Clint Patterson's Blog


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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 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. 

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.



Clint Patterson

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