Saturday, June 11, 2011

Great Woman, Great Cause

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Ralph DeBernardo and his mom Pat, 2007

Ralph DeBernardo ’09, a great offensive lineman for Columbia, is joining Justin Nunez '07 and a few other Lion football alums in participating in an event I’ve written about before called The Decathlon.

But Ralph is competing in honor of his mom, a woman I was privileged to know for too short a time myself. Pat DeBernardo died in 2009 of cancer.

I still expect to see her every time I go to a Columbia game. She was really great in every way.

Here’s a message from Ralph himself:

“I am doing this event in honor of my Mom and I hope you can join me in honoring her and others who have/are fighting this tough battle. She devoted her life to helping others during her 30 year career as a nurse, maintaining a constant full time work schedule even while going through intense chemotherapy. I hope that together we can raise money in support of this tremendous cause, which will help both people currently battling cancer and fund research to prevent it in the future.”
Donations and how to contribute:

All donations go to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and are 100% tax deductible. Please go to and search for 'Ralph DeBernardo' on the upper right side of the website. There are a few different ways to donate, you can either give a one-time flat amount or you can use the performance-based style that The Decathlon has created."

Preview of Coming Attractions

I just stumbled upon to this video of a game Sean Brackett’s high school team played back in 2008. Even though Brackett’s team lost by a lot, you can see some snippets of his blossoming talent at that time.

100 Most Important Moments of 2010

#99: Try, Try Again

Trailing Fordham by a 3-0 score early in the 2nd quarter, the Lions found themselves started a drive at their own 14. After getting an initial first down from three running plays to the 25, Columbia started getting bitten by the penalty bug.

A false start made it 1st and 15 from the 20.

And two plays later, a holding flag negated a 27-yard completion to Mike Stephens.

But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as QB Sean Brackett connected with Nico Gutierrez for 39 yards on the next play.

The Lions ended up getting a field goal on that drive and tying the game 3-3.

But this sequence would turn out to be the first inkling of a remarkably resilient Lions squad throughout 2010.

It may not have been as good a year as many of us hoped for Columbia football, but the bounce back ability the team showed was a pleasant surprise.

These Lions didn’t give up, even in several games when it looked like all hope was lost.

They didn’t give up when they fell behind 24-0 to Yale, (and ended up losing just barely by a 31-28 score).

They didn’t give up when they trailed Cornell 17-7 late in the game, (and ended up winning 20-17).

Obviously Columbia didn’t always win the games even when they kept fighting, but the 2010 Lions showed les “quit” than almost any other Light Blue unit I’d seen in a long time.


At Sat Jun 11, 09:36:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

.... noticed in the Brackett video that Sean played both ways .... looks like he was a saftey on defense ....

Frank F 70C

At Sun Jun 12, 04:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he was not so hot on defense in the clip. Interestingly, that game highlights did not feature any of his running abilities. What I think we have in Sean is a kid who advances his game to another level each year. So not only do our coaches need to make better use of his already proven talents, they need to understand how and where he is developing further and stretch him.

With Brackett and the O line we have and the running backs Gerst and Garrett and a dose of silvio and chao (my chinese brutha) I cannot see why we would not be able to pound the opposing defenses with 35-40 running plays per game and maybe 20 passes. Time of possession should tilt our way in nearly every game 35/25. And if braddock or andrade can make a difference at WR in addition to Stephens...then we'll have a nice balanced offense.

I know we need to stop the other side's run game but until this defemsive solution kicks in we are just gonna have to outscore people. Even if we have to win games 35-28, that's ok.

Chen 82


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