If you've been outside the U.S. you know that despite whatever the NFL might say, finding someone with an even passing interest in American football isn't always easy. That is, unless you go to Italy and bump into Fausto Batella. Though he's a soccer fan, like pretty much everyone there, Batella is especially passionate about professional American...

Things have been so bleak for San Francisco in recent years that one successful start by the franchise quarterback of the future was enough to get the 49ers faithful dreaming big. Jimmy Garoppolo is already being compared to greats such as Joe Montana by the fans and talk radio shows after winning his first start for San Francisco, praise he quickl...

Of the five coaches Vince Promuto played for in his 11-year NFL career – all with the Redskins – the two-time Pro Bowl guard admired Vince Lombardi by far. Despite being a quarter-century apart in age, the two felt a kinship for each other, in large part because of their Italian ethnicity. They were also tough guys from New York City. Lombardi coac...

Giorgio Tavecchio, a huge international soccer fan, wanted to take home a piece of history from the Oakland Raiders game at historic Estadio Azteca. So the Raiders kicker grabbed a ball that had the NFL In Mexico logo emblazoned upon it when the team arrived back at its headquarters on Monday. Then he wondered if the K-ball he grabbed, labeled No....

They both have that Italian blood coursing through their body, fueling a passion for family and football. The father – Mike Dimino – is the coach, fierce, sometimes frantic and always in charge at Del Campo High School. The son – Tyler Dimino – is the quarterback, steady, accurate, unflappable with the admiration of his teammates for leading an 11-...

Mike Adamle spent a lifetime in sports, playing for three NFL teams and working in a 40-year sports media career that has ranged from WMAQ-Ch. 5 sports anchor to covering the Olympics, so he seems a like natural for the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, which will induct him Saturday. Perhaps with one hitch. “It’s funny, we have this t...

Joe Fortunato was such a dominating force during a 12-year career with the Bears that if he had played elsewhere, he might be even more revered as one of the game’s all-time great linebackers. But as a member of the Bears and a teammate of Bill George, known as the first true middle linebacker in the sport, Fortunato’s credentials never got quite t...

Brock Olivo's parents could have been HGTV stars had they been born to this era. Honestly, it's not hard to imagine. "I'm David Olivo, and this is my wife, Vicki, and our two children, Brock and Daisy. After my NFL career ended, Vicki and I found a new passion together, moving into old homes and renovating them before moving on to the next one. Wel...

“The Italians were better fitted for games of quickness, dexterity, and skill, rather than rugged strength, and were too fiery and impulsive of feeling for contact sports”. Compared to American athletes, Italians' “tendency to the extreme of elation, or to the opposite extreme of despondency” made them “fearless, daring, and reckless” but also “mor...

For five years, it was the same disheartening scenario. Giorgio Tavecchio would intrigue a team just enough to make its preseason roster and go through training camp, only to get cut. Sometimes it was earlier, sometimes it was later. But always he’d find himself at home, watching yet another NFL season start without him. “Close,” Tavecchio said whe...