Sunday, April 24, 2011

Starting off on the right foot...

You never really go into games knowing what possible outcomes may lay ahead. While we were aware of the Plattling Blackhawks roster issues prior to our trip, we still took our first game in the GFL very seriously. Regardless of the circumstances, we remained cool and collective, but most importantly focused through out the game. With that said, our first game in the GFL this season started off on the right foot with a 42-0 win over Plattling this past Saturday.

Overall, defensively while we held them to the shut out, we played extremely sloppy. I think we may have given up over 250 yards in penalties. If we want to seriously contend for the GFL Championship this season it begins with cleaning up those kinds of mistakes that can really cost you against the top tier teams in the league.

In hindsight, playing MLB for the first time ever was fun. Well, kind of boring in this game to be honest considering they only had 2 rushing attempts the whole game... translation... boring, but the fact that we got the win, shut out, and no injuries, GREAT DAY!

Big ups to my boy Bass for the first time playing DB, got that pick six, Joe was running the hell out of them biscuits he got for feet, boy ran for at least 250 and three touchdowns. Rocky was out there ballin as well, so overall, I am really looking forward to a great season here in Hessen. I honestly believe we have the core and foundation to win a GFL Championship.

One step at a time, remain focused. Lets get it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Changing Time Zones

... well initially I was dead set on playing arena football this season; however, over the past few months I have weighed my options in various lights. While playing arena would give me the benefit of being stateside for a season, going overseas poses far more positives than playing arena does. Those very positives influenced me enough to swing my focus back to the EU. So with that said, I have decided to go back to Europe for a second round of football overseas. This time I will be calling Deutschland home for a little under a year, where in the town of Marburg (outside of Frankfurt) I will be playing for the 2010 GFL Semi-Finalist and South Division Winners, the Mercenaries. Coach Roman contacted me mid-January with the possibility of playing overseas and after some time it materialized into another once of a life time opportunity.

Click HERE for the press release.

While this is my second venture in the EU I will be joined by seasoned veteran and all around EU all star, Rocky Ciasulli, and EU prom night virgins Ryan Bass and Joe Clark. Overall analysis, the Mercenaries under Coach Roman, along with the direction of the organization, has setup a great foundation and launch pad for success. Look at the success that they had last season winning the GFL South and making it all the way to the German Semi-Finals (losing to Berlin Adler). With the additions of this years imports, Marburgs winning tradition should move higher with the acclaimed GFL Championship in sight. I strongly feel we have one of the strongest groups of National Team players already in Marburg, a great coach and organizational staff, and the right combination of talent with this years imports to win a championship. Now if these next couple weeks can fly by, I am growing anxious to meeting up with them in Marburg and get the ball rolling.

So what made me pick Marburg? I had opportunities to play with various teams in the AFL and other arena leagues, but the chance to be in a foreign culture and meet tons of new people was too good to pass up. I have had the privilege to play in both Spain and Italy, in great cities like Barcelona and Milan, and the chance to be in Germany for an extended period of time with all their cultural history and while playing the game I love out weighed any other opportunity.

Former International Teammates

Wanted to touch on some of my former teammates from over seas who have continued on through out the EU continent.

I know y'all remember the Ice Man from my previous posts while in Badalona playing for Dracs. Well Ice is now doing it big in France with Falcons de Bron-Villeurbanne after playing with the Kouvola Indians in Finland at the end of last season.

Xavi, whom I also played with in Badalona with Dracs is now playing out in France as well with the Ours de Toulouse. Xavi as y'all remember was one half of the Gonzalo Arango Tandem, along with his brother who played QB, Sergi.

Imported Goods 2011

With that said, I will be departing in a few days from the US and as both anticipation and excitement grow, I am really looking forward to this coming season overseas. It should be another fun filled adventure that God has blessed me with over the past couple years.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Imported Goods 2011...

Stop the press, stop the press, Imported Goods is back again for yet another rendition into the lifestyle of an American football player. For those of you new to the blog, Imported Goods 2010 was centered on my comeback after a disastrous 4 year lay off from the game of football, which included: a misdiagnosed career ending injury, depression, anorexia, and other life changes that led me down a crash course with failure. However, 2010 was pivotal in proving one thing, no matter the setback, any individual, if willing, can overcome an adversity.

So what is next? How can I build off the foundation I re-established in 2010? Well first, I have been getting a lot of questions as to why I did not try playing elsewhere after the Italian Playoffs this past summer. Truth is, I finished the season with the Bergamo Lions playing on a fractured tibia, actually for the entire duration of my stay in Italy for that matter. So when I returned stateside I did what needed to be done, shut it down for a little and let it heal. 4 months later, feeling like brand new, and well, let’s get the show started.

A key addition to my support team is my agent, Mike LaCourt, signed him when I returned stateside after discussing my future with an assortment of agents. Mike really felt just a good fit and so I went with him to represent me, so you can check him out, and my player profile, anytime, at the Sports Management Worldwide website (SMWW).

So where is the next destination? I know at the end of the season in Europe this past summer I had hinted as to where I would like to possible return, Spain. After months of messaging back and forth with teams across the EU, I had to make a choice to pursue my career at another level or enjoy the life changing experiences that could possible await with a second round in Europe. After months of contemplating, playing out the scenarios, I have decided to play with the Erie Storm, a professional indoor arena team here in the US, in 2011. Coach Shawn Liotta had been in contact with me since my return to the states and I really took a liking to the professionalism he and the Storm displayed. Why Erie? After discussing and researching them, I found so many things to like, an established coach, a great fan base, but most importantly, they are great at moving players into higher levels. Whether it be AFL1, NFL, or CFL, they just get it done, so in that regards, it made the decision that much easier.

So is it even Imported Goods anymore? Well I thought about how I can convey my message on an international scale to keep that same concept as this past year with the whole, playing overseas as the catalyst. So I came to this conclusion, being overseas it was clear as day that the interest in American Football is evident; furthermore, with the amount of media, social network, and technological advancements, I came to one conclusion, film it! So for all the friends I have overseas, Imported Goods 2011 will be just that, an in-depth look into the life of American Football, straight from the US. It will be featured on our already established UStream Channel: Imported Goods. With training camp set to start the beginning of February, shooting will commence immediately, now that I have been able to start running again. So check out our social networks via Facebook, Twitter, and Blogspot to catch updates as to when Imported Goods will be airing. Imported Goods 2011: Second Rounds on Us is streaming live from the US, worldwide, starting this November.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The EU Road Ends...

... yesterday in Catania marked my final game in the EU for the 2010 season. While the ending may not have been the story book one we were looking for, it does end what has been a great year thus far in 2010. Coming to Europe I did not know what to really expect; however, what I found was an experience of a life time that took me to places I only grew up reading about. From Barcelona, Milan, Vienna, and all the way down to Sicily, being in Europe and meeting dozens of wonderful people is something I would never trade in or regret.

I know previously I was on a 28 Days to the Center of Sergio countdown, but now with an earlier departure date, which is looking like this Thursday. This will be my final blog on European soil. From back to my arrival in Badalona, Barcelona, Spain, I have like I previously stated, been around great groups of people. Even in Bergamo, Milano, Italy, the type of people I have crossed faced with here in Europe are what truly made the experience that much more. Granted, the go-go-go party hard lifestyle in Spain was nothing similar the laid back tranquility that was Northern Italy. None the less, both were amazing in their own respects.

So About 2011?

I know that one of the big questions I am asked is, "Will I play again in Europe in 2011?" To be honest, with a year under my belt and a true perspective on how things are really ran here. I would certainly be open to coming back to Europe for another round in 2011. But like I said, it would have to be on proper terms and a set agreement that I can count on. As you know, or not, the sole reason I made my transfer to Italy from Spain late in the season was because of finances associated with the agree upon contract. I do not want to go into details but things along those lines is were I will draw a new viewpoint on 2011. I do not want to go into a situation that from the beginning is not what the contract states. Whether it is payment schedule or something small as a cell phone. It does not matter, because in the end of the day I am going to give you everything I got, I just want a team to met me half way.

So what teams do I have in mind? To be honest, I have already been contacted by over 2 dozen teams about coming back in 2011, from Finland all the way out to Serbia. The interest extends clear across the entire EU and into the Eastern block. But I will tell you this, although I originally left Spain, I loved it. The people, culture, environment, and everything that is Catalunya captivated me from the beginning. So regardless of the countries already offering me contracts for 2011, the clear leader and team that would get a confirmation from me the moment they asked me to play would be L'Hospitalet Pioners. They run a great organization out of Barcelona and the fact that they are coming of a Spanish Championship means two things: they have a winning mind set and they are EFL bound for 2011. Yes I said, they are my clear cut number one team I would like to play for in 2011.

The Highs and Lows of 2010

The High Point would certainly be my first game home game in Badalona with the Dracs. We were playing home town rivals Pioners in a game that featured some quality US players, and I would say the two best Spanish players, if not 4-5, as well. It was a close game all the way into the late second quarter when I caught a 52 yard TD pass from Sergi to really start our seperation from the Pioners. It would go down as only one of two installments of a great match up against the Pioners in LNFA 2010. As they would claim the second match in L'Hospitalet against us later that season.

The Low Point would be the week of, and the first play, against Bolzano Giants in Euro Bowl. The week leading into the game, in the midst of a financial problem already brewing, I decided to turn down a great offer from Coach Winters and the Zurich Renegades to stay in Badalona. I bought into my loyalty and stuck with the team that gave my career a second chance. What happened? First play of the that week I went down with a fractured tibia and sprained MCL that would keep me out of the game I came to Badalona to play in, EFL Euro Bowl vs Vienna Vikings 3 weeks later.


After a full season in Europe you start to really understand fully the mind set of the national players here in Europe. As an American, in terms of culture and football in general, your mind set is completely different than that of the Europeans. Many US imports do not understand this and is what ultimately drives them crazy because they are unable to grasp the concept of American Football here in the EU. I truly commend the players here in Europe, not only do they pay to play in most cases, the passion that they have for the game is second to none. Rain or shine, in cold weather or unbearable humidity, their passion does not change. It is a constant, from the young players to the old ones, you just see it in their eyes. This is what made me really appreciate everything around football that much more. To come to a foreign land and watch men display a passion for the sport I love was incredible. So to all the teammates and players I played against this season, thank you for making the football experience that much more.

Euro Players

I would like to personally thank Roger Kelly of for always providing me some quality insight, and as I learned today, some very interesting humor. The man runs a great site that allows both US players and European teams to connect and create an agreement to play here in the EU. But more than that, he also helped me with many scenarios that played out here during the 2010 season and was just a cool guy to talk to. So I look forward to many more conversations with Mr. Kelly, and once again thank you.

The Deep South Connection Continues to Grow

So coming to Bergamo I had no idea I would be fortunate to have another great roommate and US teammate in Bradley Robinson. In Badalona I was was fortunate to spend my time with two great guys in Meech and Duba as well so I guess 2010 was the year of great roommates. But B Rob made the Bergamoski experience so much better. In many ways, he kind of got me back to the old me, but that is a deeper blog entry for another date. I just find it funny that my Southern friends list continues to grow by the day. I think I now have met some great people in every Southern state in the US. Something about that Dirty South, I don't know what grease your frying everything in but you truly are home to some great people.


Just like that another chapter of my life comes to an end. It has been a great turn around to a long run in life that really beat me down. 2010 represented some of the best times of my life that I will never forget. The people I met here in Europe reminded me how good life really is when you look at the bright side. As a friend of mine in Spain said, it only rains momentarily, but it will always be sunshine. That is a really great way of looking at life. Just stay positive and you never know where life will take you. For me it took me half way around the world to a place I only dreamed of visiting. Imported Goods 2010, over and out, now, until Imported Goods 2011. Adios. Ciao. Bye. No, hello, good byes are for final meetings, so until next season. Good night Europe. It has been a pleasure.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June Madness: Sweet 16

... well I been thinking, with 16 days left in Europe, I should do a count down competition of 16 items that are crucial to my existence. Note, I said items, not people, just want to get that covered so I don't offend anyone if their is a misinterpretation. So as 28 Days to the Center of Sergio continues, here it goes, the Round of 16 Bracket of Items that are needed in my luggage, hand bag, trunk, or any where I am going. (*This is just the bracket, in detailed summaries of each match-up will come over the course of the following days.)

1. iPod vs 16. Razor
2. Orbitz Chewing Gum vs 15. Bank Cards
3. Colonge vs 14. All Purpose Jacket
4. Lotion vs 13. Comfy Shoes
5. Magnums vs 12. Camera
6. Lighter vs 11. Q-Tips
7. Fitted Shirt and Tie vs 10. Extra Pair of Socks
8. Toe Nail Clippers vs 9. Stain Stick

Countdown to the Final starts tomorrow, but here are 1-16, Sergio's Sweet 16.

Onto the Next One... 17...

... today marks day 17 remaining in the 2010 season in Europe for me. Also, it kicks off one of the greatest sporting events ever, the World Cup. So as 28 Days to the Center of Sergio moves forward, considering the presence the World Cup has on all of society, todays blog will feature my favorite 17 players in this years WC.

17. Clint Dempsey, United States
- The only American to get a nod in my Favorite 17, and rightfully so. Dempsey, in my eyes, is light years ahead of the "so-called" American hero Landon Donovan.

16. Arjen Robben, Netherlands
- When healthy, he makes an argument to be one of the best in the world, like I said, only when he is healthy.

15. Giovanni Dos Santos, Mexico
- The youngster has all of the talent, just needs to translate his potential into production.

14. Taye Taiwo, Nigeria
- Big time pace for a defender, you just have to love how he attacks from the back.

13. Luis Fabiano, Brazil
- You often get caught up in the big names like Kaka, Robinho, Maicon, but Fabiano is Brazils biggest threat to put it into the back of the net at anytime.

12. Iker Casillas, Spain
- Cool, Calm, and Collective, enough said.

11. Tim Cahill, Australia
- The man is a beast for Everton and the same can be said of his influence on his home country.

10. Nemanja Vidic, Serbia
- Rock solid in the middle, one of the best defenders in the world.

9. Carlos Tevez, Argentina
- Simply put, he lives up to his reputation as being called, the "Bulldog".

8. Xavi, Spain
- Midfield magician, if Steve Nash played futbol, he would be dropping dimes in the form of Xavi.

7. Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast
- A physical specimen, injury scare almost kept him out, but he loves the big stage and his return can give the guys in the Orange and Green a legit shot at being one of the 1st African countries to make it to the Finals.

6. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
- Dangerous, simply put, maybe one of the best athletes in the world.

5. Dani Alves, Brazil
- Him and Maicon maybe some of the best 2 fullbacks in the game, unfortunately they play the same position, but when Alves is on, no one matches his pace.

4. Phillip Lahm, Germany
- Lahm can do it all, defend, score, anything, he will take it the length and put it in before you blink your eye, just look at last years Euro Championships.

3. Lionel Messi, Argentina
- When some one as cocky and arrogant as Kobe labels you the best athlete in the world, that means something.

2. Wayne Rooney, England
- The bad boy of England, Rooney is one of the most physical players and talented, if England wins, it will be on his coat tail.

1. Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon
- The most deadliest striker in the game, when he has the ball any where near the box, beware.

Remember I am not rating these guys, these are just my favorite 17 players that are active in this World Cup. 17 players that will make my final 17 days go that much faster!

Friday, June 11, 2010

18 days to go...

... well most of my remaining days in Bergamo will be spent either watching extended versions of trilogies, Skype, NBA Finals, World Cup, and long amounts of day time sleeping to pass time. So a daily combination of the previously stated should make this remaining two weeks go by fast, hopefully. Today does mark the start of the World Cup, so right there, a minimum of three matches a day will certainly cut a good portion of the remaining time in Europe right in half. Now, it is not that I do not like being in the EU, it is just that after 6 months of being away from my family and friends you really start to feel the minutes slowly tick away.

Good thing, this weekend we begin our championship run to what would be the Bergamo Lions 12th IFL Championship. It is crazy how rich of a traditional here in Bergamo there is. Countless IFL Championships, and a leader in Euro Bowl Championships as well. You just feel the difference when you step out wearing that black and gold. With that said, we travel to Catania for the semi final match-up. Catania comes into the game with only one loss; however, that one loss came early in the season against none other, the Lions. But if you know anything about sports, one of the most difficult tasks is to beat a team two times in one year. So come Sunday, we better be on our A game in order to move onto the Italian Super Bowl.

So, 28 Days to the Center of Sergio continues on, today, 18. You know growing up you always have fascinations. For me it seemed to be movies with objects, whether it was cars or planes, the faster, the better! With that said, my two favorite movies growing up had to be Top Gun and Days of Thunder. I know, Tom Cruise, but he is not the reason I liked either of the movies. I was just more captivated with the fact you can drive a machine that fast, for fun! Okay, in Top Gun maybe not essentially for fun, as it was a military occupation, but Days of Thunder, certainly for the thrill and love of NASCAR. I know in previous posts I mentioned how I love sports for the rivalries, for the competition. I feel that both elements are key in order for sports to succeed. In every sport you need a fan favorite, just as much as you need the villain. In Days of Thunder one instance always stands out in my mind. When Cole first gets hurt in the wreck with Rowdy, they bring in Russ Wheeler to drive his car. Trickle some what "big times" Russ initially while he is on the phone trying to sweet talk Nicole Kidman. See this is the problem, as Russ begins to build up steam, winning races in Cole's absence, Cole gets mad when he returns. See me I have, in more than one case, been viewed as the under dog or have been "big timed" by many people. So I understand the Russ Wheeler cockiness in the movie and some what appreciate it. Why should any athlete kiss some ones ass who tried to belittle them in the beginning. In sports you win, you go hard, you never take no, and you never look back. Sometimes people confuse arrogance and cockiness with the the desire to win. That is what Wheeler displayed, until his over confidence killed him in the last lap at Daytona. Regardless, Russ Wheeler, one of my favorite movie characters and driver of the Number 18 car in Days of Thunder. 18, another X on my calendar.