33 – Thursday mailbag

Just nine days until the Belgian Bowl! Great news to hear that the stands are already sold out – that means that there will be at least 670 of us (and hopefully many more) to witness the biggest game in Belgian football history! OK, I’m getting a little too worked up, but still, it’s going to be awesome. I’m looking forward to everything that surrounds the game too, all the people, the sights, sounds and smells, as it were – the whole FFL (perhaps even the BFL) Universe in the one place at the one time. Did I also mention that it’s Tribes v Angels? Those games are not to be missed in the regular season, so to have it as the final is brilliant (if you read the first of these columns, you’ll remember that the Belgian Bowl was my #1 game of the year not to be missed. #2? Tribes v Angels!)

Anyway, that’s enough from me, time to hear from you

Mailbag

Oli, Harelbeke

“I wonder if you can use your skills and this blog to maybe talk about the College football season in the USA ! Whatever you do, I hope I can read you every week”

Interesting idea, I might just give that a try. Not sure what format it might be in though, as it won’t be much use to write reviews about the games – those are all over the internet. The season doesn’t start for another 3 months so I’ve got some time to think about it.

Benedict Vermaut, Ostend

“I think the Bulls made a great statement, they became a great team. And they have some great young aspiring players, giving a clear statement that we will have to invest in the future or else we are going to get it :) . If there was a manufacturing trophy in football like there is in F1, the Bulls would win it. Also I hope we would be able to get together as a football community to get some kind of national team together because we are missing some beautiful experiences on the international level.”

Indeed they did, it won’t be long before those close games start to go their way. As for the National team, well, I have heard this story before. But the story that I’m actually waiting for is from Coach Bazile (the coach from the national team of a few years ago), who has promised to get back to me but he’s a busy man and hasn’t been able to yet. National team is great but it has to be organised, and it has to have a time to be organised in.

PJ Brady, Brussels

“A work conference in China held me out of the Bulls-Tribes game and it killed me to hear we were so close again. I for one will be rooting for the Tribes in the Belgian Bowl. Nothing against the Angels, but I want the Bulls to be the team that ends their winning streak next season. Looking forward to the rematch boys!”

Well, that’s as good a reason as any to support a team! By the way, I love it when Americans say that they’re rooting* for something, ‘cos you guys have no idea what that means to us Aussies!

Does it smell like Onions around here?

I mentioned last week the possibility of writing some “Onion-like” pieces on the blog in the offseason. If you don’t know what that is, check out www.onionsportsnetwork.com for an idea. Either that, or read this sample piece I wrote last week :

“Today it became official – the FFL owners locked out their players due to the ongoing struggle over the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. FFL Players Association President DeKlaas Allosserie clarified the situation :

‘The owners locked us out today because they find our demands too steep. We only want a 50% pay rise, surely the owners realise that it’s the players who provide the show? Nobody goes to the football to see the owners. Oh yeah, the defensive linemen would also like a free hamburger after each game.. Before each game too.. To be honest they wanted one at half-time as well but I talked them out of that.’

Allosserie said that there was no truth to the rumor that the players were also demanding at least one pre-season game per team in either Delft, Rotterdam or The Hague so that the players can stop for Burger King on the way home.”

It doesn’t always have to be serious!

And now for something a little more serious

I asked our esteemed BFL President, Lesley Moreels, about the rules regarding suspensions seeing as how it’s been talked about a lot this week. The story is that suspensions from the FFL (or LFFAB) carry on into the playoffs, and vice versa. In other words, someone getting ejected in the Belgian Bowl will miss the first regular season game next year.

Thankyous

Alright, I’m going to try and make a list of those who have helped me this season. I’m sure I’ll have forgotten some people so sorry in advance!

Some people helped by telling me about games I wasn’t at : Klaas Allosserie, Bart Killens, Law, Ole, Flo Vanhoof, Lesley Moreels

Some people helped by telling me the names of players I had numbers to and wanted to write : Marco Karmidi, Roald Piqueur, Christof Lauriers, Michel Eeman

Some people helped with player names really efficiently : Hans DeLeenheer and Mama BBA – Chantal

Some coaches didn’t complain when I hung around in their player box : The Tribes staff, Georgy and the guys from the Angels, Roald again (though I was asked to show some ID at one point!), Seba from Leuven

Some people have had me annoying them because I had questions to ask or wanted a rule clarified, so it’s more a sorry than a thankyou to : John VandeMergel, Lesley Moreels, Christophe Geldhof

Some people shared this on facebook and other places : Kenneth Huyghe, Guillaume Schuermans, the Brussels Angels, Roger Kelly, the FFL

Some people have been reading this blog : You!

I had hoped to get to maybe 2 000 page views for the whole season. By the weekend, there will have been 20 000 views. I’ve had good times on the sidelines, and mostly even good times sitting at my computer typing this up. It’s not often that I’ve struggled for something to say because there’s always something going on, be it good football on the field or someone making a quote-of-the-week comment on the sideline. Thankyou!

All-FFL preview

So we had the honourable mentions on Monday and the team itself will be revealed Monday. I’ll also have two galleries to show with as many of the players as I can find photos of – I know there’s at least one player I haven’t been able to find a photo of, and the problem is that I can’t ask anyone for one because it’s still a secret who it is!

A problem I faced was with players who I only saw once or twice during the season. I ended up deciding that I could only judge based on what I saw, rather than what I didn’t see, meaning that those players would be eligible for selection as well. Anyway, I’ll be happy when the team is announced as it hasn’t been easy keeping it a secret for this long!

By the way, just to be absolutely clear – this “team” isn’t going training or playing against anyone, it’s just the team that I would make with you FFL players and coaches if I could (I still think we would kick ass though!)

Outro

Not much left to say, really. Monday will be the All-FFL special and Thursday the preview of the Belgian Bowl. After that I’m thinking of continuing for at least one more week in order to round out the season. By the way, I’m going to do a full statistical analysis of the Belgian Bowl. It might take me a while but I’ll make that available to everyone too. Oh yes, there will also be a season review edition at some point as well. Until next time

* So, I’ll tell you. “Rooting” is Aussie for, well, how shall I put it politely – making love, except for it’s not a nice word, so a better translation would be “f***ing”. The correct Aussie word for that situation is “barracking”, by the way.

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16 Responses to 33 – Thursday mailbag

  1. Bart Killens says:

    So “Root you!” is a dirty word?

    • dalehousden says:

      Hmm, I suppose so, but nobody would say that. I should probably point out that it’s much more a country thing, us city folk are far more civilised than do use such bad language 😉

  2. CPT_INTERCEPTION says:

    dale you and your aussies words :p
    hehe
    another nice one 😉

  3. Lesley says:

    even I have heard of it…this being said I have never heard Jason wanting to ‘root’ Kylie and vice versa. Congrats with the blog …it even has me plastered to the screen on Monday and Thursday…maybe you should do reviews of the Junior competition…am sure you will have an angle…

  4. PJ Brady says:

    Um… ok, then I will not be “rooting” for the Tribe… and if I would root them, it wouldn’t be at the Belgian Bowl. I am more romantic than that…

    • Chubby says:

      Romantic? So you first want to have a burger for doing some rootin’ 🙂
      Aussies eigh 🙂

      Don’t you have some witty quote’s concerning a high stakes game like the Belgian Bowl?

      • PJ Brady says:

        Sorry, my agent has advised me to refrain from any more comments until the lock out is resolved…

  5. Coach Georgy says:

    “Some coaches didn’t complain when I hung around in their player box : The Tribes staff, Georgy and the guys from the Angels, Roald again (though I was asked to show some ID at one point!), Seba from Leuven”

    You are always welcome, Dale !
    Because it’s always better to have a good relations with the press !! ;-

  6. Stijn says:

    Come on PJ, its not because your distant cousin (who is maried to a supermodel but shall remain nameless) is sueing his local football league, that you should listen to the same agent. Unless there are no more hotdogs there wont be any lockout.

    Dale,
    On another note, here is a topic for discussion: Superstision and football.
    I went through everything that we did different in the game against the Tribes and I can only come up with 1 thing …………. I didnt have a hamburger or hotdog during halftime, something I had every game we won…..hence its all my fault we didnt advance to the final.

  7. Bram Wydooghe says:

    Anyone knows who “Arkangel Lucifer” is ? (The guy who put the story of the West Flanders Tribes on Wikipedia). Hoping he/she reads this blog : thanks a lot for the beautiful article on the world’s largest encyclopedia ! But there’s an error in it: our first game wasn’t against the Raiders, but against the Liège Red Roosters. We got beaten quite heavily, 72-0 if I remember well. Fellow Dinosaurs Pieter and Willem were also on the pitch, so please agree with me that Raiders was NOT our first game, Munkeys!.
    Raiders was our second game, and it was stopped at half time. Ref Willy came to us and told us we better stopped the game, because we were going to be completely demolished.
    I made my very first sack in that Raiders game : our well known president John was the victim… I’m still smiling when I recall him yelling at his offensive line that being sacked by a player of the (back then) worst team in the league was the most embarrassing thing that could happen to him. I think he was so outrageous that he kicked his left guard’s butt, haha.
    Aaah, sweet memories…

    • willem says:

      Hi Bram, as fellow dinosaur I can only say you are right.
      The first game was indeed Liege Red Rooster, I remember that I was in Liege on a real ” patattenveld” and we went with a bus( which was empty for 60%)
      And my brother run a fumble back to the 4 yard line , and we didn’t score ( we had no score until half second season), and that the raiders game was indeed a half time finish, with over 250 yards of penalties for the angels, and …….. I realize that I have soooo much great memories.

      willem

    • Lesley says:

      Sunday without football…Am suffering from withdrawal symptoms…

  8. Crazy C says:

    Hey Dale,
    Love your blog.
    Just a question about the all-FFL team, will you also ‘elect’ a league MVP?

    Grtz

  9. Mark says:

    choosing the all FFL team should be easy, it is roughly the same as the Tribes roster!

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