Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Red Hot Rigatoni: American Soil

A little late but still here. Click after the jump to read the second installment from attackman Colin Rosenblum's search for lacrosse in Italia.
Alright, so I got home from Italy a couple weeks ago, and, although the cheesy title reads Red Hot Rigatoni, it's definitely been all burgers, steaks, and Mexican food since I've been back. Tomorrow morning I start the long drive from New Jersey back to Boulder and my eyes are definitely set westward and on what's ahead for my last semester. I could definitely have just dropped the final 2 installments of this so called three part series but, to be honest, theres a lot of good Italy lax content thats been sitting in this draft for about two months now just waiting to go, so why waste it now.

When I last checked in the Bologna Sharks and I were days away from our first contest of the season, the Torino Cup. Unfortunately, a sprained ankle, a bruised elbow, and a status update on my newsfeed later, and I'd discovered we'd forfaited. Like I said in part one, the Bologna Sharks swim in a pretty intimidating school of three, so, two players on injured reserve and any hope of being considered a team goes out the window. We put the Torino Cup behind us and set our sights on the season opener, two weeks later, in Rome.

When the time came I grabbed the train to Bologna where I met up with the Sharks and began our roadtrip to Rome, about four hours south. We were met upon arrival by the rest of our team, a group of about 8-9 guys who traveled all the way from Torino, a trek that takes about 7 hours.

Quite the distance for one game
Arrival in Rome
The morning before the game we squeezed in a quick practice in a field next to a church that I knew had to be a big deal.

Turns out it was the San Paolo, first founded in 324 but that I'm sure looks way different these days.

After lunch we headed over to a different field at a local university for the game.

Unfortunately, after all was said and done we lost 9-4 to the Roma Leones. They were stacked with players from their world team and we were a young time comprised entirely of first year players. Passing and catching was definitely our downfall. Regardless, it was enjoyable yelling things in Italian up and down the field and being the only American out there. I definitely got some interesting looks when I lined up to start the game, definitely the first Buffalo to hit the Italian lacrosse circuit. There were rumors of an American defenseman from Stevens Tech who was supposed to be playing for the Leones. I was kinda pumped to see he wasn't there. Not trying to go across the Atlantic and get de-twigged by another American, especially infront of the kids I've been coaching. After everything I ended up going 3 and 1 in my Italian Lacrosse debut and felt pretty good about it. Wish I could of given the Torino Bulls/Bologna Sharks a win in their first ever game but after 80 straight minutes I was pretty cooked.

The captain of the Leones as well as the President of the Italian Lacrosse Federation is twenty four year old Fabio Antonelli. After the game we went to his apartment and hanging on the wall was a Grandview Highschool lacrosse jacket. Turns out he went to highschool in Colorado and even knows some boulderites. His room was like a little lacrosse museum. Everything from old wooden sticks to a signed Kyle Harrison's Hopkins helmet graced the walls. Kyle Harrison even came to Italy to run a clinic along with Joe Walters by request from Antonelli. The day after I left UVA defenseman Brett Hughes was coming to do the same.

Antonelli on the right
Grandview Jacket

Before we left Fabio gave Emanuale enough gear to outfit 5 more players. With only enough gear for 3, the Sharks could only be team of 3. Now, more gear means more Bologna Sharks and more teams in the Italian Lacrosse Federation. I tried to contribute as well, leaving a couple helmets and other stuff from highschool that I had shipped out. 
Emanuale with the Hun School lid
A couple months and a few games later and I'm back on American soil, super excited to get back to Boulder, ski Eldora a day or two, and then get the season started. In 2014 the World games come to Denver and hopefully I'll get to meet up again with a couple of the Bologna Sharks. Until then, stay tuned for a big 2011 season from the Red Hot Buffs where hopefully I can convince our coaches to throw these on the back of our helmets.

1 comment:

  1. colin !! great story man, actually its especially interesting to me since i'm actually on my way to go play for the same team you did, i played for the wheat ridge farmers and after graduation wanted to travel, so i figured italy for ancestry reasons, as you did google and facebook helped me spot the new bologna sharks I should fly out as soon as my italian passport is issued but I was in contact with emanuel around the same time you where playing there. anyways its always great to see that lacrosse finds its way out of its roots great job man!