Monday, May 4, 2009


Catania Elephants (0-5)

Bologna Doves (1-4)

Saturday, May 2, 2009
8:30 p.m.

Normally I give you a drive by drive report and then make some comments, but for goodness sakes,

After a tough training camp that saw us lose all five pre-season games (we played an extra game because we were picked to play in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio against Ancona) we start the season 1-0 tied with Saturday's other two winners Lazio and Reggio Emilia . . .

. . . O.K., I know we are really 1-5 and tied for ninth place in the IFL but we now own the tie breaker against the Doves if it comes down to that!  Remember, I lived with a Positologist all last season and some of his karma rubbed off on me.  Besides, the feeling after the game was as if we had won the Super Bowl.  Winning still cures a lot of problems in any sport, on any continent.

The Doves Nest

Nice Natural Grass Field

State of the Art Scoreboard

Don't snicker, this is the first scoreboard we've had this season.

1TH quarter? Did Sylvester the Cat make this thing?

Catania Defense Ready for Action!

IFL . . . Fast Paced AND Artsy!
The Doves drive down the field but the Catania defense stiffens forcing a Bologna field goal attempt.  Wide left.

The Elephants drive 80 yards with a very balanced attack.  Larry Atkinson hits pay dirt from 5 yards out.  The PAT is missed, Elephants lead 6-0.

Bologna is forced to punt.

The Elephants continue to control the line of scrimmage and Enrico Lombardo scampers in for a 12 yard TD.  Andrea Mannino kicks the PAT, Catania in charge 13-0.

Rookie CB Riccardo Conticelli intercepts a Bolobna pass, the first of his bright future.

Catania loses a fumble right back to the Doves.

The Doves capitalize on the Elephant error, capping their drive with a 17 yard run.  They add the extra point to cut the lead to 13-7.

Catania mounts a good drive but throws an interception in the end zone.

Taber LeMarr gets the ball back to the Elephants by making a big interception.

Catania turns the ball over on downs.

Bologna mounts a small drive as the half ends with Catania still leading 13-7.

Catania opens the second half on offense but has to punt.

Bologna is again forced to punt the ball back to Catania.

Taber LeMarr catches a weird 60 yard TD pass from Arturo Sanchez.  I say weird because as he caught the ball about two strides past the CB it was as if time stood still for the other 21 players on the field who all seemed to just freeze and watch Taber prance into the end zone.  The two point pass attempt fell incomplete.  Catania extends their lead to 19-7.

The Doves punt.

Catania punts.

Matthieu Cassaghi recovers a Doves fumble.

Catania punts.

Bologna gets a drive going and sores their second rushing TD from 3 yards out.  Their PAT attempt is wide left.  Catania hanging on to a slimmer 19-13 advantage.


On the Elephants next possesion a weird season got ever more bizare as we were hit by a thunder and lightning storm that would eventually produce some hail.  The game was stopped for over 30 minutes for obvious safety issues and we all headed back to the locker rooms.  When this occured, we were deep in our own territory after Bologna's kickoff team did a superb job of covering downfield.  We were facing a 3rd and 5 situation with 3:45 left in the game.  We had a long time to come up with a good call, and Arturo and the offense came up with an option with Larry as the pitchman.  Arturo read it well, turned up inside and made a late pitch to Larry who gained over 10 yards resulting in a crucial First Down, but more importantly, there was no need to even consider a measurement!  The offensive line took things into their own hands and legs providing GREAT run blocking to gain three more first downs before kneeling down three times to end the game with a GREAT 19-13 victory!

In this trying season, it was good to see Davide with a smile on his face!

W.C.E. and OG Alessio D'Arpa was pumped and Enrico was still a blur coming off the field.

The Football Gods needed to be appeased after our first victory, which required the obligatory Virgin Sacrifice.

Cornerbacks Manolo Gariffo and Riccardo Conticelli

V is for Victory

The ageless Lucki Camarda had another good kickoff return tonight.


Over my left shoulder is Salvo Sicali, our defensive co-captain and a fully licensed M.D. here in Sicily.  He has played GREAT football all year long and his work at practice is the reason.  He has become so dedicated that he has pledged not to smoke while performing surgery until the season is over!

On a side note, before the game I met the Doves coach, Bob Ricca who was for many years the Head Coach at St. John's University in New York.  Retired now, he had contacted me last fall for information about landing a job in Europe and here he is.  Bob is a very nice man and I'm glad to have been of help.  It IS a small world indeed.


Andrew said...

Congrats! Great news.

DPLassen said...

This allows you to break out that new slogan:

The Elephants — Better than the Washington Huskies.

Andrew said...

Are the Detroit Lions up next? I believe the Vegas line is EVEN.

Anonymous said...

Hey, hey, hey, watch what you say about the Washington Huskies. I was pushing for a Catania Elephants vs. Washington Husky matchup. It appears that the UW would be the underdog now.