MPRon's Homemade Video of Mario is linked above. (click on More Memories of Mario Danelo)
By Dipwad Ed
I was invited to the Players' After Party after the Big Rose Bowl Victory last Monday evening and ended up seated right next to the Danelo family and friends' table. Throughout the last two seasons, Mario and I had developed a bit of a ritual before EVERY Tuesday football practice. We would greet each other, give a hug, and talk for a couple of minutes. Very nice,quiet guy, but none-the-less he always had a smile on his face as he and other players would typically play soccer near the south goal-post prior to practice.At the after party, I met his mom for the first time telling her that, "I probably hugged her son more than her.”
My memories of him will always be of an up-beat, kind-of quiet guy , but he always had that terrific smile going, To accomplish what he did before and during his USC journey is amazing , setting NCAA records for PATs and always performing under pressure with perfection. I hope many of us can carry on a positve thought for #19, Mario Danelo. I know I will.
A Terrible Loss
I never did have the privilege of actually meeting Mario, but I did at least have the pleasure of seeing him play in person on two occasions, the 2006 season opener at Arkansas and then Homecoming against Oregon. I found his performance against the Razorbacks particularly memorable; those two long-distance first-half field goals, in that hostile SEC environment, was nothing short of awesome, a true clutch performance. He was a worthy successor to Ryan Killeen, and had nothing but the highest hopes and expectations for him going into the 2007 season. This is truly a terrible loss for the whole family. My prayers go out to Mario's surviving family, friends, and teammates. Go with God, Mario, and Fight On.