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posted: 5/20/2014 5:01 AM

Thanks for playing up Garoppolo story

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A quick note of thanks to Mike Imrem for his engaging and heartfelt column on May 12 about Arlington Heights native, and brand-new New England Patriot, Jimmy Garoppolo. It is the kind of opinion piece that reminds readers of what makes we Midwesterners (all humility aside) so special: our kindness.

Imrem is, so far as we can see, the only local journalist to shine a spotlight on this story. Imagine: Local boy from Chicago area makes good -- really, really good -- and what do the local media do? Nothing. Granted, da Bears are Numero Uno regardless of their mediocrity; still, you'd think a positive story about a local athlete being groomed to replace legendary QB Tom Brady would garner some interest.

At the risk of giving offense, we think one reason the story's been so underplayed may be due to bias: Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't conform to the media's idea of "Italian." He is intelligent, articulate, and "all-American," a far cry from ubiquitous Jersey Shore guidos, mobstar actors, and Capone cafones.

Indeed, if the subject is Italian-Americans and football, sports writers should be the first to highlight such an august linkage. Italians have contributed to the sport for decades, from Angelo Bertelli in the 1940s to kicker Adam Vinatieri leading the Patriots to the first of their many Super Bowls in the early 2000s. And isn't football's top trophy named after a coach with a vowel at the end of his name? (Note: Vince Lombardi was also a chemistry professor in addition to being a football coach -- no dumb jock was he.)

We salute Mr. Imrem both for his journalistic skills as well as for his simple neighborliness. Bravo!

Bill Dal Cerro

National President

Italic Institute of America Midwest Office

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