Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tennessee at UCLA Football Game

It is NOT too early to start voting for the
National High School
Freshman Coach of the Year.
Vote Often!

Elephant Catania Personnel Scouts
checking out the Seniors on the UCLA and Tennessee rosters
#18 Tennessee vs. UCLA
at Pasadena's Rose Bowl

Our friends Mike and Susan D'Antuono, who live in Altadena just minutes from the Rose Bowl, have been  UCLA season ticket holders for over 20 years since the Bruins moved their games from the L.A. Coliseum to this grand, old Pasadena venue. They very graciously invited us to attend UCLA's  5:00 p.m. season opening kickoff vs. nationally #18 ranked Tennessee Volunteers.
Besides the obvious joy of another college football season, yesterday's game was even more special because two of our very dear friends from Catania, TE Peppe Strano and his beautiful girlfriend Valeria were here on vacation and the D'Antuono's invited them to both a pre-game BBQ and the UCLA game as well.

The D'Antuono's further went over and beyond by inviting Peppe and Valeria to stay at their house for two nights to serve as a much more centrally located base to visit L.A.'s attractions than our home in Camarillo which is about a one hour drive north of downtown Los Angeles.

We will host our Sicilian friends later this week as they continue to work their way up the west coast to first San Francisco and eventually seattle. 

The D'Atuono's "Bone Room"

Mike and Susan's home was originally the Gillette (shaving products barons) family hunting lodge 100 years ago. As a result they have this one room full of antlers and other animal parts. Peppe was a little unsure of himself in this environment.

Pre-Game BBQ

That's Mike and Susan, our hosts, at the two ends of the table. We moved indoors because it was HOT and HUMID outside!

Homemade Cannoli

Mike's family roots on his mother's side are from Caltanisetta in Sicily and his father's side of the family hails from Bari on the heel of the Italian boot.

Susan made the plate of delicious cannoli that you see here. Mike also made a plate of alcohol laced cannoli that were a big hit with me.

After lunch it was off to the Rose Bowl to take in some of the pre-game pageantry and view the tailgating fans of both schools.

Knoxville, Tennessee has always been a
BIG fashion center in the South

Do they make these pants in XXL?


Valeria's visor and Peppe's hat and shirt provided by the House of D'Antuono Fashion Salon

"Old School"

Sports Illustrated magazine had a large booth/tent set up outside the stadium featuring their "80 Players Behind College Football's Evolution" issue. ESPN's Dan Patrick was signing autographs and they had a bunch of great displays including a Heisman Trophy.

I am posing next to a poster of my first college football hero, LSU's Billy Cannon, the 1959 Heisman Trophy winner. His 89 yard TD punt return on Halloween night vs. Mississippi is still the stuff of legends.

P.S., Face masks are for the weak!

Peppe tries on the latest in football helmet technology, light but durable.

George, Mr. Potato Head and Mike

What says college football more than Mr. Potato Head?

Giulio Romano's Idea of Heaven?

Giulio is the Madden Football Champion of Sicily, he would have loved this display with about 30 different screens up and running.

The UCLA Bruins Warming-Up

The Tennesse Volunteers Warming-Up


Peppe and Valeria with 68,546 of their closest Rose Bowl friends.

Note that Valeria is now sporting a UCLA football jersey with #1 on it.


Football can be a VERY strange game.

UCLA rushed the ball 31 times for only 29 yards. The Bruins threw 4 interceptions in the first half including one returned 61 yards for a TD with 23 seconds left in the half!

How could they even be close to Tennessee with statistics like these? Easy, GREAT defense and returning a blocked Tennessee punt 17 yards for a 1st quarter TD.

UCLA scored a passing TD on a 3 yard "bomb" with only 27 seconds left in the game to take the lead 24-21. Tennessee moved down the field smartly to kick a 47 yard field goal to tie the game at 24-24 with no time left on the clock and force an overtime.

UCLA went nowhere but kicked a 42 yard field goal to go up 27-24. Tennessee would try to counter at the end of their overtime possession with a field goal as well but their attempt sailed wide left to give UCLA the improbable victory. WOW!  

Bob's Big Boy

Bob's was a legendary place to go after games back in the 1960's. On the drive home Laurie and I agreed to stop at the Toluca Lake Bob's for a Big Boy combo, a cherry coke and a chocolate malt at about 10:30 at night... crazy but fun!


J TWICE said...

Great pics of Cupino and Valeria!

My few thoughts:
1. Too bad the dawgs let "Neu-weisel" go... that guy is a winner! Even if he does average 4.5 recruiting violations per season.

2. Note to JAKE LOCKER: sometimes "touch" is necessary on a short pass.

3. Do you have Cipolata at every meal now?

4. Alcohol laced Cannoli? SEND ME THE RECIPE!

Chat soon!

J. Twice

George said...


1. How many games will Rick's Bruins win rushing the ball 31 times for 29 yards?

2. What's "touch"? I throw it, you catch it. Any questions?

3. Yes

4. D'Antuono family secret that Mike will not share.

gc elefanti