Saturday, July 13, 2019

Good News, a Graduation and a Dinner Party

Thursday, 11 July, 2019

Day #175 of this year's EuroBall experience would be both fun and hectic.

First, we had good news on the Varese Skorpions front as five of our players were selected to play for Team Italy in the EuroBall U19 Tournament at the end of the month.

The Skorpions who made the cut were LB Pietro Migliori, LB Stefano "Lusu" Lusuriello, DB Manuel "Biondo" Bulgheroni, WR Matteo "Mozza" Mozzanica and, finally, RB Alessandro "Brovo" Brovelli who just returned from a year in the USA as a high school foreign exchange student.

It will be an eight team tournament
to be held in nearby Bologna

Team Italy will play its opener against Team Denmark on July 29th.
Every team will play three games
in the tournament

Besides teams from Italy and Denmark, the tournament will also see squads from Sweden, Norway, France, Finland, Austria and Spain in the competition.

As is typical of these American Football tournaments played on a continent used to playing soccer tournaments, they leave me scratching my head just a bit.

The big scheduling problem is financial. It would be hard to come up with the needed Euros to travel three times to play games three different weekends.

Thus, this tournament is compressed into just seven days with games with all eight teams playing games in a Monday-Thursday-Sunday format.

It makes sense financially but this playoff structure is a bit clueless in regards to the physical demands of playing American football.

It should be a great experience for all of the participants, one that hopefully will see growth in our Skorpion players both on and off the field.

In the afternoon, we needed to head into Milano for a special event, good friend Marta Crosta's graduation exam at the Università degli Studi di Milano.

In Italy, the graduation from college experience is a lot different than in the USA.

Officially, Marta had already completed all of her requirements for her degree. There was just one thing left to do and that was to defend her final thesis. For about ten minutes in front of a board of three university professors in a small auditorium filled with not just her family and friends but also with loved ones of the other four students to be grilled along with Marta during the one hour process.

If all went according to plan, Marta would receive her degree in languages and the celebration would begin in earnest.

The grand entrance to the
Università degli Studi de Milano,
a.k.a., Ca' Granda

The university's nickname, Ca' Granda, is local Milanese dialect for "Big House." 

This building dates from the 1400s and was originally commissioned by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, to be a community hospital called the Ospedale Maggiore. 

 Every great university has
a unicorn statue


One of several interesting carvings
on the university's archways

Marta before the exam

She seemed confident but, as expected, a bit nervous.

Asked what her goal was in today's exam, she responded was to finish with a score of 100 or better in the Italian grading system that goes up to 110 I think.

Each of the five women that were openly questioned during our hour in the university's Aula 102 had to first explain some part of their work in French before returning to their native Italian.

Marta's study dealt with the work of French philosopher Albert Camus.

 After the exams, all five women
had to wait another 15 minutes for
the professors to total up the scores

Marta, on the far left, was happy
and confident, so was NicolasPrincipi
in the middle

Our five soon to officially be graduates
standing in front of the professors
to be read their marks

Marta was extremely happy when they announced that her final score was a 101, thus exceeding her expectation!

No one else in this group got a higher score.

 Nicolas crowning now
Dottoressa Marta Crosta!

In Italy, college graduates receive these colorful laurel wreaths as a sign of their fantastic accomplishment.


A happy, hard working
young lady to be sure!

Marta and her uncle

Laurie liked Marta's red shoes

 One of the three professors
came out to personally congratulate
Marta and tell her how well she
performed today

 Basking in the afterglow

 A girl and her unicorn

It was picture time.

Marta with her Mom Daniela
and Dad Gianni

 Marta with Nicolas

If this pose looks familiar, maybe it's because . . .

. . . it was similar to last Saturday
night's pose after Nicolas and his
Milano Seamen won the DI Italian
National Championship

What a week this great, young couple has had!

Marta with her family and friends

 The four of us in a serious pose

Marta wanted us in somewhat
of a Heisman Trophy pose

How could we refuse the Dottoressa?

The university is a five minute
walk from the Duomo

We were headed here for a celebratory aperitivo at the Galleria's posh . . .

. . . that overlooks the
Piazza del Duomo

A good looking laurel wreath

 Marta and her proud
Mother Daniela

After our aperitivos, we parted ways as we had to get back to Varese for a Skorpion coaches dinner party hosted by defensive Coordinator Dani Donati and his wife Antonella in their beautiful home.

Dani was making his
signature dish, Spanish paella

It looked good and the aromas were enticing.

Dani at work

Sofia and Arianna

Both key parts of our first year Skorpions Women's Flag football team, Arianna is Dani and Antonella's daughter.

As is usual with any Skorpions
social function, there was fun
to be had by all

And a few mussels and we were
ready for a delicious taste treat

Locusts at the dinner table

 Crema Catalana for
dessert was spot on!

The post dinner revelry
was about to start

It would be a Skorpions party
with a visit from the Village People

Another wonderful day in Lombardia

As always . . .

It's GREAT to be a Skorpion!

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