Saturday, February 9, 2008

American Football in Rome

As I said in a previous entry, I am playing American football here in Rome. I discovered this team when I was trying to find something to do to get out of the house, and I googled "american football in rome." I came up with a website for the Roma Gladiatori, which is Rome's professional American football team.

I was able to determine that there was an under 21 and under 17 team in addition to the professional team, but I was lost after that. So my mom sat down and tried to figure out what the site said. We eventually got the email address of the coach for the under 17 team and sent him an email explaining that I was an American living in Rome and, if it was possible, I would like to play on the under 17 team. We received a call within an hour of sending the email, and were told that they would love it if I would play with them. I mentioned the fact that I had never actually played football on a team before, but that didn't seem to matter.

We were given directions to the sports complex, which we discovered was some distance away, and were told that I could come to practice that night at eight. We left soon after and finally got to the field after taking a bus, a train, a metro, and walking a couple of blocks from the metro stop to the complex.

When we got there, we met Fabrizio, who is the head coach and speaks English because he is a pilot, and flies to America on a regular basis. We stayed for a while, and I lost any apprehension I had about playing when a linebacker raced through to the quarterback, grabbed him by the helmet, swung him around in a circle, and threw him down on the ground, not realizing that he had committed a blatant foul. I guess knowing what a facemask is is something most people on a football team in America take for granted.

Anyway, I have been really enjoying practice, and I have some sort of scrimmage on the twenty-fourth, so I'll give an update then.


Mike said...

Hey Thomas,

Best of luck on the team! I've read a bit about American football in Italy. Some really dedicated folks.

You say you lost apprehension upon seeing the QB get jerked around by his facemask???

So, do you have a helmet and pads? What position(s) are you playing?

I hope it's fun!

Papa/Dad said...

Thomas, so glad to hear about your football. With an additional 70 lbs. you are an ideal Wide Out! Sounds like the trip to & from practice is awesome. You missed a great Super Bowl, which I sure you heard or read about. I'm working on a trip to Rome, hopefully with Clayt. More on that later. Had a great talk with your mother. So good to hear from y'all. Love to 1 & all. Papa/Dad

Lisa from Next Door! said...

Now Thomas: the RUGBY!! PLEASE!!

Next thing for you to enjoy!!
Ireland thrashed the Italians three weeks ago and I suppose Football will be seen in the same light: IT'S not Soccer!!

Have fun!! (Areyout trying to get on the Loyola team by the back door!!)