One thing that Norm and I miss in France is American football. Even watching games on ESPN America is difficult because of the time difference. But…one day, we discovered…


What’s “Flash,” you may ask?

I had the same question, I have to admit.

No, they’re not a high school football team, though we were sitting as close to the sidelines as we would at a high school game, as evidenced in this photo of Norm in the stands (complete with his new Flash hoodie).

Flash is a French professional football team – one of many teams in France’s pro-football league.

Apparently, American football is fairly popular – the stands were full of fans from Flash’s city of La Courneuve (a suburb of Paris) and Amiens, whose team is the Spartiates (yes, the Spartans).

Norm and I happily cheered for Flash – whose colors are black and gold, like the Saints, and also like the Spartans of Salmen High School, where I taught for many years. (It seems we were predestined to be Flash fans!)

They even had cheerleaders, who greeted their fans after the halftime show…

…as they were selling their calendars. They were sweet and took a picture with me. Then I bought one of their calendars.

Unfortunately, Flash lost in the last few seconds of the game: twenty-one to fourteen. We had the best time nevertheless! There is nothing like American football to make the homeless feel more at home in a foreign land.