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Eric Laakso
Eric Laakso (AP Photo)

Eric Laakso

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August 28, 2014
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August 28, 2014
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Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

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December 30, 2010
My sincere condolences to the Laakso family from my own behalf and for many other old Finnish football players.

Eric came to Finland in the summer of 1982, we had just started playing REAL football in here a few years earlier. Eric spent here for about a week and every night visited different local teams practices and taught his skills and techniques for us.

I'll remember my team's practise for the rest of my life. At the end of the practise he challenged somebody to pass rush him so that he could actually show his pass blocking. I was then a 5'10'', 180 lbs LB but for some reason all my team mates decided that I should the one to go against him. If Mark Castineau could not flatten him out, neither could I. And I know now how a fly must feel when it gets trapped in a fly paper.

This week have talked about those memories with the players from different teams and it seems like Eric had used that challenge technique in every teams' practice, for example to run a sprint against him.

I don't know why he did that but he sure made us young boys to remember those moments for the rest of our lives and we have a tremendous respect for him and will also remember Eric for the rest of our lives.

Sincerely,
Kari Ketonen
Helsinki Roosters
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