Monday, June 4, 2018

A Trip to the Bergamo Lions vs. Lazio Ducks Game

Sunday, 3 June, 2018

Today was the beginning of our last month in delightful Italy. What better way to start these final 31 days than a road trip to watch an Italian DI American football game?

Lazio Ducks (4-5)
Bergamo Lions (3-6)

We had several reasons to make the 90 minute drive to the southeast for this final game of the DI regular season.

 To begin, the first year Ducks were coached by our good coaching friend Bart Iaccarino who is also the Athletic Director and Defensive Line Coach for our Europe Warriors All-Star team that will play in Chihuahua, Mexico this coming August.

Secondly, our outstanding Skorpions Strong Safety Nicolas Principi has been selected to play for the Warriors this Summer so it afforded him a chance to meet Bart.

Finally, Warriors LB Herbert Gamboa plays for the Ducks and to our surprise U19 Warrior Joey Fuentes was at the game as well.

Joey was our go-fer guy for the Warriors Senior team last August in Mexico City, was a starting Offensive Lineman for our U19 Warriors team last December in Texcoco, Mexico and played for Bart last year when they were both with the Rues Imperials in Spain. Joey was just visiting Bart this weekend as he still plays for the Imperials.

Thus the three of us we were off to the greater Bergamo area, the village of Verdello to be exact, where the Lions' home field is located.

 Good looking edifice

To set the game stage a bit, here is what you need to know.

In the first decade of the 21st-century, the Bergamo Lions were the Evil Empire of American football in Italy. They were portrayed as such in the 2007 John Grisham novel Playing for Pizza and I found them to be a tad sketchy when our Catania Elephants played them in 2008 and again in 2009.

Today the Lions are a mere shadow of those long ago powerhouse days entering this contest with a 3-6 record.

As for the Ducks, they are a new club that was formed this year in Rome when the old Marines and Grizzlies teams opted to merge.

A win today would put the Ducks into the post-season as the #4 seed thus giving them a home game in the DI Wild Card round of the playoffs.   

Nicolas Principi with injured
Bergamo QB Andrea Fimiani

They were teammates back in their flag football days if I heard the story correctly.

 The Second Half Kickoff
found the Ducks in control 19-6

It did not feel that close as the Ducks were in command of the game with only some dropped passes keeping them from at least another two first half scores.

The Ducks do LOVE to air it out

A solid win for the Men of the Tiber

The game over and a playoff spot secured, it was time to chat with our friends again and take a few photos.

With Bart and Joey

Bart's big smile is partly because of today's win and partly because of his joy when he told us that he and his lovely bride Chiara are expecting the arrival of their second son in November.


With Bart and Nicolas

With Herbert and Bart

All of us in these last three photos will meet again in August with the Europe Warriors in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Here are the Final Standings for the Italian DI American Football League:

Congratulations to Europe Warriors DC
and Milano Seamen HC Mike Wood
for an outstanding season

The DI Playoff Bracket

The #4 Lazio Ducks (5-5) will host the #5 Ancona Dolphins (4-6) in two weeks. The Ducks edged the Dolphins 36-30 in their regular season meeting in early May.

The winner will travel to Milano to play the #1 seeded Seamen (10-0).

All in all, it was another great day in Italy with good friends!


David said...

The most fascinating part of all this, at lesat for me, is the discovery that when you merge Marines and Grizzlies, you get Ducks.

George said...

You really need to study and research more about in the areas of simple genetics and heredity.