... a bit Suffolk
mo 10 Feb
Yesterday's Kent Falcons 00-17 Essex Blades was really worked over by Storm Ciara (our trousers and underpants were still soaked through when we got back to Suffolk) so everyone involved (including us) very noble people. Surprisingly in the surging side winds the first score was an Essex field goal though a ref observed it was two yards off target before being blown back on target. Traditionally leaving Essex third years get to share a bottle of Jim Beam ... after the coaches have had a swig.
mo 3 Feb
Yesterday in Cambridge visitors the Cambs Pythons failed a field goal and the ARU Rhinos ran in a td but it was called back, probably for holding ... it's always holding, and so a nil nil result. Lots of penalties including the unlikely defensive delay of game, slippery balls, a limping ball boy and an essentially good tempered match with thankfully just two game pausing non-serious injuries.
mo 20 Jan
Regrettably we didn't make it to Brunel Burners at Essex Blades in Colchester yesterday. The Blades won 18-15 which sounds close enough to have been exciting and involving.
mo 13 Jan
Yesterday in the NFL playoffs Kansas City Chiefs tackle 72 Eric Fisher at 13:38 on YouTube celebrated a touchdown by pinching some spectators' beers and then not drinking them ... American beer so understandable:)
mo 23 Dec
Poignant visiting the Ipswich Cardinals yesterday for the first time since owner Ralph Alexander passed away. Despite early rain, Christmas and a very ... more here
mo 9 Dec
Early start in Colney Lane Norwich yesterday for visitors Swansea Titans. A perishing side wind so unsurprisingly no place kicking from either team, lots of daft penalties and both teams recovered onside kicks. Swansea's quarterback #7 was ....more here
mo 25 Nov
su 17 Nov
th 14 Nov
Saturday in Norwich was women's flag american football Opal series round four. Hosted by the Iceni Spears we were very pleased to see their numbers have grown to offence and defence plus players over but not GB defensive end Victoria Ware as she'd injured her ankle playing netball. In contrast the Hyde Park Renegades (in white) had the just the minimal five and were devastating.
th 17 Oct
Saturday Great Britain v Russia american football live streamed on the BBC website.
we 16 Oct
It's the Ipswich Cardinals american football second come and try rookies day Sunday.
sa 5 Oct
An insight into women's american football from Cheshire Bears defensive lineperson Megan Delaney.(a one time roller derbyist) A safety (around 2:58) because the QB threw the ball out the back of the end zone. We've seen player panic in a uni game do the same and we've done similar playing rugby <blush>.
mo 30 Sep
sa 31 Aug
su 18 Aug
Devastated that Great Britain women's american football last night won their match against Finland but failed to win the European Championship by two points. Towards the end our stomachs got so tight we felt ill but gratifying that Iceni Spear Victoria Ware playing defensive end for GB made such a contribution even if Pinky and Perky the commentators couldn't get her surname right.
th 15 Aug
tu 30 Jul
Sunday it looked like it was going to be an Ipswich Cardinals walkover with two early touch downs against an outnumbered East Kent Mavericks. Approaching the end of the first half the Mavericks recovered their own dropped ball to run it in a ... more here
tu 23 Jul
Before Sunday's match (the Bury Saint's last at home this season) the referee opined that correct male (there were no ladies playing) attire for gridiron is to ... more here
su 14 Jul
Norwich Devil #25 Joe Jacobs scoring the winning touch down last weekend has prompted comment.
Nice to have the refs back yesterday for Ipswich Cardinals 21-07 East Essex Sabres. The Cards' 21 was done the hard way with two failed point after kicks but one safety. The Cards are away to the Norwich Devils next weekend.
fr 28 Jun
If you become an american football referee in the UK you get paid, get expenses, have a buddy/mentor when starting, there are at least two women refs in East Anglia, and you get called sir (or sometimes ma'am). More info on the BAFRA web site.
mo 24 Jun
Annoyingly the diversion for the closed Westerfield level crossing is NOT signed but we still made it to Ipswich Cardinals v Maidstone Pumas yesterday. ... more here
tu 11 Jun
Sunday the Red Lodge Pavilion car park was more then overflowing because there was a kid's soccer tournament as well as the season rematch of hosts Bury Saints and visitors the Cambridge Cats. Despite the Cats' difficult to stop ... more here
mo 3 Jun
The last three plays of Norwich Devils 31-31 Ipswich Cardinals yesterday seemed to confuse some of the players as much as it did us. In the event a draw was a fair result though unfortunate penalties badly hurt the Cards in the second half. As always at the Cards a good day out with a steady queue for refreshing, soprano Sarah Gallop and a good size crowd including Marney from the Bury Saints.
we 3 Apr
Made a nice change Sunday to snap american football without rain and/or hail.
we 2 Apr
It was pleasant Sunday to be snapping the Essex Blades v Royal Holloway Bears final without having a plastic bag over the camera unlike the last couple of weeks. A decent turn out of supporters and spectators including a good handful from the Ipswich Cardinals and impressively on the visitor's sideline too. A 28-06 win for the Blades helped again by the scrambling of quarterback Will Molyneux. When the two teams lined up at the end it became clear the Bears had been outnumbered by some two to one ... couldn't have helped.
After the ARU Rhinos (that's Cambridge) lost 33 to 2 against the Essex Blades at the season start we were expecting more of the same today in Colchester but on the very first play the Blades offensive centre snapped so enthusiastically that the ball went straight through the end zone for a two point safety. Shortly after (possibly the next play) the Rhinos intercepted and ran in a touch down but normality returned with a comfortable 32-14 Blades win assisted by impressive scrambling from the Blades quarterback Will Molyneux. Despite a penetrating wind and repetitive rain there were supporters and encouragingly at least three women players. Congrats to the Blades for winning their division.
th 7 Feb
Women's american football gets its own Facebook album.
su 3 Feb
We arrived yesterday in Thorpe St Andrew in time for the lunch break (impressive catering) to be told it had tried to snow earlier but thankfully the rain had held off. Women's american football team Iceni Spears were hosting the Peterborough Royals and Essex Hellcats for joint training followed by a seven a side tournament. In the event there weren't enough players to make two seven sides so empty slots were filled by coaches and as one player observed We've learnt more this afternoon than we would from three practices.
mo 28 Jan
Yesterday in Norwich we noted that the UEA Pirates impressively had (rather like Country and Western) both kinds of running backs, big and bulling plus small and slippery. In the second quarter with the score 12-06 to UEA very regrettably #27 Jonas Eschenfelder for the visitors Imperial Immortals received a sufficient injury he couldn't be moved. After what must have been around an hour and no ambulance the game was abandoned. We've been told Jonas' injuries are soft tissue and he should be fine in a couple of days.
mo 21 Jan
We found French director Céline Sciamma's film Tomboy highly involving and rewarding not least because it made the Parisian suburbs look idyllic. So very gratifying to find a sealed copy of her later film Girlhood in the Framlingham EACH chazza. Here the banlieue is relentlessly gritty and though Vic essentially remains trapped in her situation the opening sequence is women's american football from team Les Molosses.
we 26 Dec
we 12 Dec
CORRECTION: We originally reported that the CCU Chargers' honoury captain last Sunday was Ken Matcham. The honoury captain was in fact Joe Waller who is being treated for cancer, our apologies to both gentlemen.
tu 11 Dec
Sunday we arrived in Norwich too late for the shaking of hands at UEA Pirates v CCU Chargers but not too late for a Charger to be ejected for illegal use of the helmet. Erin Jones 51 (one the Chargers' two women players) left injured in the first half and we think we saw she'd taken her pads off but she returned later to play offensive guard and was getting close up and personal ... impressive. A Pirates 37-00 Chargers whitewash but the Chargers stuck at it cheerfully in support of their player and honourary captain for the day Joe Waller who is being treated for cancer.
mo 3 Dec
Yesterday we arrived untypically early in Cambridge for Anglia Ruskin Uni Rhinos v Essex Blades to be told it would be a late start as the key to unlock the game equipment was still on it's way. In the event as is the way recently the medic arrived fashionably ten minutes late and the game started 20 mins late. ARU were stalling getting their run game going and being intercepted on the pass. Towards the match end ARU got to first and goal but penalties and finally a snap fumble ended the drive. An impressive Blades 33-02 win and perhaps disheartening for the so many Rhinos first timers but they will get better.
mo 10 Oct
Some changes at the Iceni Spears in Norwich; Vicki Ware is training with the GB national team and Craig Thompson is the new head coach moonlighting from Norwich Devils' offensive coordinator. Last weekend on a surprisingly pleasant Sunday after a filthy Saturday the Spears were training in Thorpe St Andrew followed by classroom work on the play book. New no contact flag and contact players plus total newbies always welcome.
we 23 May
Major rule changes for NFL kickoffs and Sunday the Ipswich Cardinals won the re-scheduled away match against the East Essex Sabres 54-48.
fr 6 Apr
tu 27 Feb
Women's american football in Peterborough Saturday was five a side but with multiple substitution hosts the Peterborough Royals with eight players and the Staffordshire Saxons with just six had a difficult job. The rules are pretty much those for flag football but with contact from kitted players, we were soon understanding and enjoying play.
su 4 Feb
Despite the cold and some snow the Iceni Spears womens american football had turned out in Thorpe St Mary for training. Some new faces and much hilarity during tackle practice because it's not easy to get up from squashy crash mats plus the pergola tried to blow away. This year the Spears aren't competing in either league contact or flag so as to develop their newer players but will be playing some friendlies in the spring.
th 28 Dec
The comedy Gridiron UK about the formation of the Crewe Railroaders american football team in 1985 includes ex-NFL running back Dorsey Levens as the coach. It was clearly made with a minimal budget reflected in the lengthy thank yous in the credits with rather nicely the Norwich Devils thanked for the equipment loan.
fr 8 Sep
Sunday in Thorpe St Andrew Norwich the Iceni Spears were flag training. We were pleased to see new faces including a Norwich Devils coach moonlighting. He told us the Devils are 4-0 on the season and pretty much guaranteed to join the league next year. Visiting website Brit Blitz joined in the training and a mixed ten minute each way game to finish the morning.
we 24 May
After three years of watching UK gridiron we've finally realised it's college rules not NFL ... thought some of those decisions were a bit odd.
mo 22 May
It was the London Warriors' high completion passing game that did for the Bury Saints yesterday in Thetford ... we had a sweet jerk sauce on our chicken wings.
mo 24 Apr
Sunday near Norwich the Iceni Spears were training for the autumn's Opal flag football series. Flag football is no (hopefully) contact American football where you're tackled if an opponent can grab a flag from your waist. The flags can be just football socks tucked into your waistband or like the Spears yellow streamers held in place by plastic poppers. The Spears have an everybody welcome flag rookie day next month.
th 23 Mar
mo 6 Mar
Yesterday near Norwich we watched Iceni Spears women's American football walk through some plays in the changing room and then go outside to practice in icy rain ... that's commitment. The season long Sapphire series for women is five or seven a side. We couldn't imagine how a sport that normally has eleven (twelve in Canada) on the pitch players per team could work with five but watching the Spears routine a play we saw that with just five everybody really has to know what they should be doing. Looking forward to seeing these impressive ladies compete this coming weekend in Peterborough.
su 14 Aug
Last month we saw the Saints beat the Colchester Gladiators to win home field advantage. On the adjacent pitch there was a motor bike show and such a scorcher that the visiting bench briefly run out of water.
Three weeks later we saw Bury beat the Yorkshire Rams 35-00 in the quarter-finals on another roasting day but this time a black van was serving chicken wings and fries.
Today we saw the Bury Saints beat the Sandwell Stealers 42-13 achieving promotion to the Premiership and progression to the Division One final in Leeds on the 28th.
tu 7 Jun
Six hours of British American football at Colchester Rugby Club Sunday. A very rewarding tuck stall, a scoreboard (we do find it hard keeping up with the score especially when it's not clear whether a point after at the other end was good or not) and half time entertainment from twirlers carrying as many injuries as a roller derby league. Hosts Colchester Gladiator's defence started strongly but the very short handed team faded to a 40-00 whitewash from the Bury Saints. In the second game Kent Exiles came from behind for a 28-14 win over Herts Cheetahs. Enjoyed it all and thankfully no overtime.