Antonio Cassano is a character. That's the polite way of saying it. Another way, perhaps a more blunt way of saying it, is that Cassano is the epitome of a crazy dago.
Cassano is a young striker on the roster for the Azzurri this year even though he wasn't a part of the 2006 World Cup team. Apparently, the Italian coach is considering starting him against France tomorrow. Given Cassano's incredible talent, it would seem like a smart move. However, when you take into consideration that Cassano can draw a red card faster than I can type "red card," you also realize how dicey a move that could be.
Cassano is surely a gifted player. He was recently on the roster (alongside David Beckham) at Real Madrid, until they decided to ship him back to Italy. Basically, the kid has a passion for food and therefore a propensity for becoming a fatty. I have no trouble with that. He also, however, has the disposition of a rattlesnake, and he's just as likely to drop trou and give himself wedgies on the field as he is to threaten officials, slap people, and basically cause a whole big fucking scene. Like I said, crazy dago. Me, I'm a lover of the outrageous, so this is right up my alley as sheer entertainment. However, also being a lover of watching the Azzurri in as many matches as possible, I'm not so sure about having him trot onto the field tomorrow. Gigi, class act that he is, says he advised Cassano to just count to five before reacting to dumb shit. My advice? Score a fuckin' goal, Tony. Nothing makes people forgive more than that.
Which brings us to Christian Panucci.
Panucci is a defender and a cutie. But he also hadn't been part of the 2006 World Cup team after a tough 2002 World Cup game. (He wasn't quite on the lists with Bill Buckner, but he didn't make a lot of fans.) But he managed to be on his toes a few days ago and scored Italy's first goal in this Euro Championships, so now he's a big hero.
Anyhow, the match against France is tomorrow. That's a rematch of the World Cup finals, so it's sort of a big deal. Though, that match ended with the infamous Zinedine Zidane headbutt of Italy's Marco Materazzi, (are those names fabulous or what?) which was the strange swan song to the great Zidane's career and the clincher for Italy. Zidane is now retired, but I wouldn't be shocked to be seeing some sort of heading or butting if Cassano does take the field. I hope they pull it off. It'd be a shame to leave those other D&G underwear ads un-scrutinized.