was flirting. At 4 in the morning, which is now...we came home. It is bright outside and I dont feel like it is 4 in the morning. I still have my clock set on my laptop to American time and it is 9:38 at night. I have to get my hours straight soon or I'm going to be in trouble. The guys are really taking care of us over here so its pretty nice. They understand that American football is ahead of them, but they don't have a problem with it and they will even ask you to help them out on some things. So there is no like racism or hatred that I have encountered yet. They wont let me pay for anything and come by and pick us up whenever they are going somewhere. I guess I should go to sleep now, but I'm not tired. I have another meeting with the offensive coordinator tommorrow to go over some things. I understand the playbook and concepts, just have memorize the stuff and I will be ok. We have our first game on this Saturday and I think that they will stick me in there so we will see. I still laugh at these guys putting the dip in their upperlips. I will be posting the videos hopefully and the pics soon.

I hope all of you are doing well,


The Flight Over
Well this is my first entry and I must say it was an eventful trip just to get here. When I went to the Charlotte airport in the morning the first problem that I had was that the team paid for my tickets in Euros, which messed up the woman at the counter. After 20 minutes of her trying to get that straight the computer would not accept my seat turned out she was entering invalid codes into the computer and she had to call a superior to tell her what she needed to do. After she got that fixed it was time to weigh in my bags. Being that I had to pack for 3 months my luggage was 5 lbs over weight in one suitcase. She said pay 80 dollars or redistribute the weight. So you can see Pat and I unpacking all my stuff and trying to cram it into the other luggage in front of everyone. It was great to have to do this and have everyone thinking we were idiots. This whole process took about 40 minutes.
After I finally got through with her it was time to go through the scanners. I had to first re-open my carry on to take out my lap top computer. When I did this I noticed that while redistributing the weight in my bags that Pat had put my razors and blades into my carry on. You can imagine how this went over with the people at the counter. When I showed those guys my ticket he handed me a red card and told me that the airline had chosen me to be further screened and questioned. I guess this is do to me traveling a lot in the past few years. Lets not forget that I am the international man of mystery.
Then to Baltimore and had a 10 hour lay over which was lovely. Though I did get bumped up to club because I sweet talked the lady at the desk in baltimore. I did watch my personal DVD player and watch Tv and keep track of where we were by the gps system, but I missed some of these options because I was kicked back in my recliner knocked out. It was already starting to mess with me as I was ready to go to bed and looked out my window only to see sunlight. They fed us the whole time and that may be the most food I've ever had on an airplane in my life. Upon arriving to London I only had a 2 hour wait this time before my plane left so it wasn't that bad. They did have signs posted everywhere about "If you have recently been here or here or here then you may have SARS". They were telling people to go to the doctor and stay at home if they visited China. I did spot a few hotties in London and got to quickly check my email for free. That place is like a shopping mall on the inside. There are definitely some different people in this world I will say. If I would have had some Euros then I would have eaten, but since I was still full from the flight and since the layover wasn't long....I didn't eat. 
On the flight to Hellsinki (Finland's capital) I slept the whole way and only drank some water. I guess this is due to the jet lag. When I arrived here I had to go through customs which wasn't that bad. Now when I was waiting on my bags to come through I heard someone saying something over the intercom and it was a lady trying to say "Will the passenger Patterson please come to the desk". I couldn't really pick up on it due to her accent. I went over there and she informed me that my bags were still in London. You can imagine how thrilled I was at this. That made 2 times that this had happened to me and the first time it was in Costa Rica where they stold a lot of the stuff out of my bags. So I was like 30 minutes late getting outside because I had to give the woman all my information and such. When I walked out there I was just looking for anyone to be coming toward me. Finally a skinny guy smoking a cigarrette walked over and said "Clint" and I knew I was ok at this point. We had like a 1:40 minute ride over to Turku, which is where I am now. I went straight to practice when we got here. The team practices in a dome with turf. The turf is outdated as well. They actually have some big guys. I will fill you in on them more later. After that coach took me to the grocery store and I bought some groceries because the "money man" as they call him was at practice and paid me half of my first payment. Then I went to my apartment which I will talk about later. I have to go to practice now because it is like 11:05 where you are, but 6:05 here and practice is at 7. I will keep posting entries if you care to read them.

Finland 2003
  My Finnish Player Card
  My Finnish Player Card
In 2003, I graduated on May 12 and landed in Finland on May 26.  I did not know what to expect other than to see a new place and to play football again.  I ended up learning a lot, meeting new people and making friends, having a great season with a great team, and had an overall awesome experience. 
While I was there I wrote journal entries on my web site.  Essentially I was blogging before there was blogging (or at least before I knew about it).  I hand coded some basic HTML pages so that I could post pictures and text for all back home to see.  This was before I had FrontPage, much less DreamWeaver.  Anyway, I did what I could with the little web knowledge that I had. 
When people around the city and league caught wind of my online journaling, they took interest in it and posted my web site's link in the league's forum and I even got asked about it during a TV interview before a playoff game.  I also, had a school teacher email me wanting to use my journals as a resource for her kids when they studied "culture shock".  So it turned out to be a pretty fun time all around and I got about 9,000 hits during the season.
Since then I have revamped my web page, but I have moved the content to my new server in hopes of retaining the memories.  The journals and images are here if you would like to know more.
Jyvva Suomi!  Kiittos :)

She Said Yes


We saw a small 4 point about 15 yards from us on Saturday morning, but I did skip hunting on Saturday afternoon to get engaged.  To read the full story travel to                                                                              



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