Sunday, June 24, 2018

What a BEAUTIFUL Day for a Skorpions BBQ!

Sunday, 24 June, 2018

If it's a weekend, then it must be time for another Varese Skorpions BBQ at Skorpion Field!

Who were we to argue with the logic of it all? 

According to Laurie, our Grillmaster
is a dead ringer for our friend Ed Beakley

Frankly, I don't see any resemblance at all.

 Some red wine, prosecco,
ribs and beans sounded
good to me!

A Tavola with Gigi, Martina
and Santissima Barbara

Tex, Enzo and Giorgio
planning the Skorpions' future

Gigi, our OC, and Martina

Always fun when these two are at our table!

Enzo drinking "Stanley Cup Style"
out of the U15 National Championship

And then the music started . . .

 What would a BBQ be without
The Village People?

With Anna and Vito

This couple work incredibly hard to make the Skorpions better every way they can.

GREAT people!

 When Pacio says dance . . .

. . . you DANCE!

Even Santissima Barbara and Giorgio
got into the swing of things!

While the adults were dancing,
DJ in the red shorts to the right,
had the kids playing a tic-tac-toe
relay game


The high-top yellow tennis shoes and DJ's Tennis shoes with toes.

It must be noted that the young man in the yellow shoe's is DJ's son.

As with most things that happen
on Skorpion Field, it was competitive!

The BBQ was grilling in
"ALL-OUT" mode for hours

 With Marco our U17 Flag
team's Head Coach

Sara trying out to be our
Senior team QB in 2019

She has a chance, I think!

Some Italian American football updates . . .

Championship Weekend in Parma

A correction from yesterday's post, the three National Championship games will indeed all be played in Parma in two weeks but the dates I gave you were wrong.

The DIII game will be on Friday, July 6th.

The DI and DII games will be played on Saturday, July 7th.

All three match-ups are now set after two more games were played today.

Today's results

So here is our line-up go games for Championship Weekend in Parma:

DIII on Friday, July 6th
Catania Elephants (8-2) vs. Imola Ravens (9-0)

DII on Saturday, July 7th
#2 Bologna Warriors (10-0) vs. #5 Roma Pretoriani (10-1)

DI on Saturday, July 7th
#1 Milano Seamen (11-0) vs. #3 Bolzano Giants (10-2)

Reading Is FUNdamental!

A good Summer read

As we all know, Grisham's work has steadily declined over the years after writing his masterpiece, Playing for Pizza, back in 2007.

I completely understand his problem trying to come up with new ideas to compare with his seminal American football in Italy tome that most critics agree is one of the top five novels ever written by an American author.

Personally I rank Playing for Pizza at #2 just a hair behind Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Camino Island is still worth a couple of warm Summer days of reading I must admit.

Monday, Laurie and I are taking the train to the city of Vernazza in Italy's famed Cinque Terre area on the Ligurion Sea.

We need a vacation after all of this time living in beautiful Italy.

Vernazza by Day

Vernazza by Night

Somebody has to support the local economy, it might as well be us!

Italian DI Semi-Final American Football Playoff Game

Saturday, 23 June, 2018

We were in a definite need for an American football fix after watching a lot of World Cup action again today.

Only one place to satisfy our needs today, and that was in nearby Milano at the . . . .

. . . Italian DI Semi-Final Game

It was a match-up that featured two of our good Europe Warriors coaches as the Head Coaches of the two teams playing this evening.

Europe Warriors A.D. and Defensive Line Coach Bart Iaccarino was leading his #4 seeded, 6-5 Lazio Ducks from Rome into a tough battle to be sure.

The Ducks' opponent tonight was Europe Warriors Defensive Coordinator Mike Wood's #1 seeded, 10-0 Milano Seamen who have won three of the past four Italian Super Bowls.

The Tale of the Tape
for the two DI Semi-Final Games

The #2 seeded, 8-2 Parma Panthers will host the #3 seeded, 9-2 Bolzano Giants in the other DI Semi-Final game on Sunday.

Once we got to the Seamen's stadium, we found a fully stocked souvenir stand.

We looked but did not buy

Captain Jack Sparrow was at the game!

He's a Seamen fan naturally

 Let the Game Begin!

The Seamen's opening TD drive was impressive.

Throughout the First Half the
undermanned Ducks showed a lot
of courage against a simply better team

It must be noted that the Ducks are a first year franchise and what they have done so far in their inaugural campaign reflects greatly on their coaching staff's ability to prepare the team for big games like this one.

At halftime, I ran into this fellow . . .

. . . sporting a #12 Jordan La Secla jersey

Jordan was the Seamen's QB a few years ago and apparently still has at least one fan in Milano.

Jordan played his college football at San Jose State and he was a standout prep QB at Newbury Park H.S. where our son Michael teaches.

Back in 2005, our eventual playoff Semi-Finalist Rio Mesa H.S. team played against La Secla's NPHS Panthers. It was a night that I will long remember but would rather forget. He was something like 21 for 22 passing that night! The one incomplete was a dropped pass.

We lost that non-conference game on a hot September night at Newbury Park. Sometimes you just have to applaud as the parade marches by.

American football really is a small world!

The only fully functioning scoreboard
in all of Europe as far as I know

The Seamen took control of the game
in the Third Quarter

 Their QB play was outstanding

The Seamen are going to the Super Bowl
in Parma on July 7th!

A perfectly executed Fourth Quarter Iso play resulted an 88 yard TD run for the Seamen. That was followed by about a 60 yard Pick-Six to seal the deal.

The Seamen are a talented, well coached team that looked much better tonight than when I saw them play in the Milano Derby Game vs. the Rhinos a few months ago.

As for the Ducks, lots of heart, good coaching but in need of a few more quality players to compete against a club like the Seamen.

The 11-0 Seamen now await the winner of the other Semi-Final game on Sunday to face either the 9-2 Parma Panthers or the 9-2 Bolzano Giants in the DI Super Bowl in two weeks.

With Seamen HC Mike Wood

Seamen celebrating in
"The Replacements"
style after their big win

Captain Jack Sparrow was
strutting after his team won

With Seamen #2 QB Riccardo Crosta
a former Skorpion

We had said hello to Bart before the game but could not find him afterwards. He is a great coach who's club ran into a buzzsaw tonight.

In the Italian DII Semi-Finals tonight . . .

A MAJOR upset and a surprising score

The #1 seeded, 9-1 Padova Saints got thrashed by the #5 seeded, 10-1 Roma Pretoriani by a final tally of 28-3.

The #2 seeded, 10-0 Bologna Warriors beat the #3 seeded, 9-1 Busto Arsizio Blue Storms 26-3. I thought that this would be a closer game. The Blue Storms were the Group C Champions, the Group that includes the Skorpions.

The DII Championship game will also take place in Parma on July 7th with the #2 seeded, 10-0 Bologna Warriors taking on the #5 seeded, 10-1 Roma Pretoriani.

On to the Italian DIII playoffs . . .


In DIII, nine-man football, our old club from Sicily, the Catania Elephants, prevailed in the Southern Conference Championship game!

This victory moves the 8-2 Elephants to the DIII title game, again in Parma on July 7th, against the winner of Sunday's Northern Conference Championship Game between the 8-0 Imola Ravens and the 8-0 Venezia Islanders.

If you love American football Italian style, then Parma is the place you want to be on July 7th.

I'll be home in California celebrating my 71st birthday on July 7th.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Fun, Simple Night in Varese

Friday, 22 June, 2018

We had a nice, cooling break in the weather today that included much wanted breezes which made for greater comfort for all Lombardians I'm sure.

My morning included a trip to the Norauto to try and get our car a lube and oil change before we return it to Enzo and Nency in just twelve days when we head home to California.


I was told.

You see this simple, routine automotive maintenance task could not possibly be done without referencing the car's Maintenance Manual first.

Since we could not find said Manual in the car, I was told that there was no way for them to properly do the work up to industry standards.

I would have to return another with the Manual in hand!

We continued to work on our sorting and packing in prepartion for both our return to California and for a cost effective mini-vacation to the charming Cinque Terre coast on the Ligurian Sea just southeast of Genoa.

We had originally planned on spending this time in Sicily visiting our wonderful Catania Elephant friends but the high  cost oairline tickets forced a change in our itinerary.

In the evening we decided to drive into Varese to have a libation and some food at the BellaVita Cafè and perhaps see a few of the Skorpions Family.

The old chiesa looked
good at sunset

One skinny, colorful building
This guy had it ALL!

The hat, the glasses, the awesome coat, no socks and . . .

 . . . those incredible studded shoes!

Sure enough, we did find a bunch of Skorpions at the BellaVita. Cillio was watering himself and a date while Tex, Gianluca, Nicolas and Andrea were all hard at work.

Love these Skorpions! 

 On the walk back to our car

Varese's historic center has some
wonderful buildings

 Colors, LOTS of colors in Varese

And one grand bell tower

Life is good in northern Italy!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Skorpion Practices on a Steamy Day

Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Happy Midsummer to all of our friends in Sweden!

Today is the longest day of the year, the official Summer Solstice, and a time for great celebration among the Nordic people.

In Sweden the maypoles will go up, the dancing will begin and the all night revelry will start on Saturday so as not to disrupt Friday's work schedules.


Meanwhile, back in Italy . . . 

A Cappuccino and a Spritz
before shopping at the Esselunga

Laurie is 100% behind the idea of alcohol serving coffee bars as part of every supermarket.

She says that it makes for mellow shopping experience.

Actually, the cappuccino fired me up before entering the aisles.

We opted to stay indoors again as it was still steamy outdoors.

I continue to attempt to break down our Vipers playoff game video but it is slow going.

The reason for this delay is that my trusted computer is suffering a bit from old age. The problem is simple but adds much to the time to write anything including these blog posts.

You see, the keyboard letters r, t, y, u, i and o on the top line of letters only work about 10-20% of the time that you try to access them. Thus, everything goes slowly and at times frustrates.

Warming Up the U19s and U16s

Both teams practiced tonight in preparation for their Fall seasons. I spent most of the evening working with the Offensive and Defensive Linemen.

To review, the U16s will play seven-man full contact football while the U19s will vie in a nine-man tackle league. 

We accomplished quite a bit tonight, I'm happy to say.

WR Matteo Mozzanica, a.k.a.,
"Pippy Longstockings"

Matteo is only 17 years old but had a solid season playing WR for a Skorpions' Senior team. His breakout game was our playoff contest against the Modena Vipers two weeks ago when he made two spectacular TD catches.

He is going to be a dominant receiver at the U19 level I'm sure.