Nfl, Super Bowl: San Francisco’s “Italian” dream vs. the guy who excels at all sports

An “Italian” quarterback in the Bay is synonymous with victory for those who follow American football. Joe Montana, tricolor origin (Lombard and Sicilian, above all, as he told in the interview with Repubblica), was the hero of the “golden age” of the San Francisco 49ers. An era of series of successes, 4 of 4 Super Bowls won with arms raised. Therefore, the suggestion is immediate and inevitable, now that Jimmy Garoppolo is in charge of the attack, who in social networks and in interviews, is proud of his Italian roots (Vasto, Abruzzo).


Winning Garoppolo as Montana, the beginning of a new era of triumphs? We’ll find out on the night between Sunday and Monday when the Niners will challenge the (though not by much) favorite Kansas City Chiefs (funny, that’s where Montana closed out his career with two good years).

Shanahan, coach of the 49ers, during the press conference of the week of the Super Bowl (afp)

The 49ers reach the final as the big surprise of the season. And they owe it to a dominant defense in the first place. But also an attack “old style” as productive: many runs, few shots, zero risks, if possible. Coach Shanahan, a son of art, also has an extraordinary tight end in Kittle; and about a phenomenal rookie in the back, Bosa.

Garoppolo in the drawing for Repubblica by Lorenzo Ruggiero (Marvel USA pencil), Massimo Rocca colors (Disney)

Pride for the origins of Abruzzo

But the cover challenge remains Garoppolo-Mahomes, so different and so (equally) winning. The story of “Jimmy G” (too complicated to pronounce that last name that seems like a tongue twister for Americans) is that of an athletic boy with his father, the son of Italian immigrants who worked day and night in the suburbs of Chicago to make ends meet for his family. “From him I learned the work ethic, sacrifice and professionalism,” repeats Garoppolo junior with ostentatious pride. “I never saw him, he got up at dawn and came back late at night, but he transmitted to all of us the feelings and culture of a strong Italian family.”

italian style in the bay

“Jimmy Garoppolo! What pride for us Italians in America! He is a very good boy, very very Italian, with the right values, our creativity and friendliness. And if you look at him, he has the face of a young Italian, much more.” that I am half Calabrian and the other Scottish…”, Brockman Olivo, coach of the Chicago Bears special team in the season that just ended, tells Repubblica, a past as a player with the Detroit Lions. “In San Francisco they are not in the skin, their incredible story is linked to another Italian name: Joe Montana. And now Garoppolo, you will understand the suggestion. Look at that, as I often tell friends and family, Italy and being Italian in America is considered a value, like having an extra team and “Jimmy G” is highly appreciated. And then the NFL sports saga is written by Italians: I’m thinking Montana, Dan Marino, Joe Flacco. Italian blood, not forgetting the immense Vince Lombardi who names the Super Bowl trophy after him.”

Mahomes in the drawing for Repubblica by Lorenzo Ruggiero (Marvel USA pencil), Massimo Rocca colors (Disney)

mahomes phenomenon

He wants to turn the dreams of the “Niners Nation” into nightmares, on the other hand, Patrick Mahomes, a predestined. Very strong and with a happy experience also in other competitive disciplines. As a child, he excelled not only in football but also in baseball (where he was courted by professional teams) and basketball. He chose the touchdown game, and given the results after just three seasons as a pro, it’s hard to blame him.

Mahomes (with number 15) while training in Florida (afp)

Unpredictable quarterback

Mahomes is complete and plays with a very personal but tremendously effective style. Good in the “pocket” (the area just behind the offensive line), he has a powerful arm and two very fast legs. Qualities that allow him to excel even (and above all, it must be said) in the open field and personally close down difficult downs by running and dodging tackles. Which he does often and willingly. He has a complete team at his side, well coached by veteran Andy Reid, who would like to end a long and prestigious career by winning a Super Bowl (he was beaten by the New England Patriots, in his only appearance, when he was coach in head of the Philadelphia Eagles). Even the Chiefs can count on an excellent tight end in Kelce and a high-level staff in general.

Coach Reid leads the last training session for his Chiefs before the final (afp)

That baseball technique

Mahomes, born in Tyler, Texas, is unpredictable. He manages to do it well, very well, even when he seems off balance, now prey to opposing linebackers, and he launches perfectly with his feet in the air and against the direction he’s running. He owes it to baseball. As coach Olivo explains to us: “Yes, he is unique in that and comes from past and youthful experiences in other sports. Especially in baseball, where he was very strong and that ability to throw in the opposite direction comes from there, without feet. ground and therefore seemingly unbalanced, in full swing and even unbalanced. It’s the gift of him, it makes him even harder to predict, that’s why I also give the bosses slightly favorites of him, but don’t underestimate the winning character of Garoppolo. . . “.

Mahomes (left), Garoppolo (right) and the Super Bowl trophy (afp)

Jimmy and Patrick, that visit to the hospital

Garoppolo, these days, wanted to remember how about a year ago, right against the Chiefs, his knee gave out. Bad ligament injury and goodbye season. “When he was in the hospital, in the first hours after the injury, it was Mahomes, who he didn’t know off the field. He wanted to know how he was, he was interested in my state of health, he encouraged me. . I haven’t forgotten… Authentic sports gestures, handsome.

Katie Sowers, in the coaching staff of the 49ers (afp)

Garoppolo and the female coach at the Super Bowl

Much appreciated by “Jimmy G” and his fellow attackers, Katie Sowers could become the first woman to win a Super Bowl. He’s on the San Francisco coaching staff and follows the 49ers’ wide receivers and tight ends. “She’s good and knowledgeable and we have a wonderful professional relationship and friendship with her,” the quarterback said throughout the season and also at Super Bowl news conferences.

Garoppolo during a training session prior to the Super Bowl (afp)

Everything is ready in Miami for a grand finale that promises to be spectacular. “Jimmy G right now is a bit of our tricolor flag,” Giorgio Tavecchio, a Milanese transplanted to California since he was 10 years old and a kicker in the NFL after having done well with both the Oakland Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons, tells Repubblica. . – I expect an uncertain match until the end and, as always, whoever wins deserves”. Absolutely, George.
Juan Marino

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