05 – T minus 6 days

Welcome to the final Monday thoughts before the FFL season finally gets under way! Starting next week you’ll see a bit of a different format with match scores, reviews and hopefully some interesting quotes from various coaches and players involved in the action – if you see me at a game and have something interesting to say, don’t be shy!

Let’s get started – the Belgian Bowl website is up and running (www.belgianbowl.be), and I must confess to being almost totally impressed! It’s very uncluttered and easy to nagivate, and mention certainly has to be made of the awesome logos and pictures. All the important stuff is there, like the program for the evening itself and ticket ordering information. I like it that there’s a section for the host city of Ostend as well. I just wish they’d have run a spell checker over the website, it just looks unprofessional with so many spelling mistakes. Though, people have told me in the past that I pay too much attention to that. Perhaps I should offer my services to the organisers as a human spell checker! At any rate, they’ve done a wonderful job, and if the game itself is as good as the website, then we’re in for an absolute belter*.

This week I’m giving a shotout to fellow Izegem resident, BAFOC referee, and current Trivial Time Champion, Klaas Allosserie. Klaas has a blog which you’ll find at www.klaasallosserie.posterous.com, which mostly is about football, but he’s a true sports fan so you’ll find lots of different sports involved. I’m guessing it won’t be long until his NFL mock draft v1.0 will be online as I happen to know for a fact that he’s already finished it!

Ten thoughts I think I think

1 – I think I hope the weather reports are wrong for Sunday. 6° and showers is the prediction, which is never good when one is hoping to take notes from the game. Perhaps that golf umbrella I bought last week will come in handy.

2 – I think I don’t understand why so many teams defer if they win the toss. People say they’d rather have the ball for the second half. I’d rather recieve and open the game with a touchdown. Come on people, show some confidence in your offense!

3 – I think you won’t hear me complain much about the referees. Those guys have a tough job to do and I think they do it very well. One of the true pleasures of watching FFL games is seeing ref Willy signal 3rd down (those who know what I mean are chuckling right now, those who don’t are thinking ‘WTF?’. Trust me, pay attention next time you see him).

4 – I think I just ordered my VIP ticket for the Belgian Bowl. Already looking forward to a great day!

5 – I think it’s been since September that I’ve eaten something that was cooked on a barbeque, which is probably some sort of record (in a negative sense) for an Australian. Wonder what it’ll be in Gent.. Sausages? Hamburgers? Maybe I need to write a report on the food available at the games as well as the games themselves!

6 – I think we’re going to learn a lot about who the improving teams of the season will be on Sunday. Last year the four teams on display in Gent combined for a 10-20-2 record, and finished the season 4th through 7th in the final standings.

7 – I think it’s a curious decision by the Tribes to play a practice game (or “controlled scrimmage” such that it is), the week before their regular season opener. I’m sure they’re just trying to get into the groove but I’m not sure if that’s wise or not. Time will tell.

8 – I think it would be well worth your while to check out the video on the Bornem Titans website called “Meet the Bornem Titans”. Very well made mini-documentary about last year’s third placed FFL team and some of the players who give their all each week.

9 – I think it’s getting more and more difficult to figure out my ten thoughts! Thankfully the season is just six days away, which not only means “football is back” but also “these columns will start to write themselves”. When writing about football it’s always good if you have football to write about.

10 – I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week

– I’m probably in the minority around here but I do enjoy watching a good game of rugby. Ireland v France yesterday was a great one.

– People in the big, brown land (and the rest of the Commonwealth for that matter) will be glued to their TV’s over the next month or so as the Cricket World Cup begins. Fortunately Eurosport2 are convering the event, so I’ll get to have a look too. Australia have won the last three. Let’s make it number four!

– Listening to music as I type this : iPod on shuffle. My daughter wants to listen too, it’s currently Daft Punk, which she describes as “super nice”. I speak to my kids in English. Randomly, the first word my daughter (Mai, now 4) spoke properly was in English. Even more randomly, the word was “fish”!

– I’ve ordered the next 6 Discworld books. You have got to love free delivery from Amazon UK.

– I’m in London for a couple of days in March. My plan is to see 100 touristy things while I’m there. I’m still trying to figure out my route – it’s a big job!

Well, that, as they say in the classics, is that. The Thursday mailbag will feature your comments and messages, plus I’ll see if I can’t make a prediction on the weekends’ games. Thanks again for reading, commenting and sharing – I’m always happy to hear from everyone. Until next time.

* A “belter” is an Australian word, in this context meaning “great game”

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4 Responses to 05 – T minus 6 days

  1. willem says:

    Hi dale. I like reading your collumn especially when I’m stuck in f*** traffic like now.
    Why does Tribes plans a scrimmage the week before kicking of our season. Well Dale you of all people shuld know that we always need a wake up call and better to have this against a dutch team than against the Black Angels. But be shure that we will be ready to defend our title. See you all on the field. Willem

  2. Thomas says:

    Keep up the good work! Your insider blog makes it more entertaining than ever to follow the FFL and the road to the Belgian Bowl. Grts

  3. John says:

    Nice job Dale!
    And you’re absolutely right about the spelling/English grammar… please know that I’d love to have you as our ‘human spell checker’.
    Already had someone point out a couple of mistakes I’ve corrected on Sunday, but there’s more I guess.

  4. X-Man says:

    Hi Dale, advancing in the Discworld, you will discover the different “series”. Personally, one of my fav is the City Watch. And the “The Last Continent” will sound familiar to you…
    I’m really looking forward to read your column about this weekend’s games

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