In honor of Columbus Day, and with both of your bloggers here at IWIWAR being proud Italian-Americans, we proudly present to you a 22-man NFL squad made up entirely of active players with Italian ancestry. They could probably beat the Dolphins, right? And maybe the Rams?
QB - Brian Griese (backup - Vinny Testaverde)
Griese gets the nod solely for his play in the second half of last night's win over Green Bay. And why not make Testaverde the backup? He's accustomed to the role, that's for sure.
RB - Travis Henry - I know he's not technically Italian, but you can't tell me that one of his nine children isn't at least part-Italian. Close enough.
WR - Greg Camarillo - Sure, he hasn't made it on the stat sheet yet this year for Miami. But he went to Stanford, and that's a powerhouse program, right, USC?
WR - Bobby Sippio - This Kansas City Chief would provide a nice 6-foot-3 target for Griese (or Vinny) to go to. Just disregard the fact that he's a 26-year old rookie. No big deal.
TE - Anthony Fasano - A Jersey kid who went to Notre Dame. That'll be big for drawing fan support for this fake team. If he didn't play behind Jason Witten he could be putting up big numbers for the Cowboys.
TE - Liro Luoto - Since there was a lack of running backs to use, we're going to go with two tight ends in the starting lineup. And how could we pass on Liro Luoto? Maybe he wasn't good enough to make the Jets roster this year (uh-oh) but c'mon, with a name like that? Okay, fine, he's apparently from Finland. We'll change this choice to Christian Fauria then.
LT - Jason Fabini - A starter for most of the past 10 years in the league, Fabini anchors our line at left tackle.
LG - Chris Naeole - Another decade-long starter, Naeole plays left guard for us.
C - Dominic Raiola - This might be the most legitimate player on the team at this point, which isn't a great sign.
RG - Alan Faneca - The perennial Pro Bowler is used to being on the left side with the Steelers, but he's versatile enough that he can fill our void on the right side. Oh, and I'm not even sure he's Italian. Sounds close enough, though.
RT - Richie Incognito - He's a big, crazy man, which is great for the offensive line.
DE - Mike Devito - He's a Maine Black Bear for God's sake. What else do you need to know??
NG - Ryan Boschetti - The four-year vet has had some productive seasons with Washington since entering the league out of UCLA.
DE - Ryan LaCasse - Our first Brooklyn native, Ryan is on the waiver wire right now waiting for some NFL team to snatch him up.
LB - Tedy Bruschi - Tedy is equal parts Filipino and Italian, and that's good enough to make this squad.
LB - John DiGiorgio - Coming from Saginaw Valley State and playing for Buffalo might mean that you've never heard of DiGiorgio. But he has 25 tackles and a half-sack in the first three games.
LB - Vinny Ciurciu - Another Jersey guy, though his status as a Boston College alum might put him at odds with any Golden Domers on the team.
LB - Jon Abbate - One of the main reasons that Wake Forest (first Demon Deacon football player to ever turn pro early) made a BCS bowl last year, Abbate is now toiling with the Texans, who are trying to move him from LB to fullback. But we're keeping him on defense.
CB - Ray Ventrone - He had two tackles for the Pats against Minnesota in week 2 last year, making him eminently qualified to start at DB on this team.
CB - Matt Giordano - The Cal grad had an 83-yard INT return for a score against New Orleans in this year's season opener.
FS - Jon Corto - Is it a bad sign when there are multiple Buffalo Bills on the squad?
SS - Sabby Piscatelli - I can't find much about this guy at all. But his last name is definitely Italian and he's played in three games for Tampa Bay this year.
K - Adam Vinatieri - No debate here. The only Hall of Famer on this list.
P - Saverio Rocca - The Eagles' punter is actually from Australia with Italian descent, but it was either him or Daniel Sepulveda, who I'm fairly certain is not a paisan.
Special Teams - Larry Izzo - Of course we're making the starters play on special teams, too, but we have one guy who is a certified special teams expert.
Head Coach - Lee Corso - That's the only way to guarantee any coverage from the Worldwide Leader.
Assistant Coaches - Mike D'Antoni (the man's a genius, right?!?), Steve Mariucci, Jay Paterno (so I could fire him), Tom Izzo (friend of Mariucci's), Rick Pitino (if we're adding hoops coaches, why not?)
So there you have it. In honor of Columbus Day, there's your Italian-American Pro Bowl squad.