Saturday, August 5, 2017

Another Fun Day in Mexico City


Saturday, August 5, 2017:

We had a good day today dedicated to planning our practices and team meetings for the next week, greeting our players as they continue to arrive in Mexico City from literally all over the globe and, naturally, eating massive quantities of food at our three buffet style meals.

 A late photo from Friday

I'm with our videographer and HUDL expert Eduardo Vega and our Defensive Coordinator Mike Wood eating dinner at the Mexico City airport while waiting for Defensive Backs Coach Dale Widolff's plane to land.

Mike is also my roommate and a pretty good guy with 14 years of coaching experience in Europe most recently with Italy's Bolzano Giants.

View from our hotel's 10th floor

View out the back of our hotel

As I stated earlier, we had a solid organizational coaches meeting that lasted two hours after breakfast.

I really like the approach that our staff is taking towards this game against the UNAM Pumas.

We have a lot of preparing to do and only have five days/nine practices to get things done.

It's a challenge to be sure but we have some excellent players on hand.

After our coaches meeting some of us took the bridge over the freeway in front of our hotel to a gigantic shopping mall.

Sanborns is a great chain store
in Mexico

When Laurie and I spent the first week of our honeymoon in Mexico City back in 1971 there was a Sanborns across the street from our hotel where we had caramel crepes for breakfast pretty much every day.

A good memory to be sure! 

Street vendors on the freeway
overpass to the shopping mall

 Shoeshine stand
outside of our hotel

DAMN, I only brought Nike tennis shoes.

Game Jerseys

As the players arrived at out team hotel in waves, they were greeted with their game jerseys.

They were a big hit!

Meeting and Greeting
the Warriors

Eduardo Vega brought out
a Team Mexico jersey

NICE!

Eduardo and Warriors Kicker
Luca Zigliani from Italy

Eduardo gave Luca the Team Mexico jersey in exchange for one of Luca's Team Italy jerseys.

A good trade for both sides I think.

Free Safety Mateusz Dzioban
from Poland

Only 21 years old, Mateusz is a really good natured, outgoing young man.

He told me that until two weeks ago he had never been outside of Poland. That trip was to go to a football camp in Italy.

Now he is in Mexico after an 18 hour trip including a layover in a second foreign country.

This trip to Mexico City was also the first time that he was ever flown in a plane.

What an amazing adventure it must be for him!

Offensive Lineman
Enrique Pardo Alonso from Spain
and Coach Bart Iaccarino

I first met Enrique in Gijón, Spain two years ago when Laurie and I were doing our Circumnavigation of the Iberian Peninsula.

Bart has been the incredibly successful coach of Spain's Reus Imperials the last five years who has accepted the Head Coach position with Rome's Lazio team. He is Italian by birth and an excellent football coach by nature. 

TWO GREAT GUYS!

 More of our 45 players arriving

They are meshing quickly

Hanging out with Eduardo

Team Dinner

The buffet line is open

Defensive Lineman
Stewart Efeanyina, aka, "The Big E"
from Canada

This guy is a hoot, 320 lbs. of fun!

At dinner tonight he told me that "Food for me is a game and I love games like checkers but I love food even more."

He also said that he likes to . . . "eat slowly so that it is not so obvious that he has had his TEN plates of food at a buffet."

He claims that he and a buddy of his with a similar appetite have been banned from four all-you-can-eat restaurants in Canada due to their eating prowess.

After watching him tonight, I believe him 100%

No practices tomorrow as we are still missing about eight players who are due in on Sunday but we still have two meetings scheduled with the players.

Of course we also have three more buffet meals on the agenda, I can't wait to watch The Big E have at it!

It was another GREAT day for American football!

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