Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sad News from Catania

Friday night, at my talk at the America House about American football in Europe, someone asked a question about how the sport is funded. With today's difficult economic times, this is not an easy question to answer. Unfortunately, news from Italy this morning addressed this question.

My first job in EuroBall was coaching Sicily's Catania Elephants in the top division of the Italian Football League in 2008.

It was simply a MARVELOUS experience!

The team leadership and players were beyond compare. The three import players were good teammates and better people. The family and friends of all of these people made Sicily a place of treasured memories for me and Laurie.

That season was Catania's first in the top level of the IFL and saw us play in the Semi-Finals. After an off year in 2009, the Elephants advanced to the IFL Super Bowl, Semi-Finals and then the Super Bowl once again in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.

On Facebook today, team owner Davide Giuliano informed the team that the team's main sponsor has been forced to back out of its promised financial commitment to the team because of the current depressed economic situation.

After exploring several other options to keep the team afloat, the deadline for committing to the IFL for the 2013 season has come and this proud franchise has been forced to shut down for the year.

I pray that this is only a temporary situation as the club has risen to become one of Europe's very best teams.

The absolute JOY that was
Catania football in 2008!!! 

Breaks my heart.


David said...

Very sad. Felt like I knew a lot of those guys via your blog. I hope they're back next year.

George said...

Me too.