locally owned since 1854

Happy New Year! Here’s some bad American football: Ed O'Connor

Posted 1/23/19

Hey gang. (I’d call you a mob, but a mob has a leader). Welcome to 2019. I hope your holidays were enjoyable and you will now have many memories upon which to reflect in the upcoming …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Happy New Year! Here’s some bad American football: Ed O'Connor


Hey gang. (I’d call you a mob, but a mob has a leader). Welcome to 2019. I hope your holidays were enjoyable and you will now have many memories upon which to reflect in the upcoming years.

And … thanks so much for asking. My trifecta of Christmas, New Year’s and birthday were super. I hadn’t had that much fun since I knocked over my grandparents’ outhouse in Bainbridge.

At two adult beverage stores not far from our apartment, one built a Christmas tree from Heineken bottles and the other used green wine bottles to do the same. I tried that at our apartment but didn’t succeed. I kept drinking the building materials.

On Christmas Day, we were invited to a drop-in at a friend’s apartment. After a few hours there, we went to visit another amigo — in the hospital. That was an experience. Visiting hours were from 4 to 6 p.m. First, we had to stand in a long line to reach the receptionist. When we arrived at the reception desk, we had to show our IDs to receive a visitor ticket. I thought we were at Hersheypark.

Once again, we waited in the queue to show the guard our ticket so we could await the elevator. Upon reaching the hospital room, we had to don surgical masks before entering. I felt like Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare or Marcus Welby, for those of you who remember old TV shows. Upon leaving, everything was done in reverse.

New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve, we decided to stay home and watch the local festivities from our third-floor apartment and view international celebrations on the tube. Oops — TVs no longer have tubes, do they?

Fireworks were exploding from morning until the next day. I wasn’t sure if the noise was from the fireworks or possibly Peru was invading.

After dark fell, the celebrating really started and the sky was ablaze with colorful explosions for hours. We had a 270-degree view from our vantage point. At midnight, we had a champagne toast and watched the balls and other items drop from all over the world including Central Pennsylvania. I hadn’t seen that many balls being dropped since I watched Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.

Happy birthday!

Another year, another birthday. I know, I know — you think I’m some young, good looking guy with six-pack abs and a full head of hair. Let me tell ya, the next time I have a smokin’ hot bod will be when I am cremated.

For the math whizzes who want to figure out my age: if you take the two numbers of my age and add them together, the total is nine. Divide my age in half and the numbers are equal.

A big thanks to all the members of my fan club from whom I received all the cards, letters and emails. It took me almost all day to open that darn email.

Football, not futbol

It was Friday night; the stadium lights flooded the field. The fans were primed. The 11 players on each team took the field. The ball was placed on the tee. The kicker dropped back 10 yards awaiting the official’s whistle.

If this description sounds like the opening kick off of a Middletown Blue Raiders football game, you would be correct, but not in this case. American-style football had found its way to Ecuador.

Soccer, called futbol here, is the passion — or should I say religion — of the populace.

Cuenca has a professional team as do most cities in Ecuador and South America. About 200 countries in the world play the game with around 265 million participants.

So, to see an American football game in a soccer-addicted country was indeed an extreme rarity.

A few American football fanatics went to the local universities and were allowed to start programs. They received the OK, but money was not available for equipment, so the new coaches asked for help to fund the program.

As far as I could ascertain, they received local monetary contributions and donations of old, used equipment from colleges in the United States. Many of the uniforms were not uniform. Helmets were different colors.

The coaches and officials were all volunteers. Can you imagine having the patience to teach this game to guys whose only previous exposure to football was the little they had seen on television?

But, back to the game. The whistle blew and the game began between the Cuenca University Aztecs and the Catholic University Condors. The “booming” kickoff sailed almost 20 yards. It seemed like there was a penalty on every other play — mostly offsides and false starts. The few short passes that were thrown looked like wounded quails.

The player’s enthusiasm, hustle and drive were inspiring. There were even cheerleaders who performed routines prior to game time. It began raining, so we left at the end of the first half with the Condors leading 13-0. I’d be willing to say that, because of the player’s skill level, the Raiders junior varsity team would have been a worthy opponent.

Speaking of the Blue Raiders … a big congratulations to the varsity football team on another outstanding season! The past two years I listened to the state championship game on radio station WMSS. This year, I decided not to listen thinking that I was a jinx. It didn’t help.

While on the subject of football: I haven’t watched a “professional” game since the kneeling started, and never intend to view the NFL (Nitwit Flaming Libtards) ever again. Plus, why listen to interviews with so called “college”-educated people who can’t put a three-word sentence together without using “you know”? I hope these aren’t the kind of anti-American idiots that are today’s role models.

End-of-year report

I track every cent we spend and here are the monthly averages of our (two adults) expenditures in 2018:

Rent (included trash pickup thrice weekly, gas for cooking and clothes drying, and hot water) — $500.00

Electricity — $22.86

Water and sewer — $8.03

Internet and telephone — $34.64

Transportation — $9.85

Groceries (food only) — $226.08

Until next time … Eddy O

Ed O’Connor, a former resident of Middletown and Lower Swatara Township, is an expatriate living in Cuenca, Ecuador.