Immigrants are the foundation of this great nation of America. When Columbus landed on the East Coast, any Italian betting man would lay a wager that he taught the Native Americans how to make a good gravy. Our Italian mothers throughout the centuries have handed that tradition down for two reasons. One, so that there children would eat, and second that if any Italian boy could cook for a woman, and that would be a catch.
Our Canadian friends to the north have Italian mothers that teach their boys at a young age a good gravy and how to skate. I had the great luxury of growing up in Los Angeles, but my parents from Brooklyn had me watching hockey. Dinners consisted of Pasta and hockey. My siblings and I had flimsy aluminum television trays circled around this huge Magnavox black and white television. Ma had one rule. No gravy better not leave your plate and hit the carpet. My dad rest in peace would scream “Where are all our people.? Where the hell are the Paisans? What’s a matter we can’t skate? I took your mother ice skating every weekend. Didn’t I doll? “Mom would smile and say “Wipe your mouth off, your going to hit the carpet.” Every Italian that played other sports were always the best in my dads opinion. Joe DiMaggio was the greatest baseball player ever. Vince Lombardi the greatest football Coach ever. You get the drift? At a time when Wayne Gretzky dominated hockey, pops loved Dino Ciccarelli, a great player, but no Gretzky.
Fast forward to 2018 and Las Vegas gets an NHL team. On the greatest run of any first year expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have a kid on there team named Luca Sbisa. Born in Ozieri, Italy, Sbisa, the alternate captain of this desert franchise is a great locker room presence. He has been injured for a better part of the season, but his leadership has been a big part of the Knights huge success this year. Sbisa, has been playing professionally for twelve years. He’s bounced around the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League, World Hockey League, and even played in Europe. Now he has a home in the desert. A home in Las Vegas, that has a long tradition of Italian influence. Italian financing helped build Las Vegas. Entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin showcased the Casinos for decades. Now, finally after this all these years, Las Vegas gets a true professional sports franchise. A team that has made history with victories. Trust me pops somewhere, is rooting for Luca Sbisa to be a part of the Golden Knights for many years to come.