CWRU Spartans Set to Depart for Italy – Game vs. Milano Rhinos to be Webcast
Members of the Case Western Reserve Spartans football team, staff and family members are set to depart for Italy on Saturday, May 9th. Over nine-days the Spartans will tour from Rome heading north through Tuscany and finishing in the Lake Como region just north of Milan. Near the end of their journey, the Spartans will take on the American football club Milano Rhinos in and international game on Saturday, April 16th.
Case Western Reserve University is bringing a roster of 24 student-athletes who committed to raise the funds to take in this special international education and athletic experience. Last May, Ohio Wesleyan University travelled with American Football Worldwide to tour Italy during which they competed with and defeated the Aquile in Ferrara, Italy (between Bologna and Venice).
The CWRU tour group will take in the historic sites of Imperial Rome including touring the Coliseum and Roman Forum. The group will also tour Vatican City including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. After a morning practice in Rome on Day 3, the group moves north through Tuscany for an afternoon in delightful Siena. The following day will be spent fully exploring Florence, home to the significant Renaissance period. The group will then get to enjoy a delightful oceanside day in the Cinque Terra region along the Liguorian Sea before heading to Parma for a special football event.
On the evening of Thursday, May 14th the CWRU Spartans will co-practice with the famed Parma Panthers one of, if not, Italy’s premier American football club and winners of four of the past five Italian Football League championships. The Panthers of Parma were the central Italian football club in award-winning American author John Grisham’s light novel Playing for Pizza. The following day, the Spartans tour party moves north to explore Milan before lodging in Como at the tip of Lake Como.
On Saturday, May 16th after a relaxing day enjoying Como the team will head to historic Gianni Brera Stadium near Milan for a 7:30 contest against the Milano Rhinos from the Italian Football League, the highest level of adult club football in Italy. The game will be webcast at http://livestream.com/
Italy has long had American football in its country as a club sport. Adults, starting in their late teens, took a liking to the game they started to see on TV in very select areas in the 1960s. Some of the NFL’s greatest coaches are of Italian descent including Dick Vermeil, Sam Rutigliano, Bill Parcells and the incomparable Vince Lombardi. Daryle Lamonica, Joe Montana and Dan Marino are some of the more famous NFL quarterbacks of Italian heritage. Also fueling the interest in American football in Italy was the success of Heisman Trophy winners Angelo Bertelli (QB/Notre Dame, ‘43), Alan Ameche (FB/Wisconsin, ’54) and Joe Cappellitti (RB/Penn State, ’73).
AFW is working in cooperation with the Italian Federation of American Football (FIDAF), one of the leading American football federations in Europe. Additional game information with the possibility of a webcast announcement should be offered shortly.