Tigres, 1-1

We won our game last night. It was a modest win, 40 to 16.

The game was a bit more lively than last week. We had two team members ejected. An ejection also carries with it a one game suspension. So they will not be able to play with us next week. Plus we had one player blow out his knee. No, not one of the 40 year olds either. He is 21.

We were playing in another state (I think our only road game) and I was one of the only 2 cars that were coming back last night. The city of Campeche is about 2 hours from Mérida. I got to bring the injured player home and to the hospital. The game ended around 11, and with getting loaded up, stopping at a convenience store for food and grabbing gas, we did not get on the road till 12:00. I got home around 2:30 this morning after dropping my ambulance load at the hospital.

I played a bit more in this game than last week. There was another new guy that has not been to any of the practices who played my position.

Our defensive line was incredible. A marked change from last week. One of our tackles could not be there, so we moved a line backer up to that position. That made all the difference. This line backer turned tackle ended up with probably 6 sacks and multiple running back take downs. He was quite impressive. I think he will be staying at tackle.

Our kicker was injured during the game and we trolled the sidelines to see who could kick. One guy volunteered and did a great job. I don’t know how he would do for field goals (since we don’t have our arena built, we are not kicking field goals yet), but for the kickoffs he did well at placing the ball at the back of the field.

All in all, a much better game than last week. We seemed a bit more together.

First Game

Football uniformWe played our first football game on Saturday. I am not sure what the final score was, but we lost. We were carrying a 18-8 score in our favor until the last play of the half. They were able to score a touchdown off of one of our cornerbacks. It was a pass into the end zone. Therefore, the first half ended with them getting the TD and a 2 point conversion to bring the score to 18-16.

As much as a numbers and stats guy as I am, I do horribly keeping score at a game when I am on the field. There is no public scoreboard and no announcements of the scores. Everyone has to keep up with the score themselves. I would not have known the half-time score had the coach not unmercifully berated us for letting them get that last score.

I have no idea what the final score was, but we lost. I think they were 2 TDs ahead of us at the end.

I did not play much. There was another safety that was there. It was the first time I had seen him, but apparently he had been practicing with the team early in the practice season before I arrived. The team had been playing together for several weeks before I knew about them and showed up. I guess the coach knew more about him and let him play instead of me. It was a bit frustrating to have been at every practice over the last three weeks just to sit the bench while someone you have never seen takes your place. I will just have to work harder in practice and impress the coach.

No one got ejected. That is always good. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. Our oldest, and most beloved player, caught a pass and dragged three defenders out of bounds with him. The play was whistled dead and the three defenders kept pulling on Carlos trying to bring him down. The Refs blew the whistles a good 5 or 8 seconds while they kept hitting on Carlos. Our bench cleared out (with the exception of about 3 of us) to start a ruckus. The Ref was going to eject one of our players, but could not remember the number of the player. The funny thing was, there was no personal foul nor unsportsmanlike conduct called.

The thing to remember is that we are not professionals and we don’t have professional refs. It is all about playing and winning…not necessarily about going about it in a fair and orderly manner. Therefore, if you show up for practice for 3 weeks straight and other players don’t, they may still get to play just because they are better, not because they are dedicated. On that note, we had 24 players at the game Saturday when we only have 8-14 show up for practice.

My football helmet

Helmet shellThis last week I had to paint my football helmet to get ready for the season. The helmet was yellow originally, and of course I forgot to take any pictures of it. It was also beat up pretty badly. I cleaned it up with some sandpaper, which did a great job. Then I sprayed a few coats of primer on it. There was some sanding and wet sanding between coats.

I don’t really know how to do all this stuff on my own, so I called my uncle. He does body work for fun and profit. It is a hobby of his that he does real well with. I am a little nervous around paint and metal, but he just jumps right in knowing that everything is fixable if you have the right tools. He helped us replace the front clip on our truck and then re-paint the whole thing.Commander Keen

When I say “he helped us,” I mean that he pointed to the next task and my wife and I pulled the whole smashed up front end off and replaced it with one from the junk yard. Then we did all the body prep up to the first coat of paint. He came out and shot the paint on for us. You see, he was laid up with kidney stones. In the week that we did all of that he was in and out of the hospital twice. We did all the work until the very end, which he crawled out of his death bed to finish up. It turned out great.

So, anyway, I called him a few times this last week when I was in the process of getting the hHelmet frontelmet prepped and painted.

I ended up with about 4 coats of white I think. Up through 3 coats I was still seeing that it had not blended well. The final coat went on OK, but it was really hard to see the spots I missed until it dried. It was not a problem, though, since I followed that up with 2 or 3 coats of clear coat. This was all out of spray cans picked up at Wal-Mart. Not your high dollar car paint, but it turned out fine.

I did get a couple of slight runs in the clear coat, but only I can see them. I tried to point one out to a friend, and even though I knew where they were, I had trouble finding one. So they are not that bad.Helmet profile

I think it turned out nice. Now when we play our first real game on Saturday, I will get to scuff it up. If it still looks decent after this week’s game, I will throw some wax on it towards the end of next week. That will have given the paint 2 weeks to cure. I have been bringing the helmet into the bedroom at night so that the air conditioning will help set the paint better. It is amazing to me to see the difference in the hardness of the paint 2 days after I had it in the air conditioning. We don’t have central air here and electricity is too expensive to run the A/C all day. So we just have it on at night in the bedrooms.

You can click on the pictures for a larger version.

How hard was I hit?

Last night I went to football practice. Hardly anyone was there. In total, there were only 5 who showed up. We take a few days to heal from things like Tuesday’s scrimmage game.

They were still asking me if I was OK. I assured them I was and I asked the coach why they kept asking. The coach and one other fellows’ eyes got big and they said “You got hit really hard Tuesday. Really hard.”

I remember getting taken out by a blocker, but did not feel it was that big of a deal at the time. They said that when I got hit and was flying backwards it was like in a movie where one guy gets picked up off the ground and thrown backwards onto his can. My feet went up and I went down. I got to thinking about it more this morning and I don’t actually remember what happened after I was hit. Now, I have slept since then, so that could explain it. But I remember seeing the lineman come at me with his block and remember feeling the blow, but I don’t remember hitting the ground or getting back up. Shortly after that I was replaced by one of our wide receivers who came in to play safety for me for a few plays.

So, maybe I was hit harder than I thought. My shoulder got banged up badly that night and I guess it came from that hit. The major road rash I have on my arm and knee came from the interception I caught and the resulting tackle.

The black and blue spots are starting to show up today.

Pass the iodine

We got several bottles of iodine from International Aid a few years ago. We have not had much use for it. Thankfully.

Since I started playing football, the iodine has gone into service. Ever wonder why football players use knee pads? Or elbow pads? That is to cut down on the amount of iodine needed to keep a team on the field. I have so many rubbed off spots on my pointy surfaces.

We won our scrimmage tonight. I think the final score was 6 touchdowns to 3. We had a decidedly stronger defense than they had offense. We got a touchdown on our first drive, though they had the ball first. Your’s truly made an interception off of a long pass and was able to run the ball back a few yards before being taken down by 2 tacklers. That turnover set us up for the first touchdown.

After that we got one or two more and then they scored. With 10 minutes left in the game the score was 4 to 3 (our favor). We then drove down for 2 more TDs before the game was over.

It was different playing against another team. You don’t feel bad about hitting them hard. On the other hand, they didn’t feel bad about hitting us either. I was headed toward a runner and totally zoned out that there was an offensive lineman giving blocks for him. I got canned so hard… Did you know you can bruise your deltoid muscle.

As I admitted yesterday, my 37 year old body probably won’t recover like it used to.

The game was supposed to start at 8:30. We were told to be there at 8:00. There were 3 of us there at 8:00 and the bulk of the team did not arrive until 8:45. Not a single opposing team member arrived until 9:00. By 9:40 we started playing while they still had teammates coming in. We played until 11:00.

That, my friends, is Mexican time. That can be very frustrating if you allow it to be. After a while you realize that you will just have to live with it and you try to laugh it off. On the other hand, when I am in charge of an event, I start on time and don’t feel any grief when they show up after the party is over.