RIP Paolo Crosti – 1953 – 2020 – Victim of COVID-19

It is with deepest regret that we announce the passing of one of the founding fathers of American football in Italy, Paolo “Big Ram” Crosti, who died after a short stay in hospital as the results of COVID-19.

The 67-year-old Crosti was not only a founder of the game but also a former player, coach, team president and just about everything else for the Milano Rams.

The Rams, now in Italy’s Div. III, were one of the first five teams to form the AIFA, the first Italian American football association in 1981. Crosti was instrumental in ensuring that the first Italian Bowl took place on July 4, 1981. The Milano Rhinos won that first title, defeating the Gallarate (later Legnano) Frogs 24-8. Crosti won two titles with the Rams in the former Golden League, which at one time was a rival American football league to the Italian Football League, the IFL (now Div. I).

“Big Ram” as Crosti was affectionally known, leaves behind him a legacy of building the game, not only in Italy but in other countries as well. He helped form the Lugano Seagulls, one of the founding clubs in Switzerland.

Hundreds of messages of condolence poured in from all over the world of American football in Europe when word of Crosti’s death was made public.

“FIDAF, with President Leoluca Orlando, Secretary-General Vincenzo Ciampà, the Federal Council, the General Secretariat, the Communications and Press Office, the CIA, all Italian coaches, athletes and teams, huddle in a moving embrace to the family and the Rams: your pain today is the pain of all of us.”

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