Friday, October 15, 2010

Red Hot Rigatoni: The Search for Lacrosse in Italia

Senior Attackman Colin Rosenblum writes to us from across the Atlantic in the first installment of his new three part segment "Red Hot Rigatoni". Click after the jump to check it out.

Ciao from Italia Red Hot Buffs. It's the day before the big DU vs. CU battle and I couldn't be more jealous. Growing up in Princeton watching Coach Tierney, I would have loved to have been able to be there on the field tomorrow.  As of late I've been putting my lax stick on the back burner and concentrating more so on living like an Italian. I'm spending the semester studying in a small northern city near Venice called Ferrara and, while I'm bummed I'm missing out on all the fall ball festivities back in Boulder, I have managed to put together a little fall ball regimen of my my own. So far it entails: eating really well and eating a lot, doing a push-up or two eventually maxing out around eighteen or so, and finally, simply just laxing. A month ago when I arrived I thought the final characteristic would have been the hardest to achieve.  Do Italians even know what lacrosse is? If so will it be close to where I'm living? Should I just switch to soccer like everyone else? As it ended up, like anything else these days when you want something, I found it via Google. A quick "lacrosse in Italy" search and a couple exchanges of broken Italian later and I found myself on a twenty minute train ride for my first practice with the Bologna Sharks, one of six teams in Italy.

Even though I found lacrosse with ease and in close and convenient proximity, that's not to say it's everywhere and that I haven't been getting some weird looks. As I waited to get picked up by one of the Sharks at the train station in Bologna, whenever I passed someone, I got the impression they were just hoping I wouldn't hit them with the weird sword/fishing net combo lumbered over my shoulder.

Once at practice things went pretty smoothly and I was surprised to find that the Bologna Sharks swim in a pretty intimidating school of three. There's Emanuele, the goalie, captain, coach, equipment manager, founder, and lacrosse enthusiast. Managing the midfield is another Emanuele, a sort-of quieter and less lacrosse enthused Emanuele. Finally, holding down the d-block is Cristian, always with cigarette in mouth ready for the post-practice hang out.


Getting suited up

Been trying to help him out with his helmet tilt but obviously still got a ways to go

Emanuele number two
From what I can tell lax season starts in November in Italia and when that time comes the Sharks get absorbed by the team up in Torino, a squad of about twenty or so guys with full gear, goals, and a real field. Next week, the Sharks and I are taking the three hour bus ride up there for a preseason practice followed by a preseason tourny. Torino, Rome, Perugia, and Milan will all face off in the "Coppa Pre-Alpina" and I must admit I'm pretty excited to ball out again.

On loan from the Bologna Sharks from the Colorado Buffaloes
Keep an eye out in the next couple weeks for my next installment of "Red Hot Rigatoni" where hopefully I'll have a fall ball trophy under my belt and some good stories to tell. For now I'll leave you with some pics that display just how easy my transition to Italian lacrosse has been.

From this
To this
From 46
To 77

From Cascade
To Brine
From the Colorado Buffaloes
To the Torino Bulls


  1. Looks like you guys are gonna be siiiiick. Glad you're doing well, YEAH BUFFS!!

  2. I love it. Pure gold.

  3. Nana and Gramps love Red Hot Buffs!

  4. get in the weight room euro0trip