Italian soccer fans still buzz about the tiny, virtually unknown, Il Pomodoro club winning the prestigious Tutta Italia Championship. Pomodoro took a 1-0 leader just 33 seconds into its first-round game when striker Piero Albrizzi headed the ball into the opponents goal.
The opposing club, SSC Napoli, shrugged. So Albrizzi scored a goal. Big Deal. Everyone knew he could score. But the club was also aware, as were all soccer teams, that Il Pomodoro was just plain horrible on defense. A 9-1 defeat proved to be all too frequent for the Il Pomodro Tomatoes, whose motto is “Ci proviamo duro” or “We try hard.”
Then coach Vicenzo de’ Medici unleashed his secret weapon. As soon as his team got the ball, he called time out and substituted rattlesnakes for all his players. Alberto Pazzi, knowing the extreme slowness of rattlesnakes, ran to take the ball away from rattler Cesare Borgia. While rattlesnakes move slowly across football fields, they strike like lighting. And so, Borgia sunk his fangs into Pazzi. Pazzi sunk poisoned to the ground. Naturally, none of the SSC Napoli players felt like approaching Pomodoro’s rattlers after that. Il Pomodoro simply ran out the clock and won 1-0.
The next three rounds against Juventus, Atalanta, and Inter Milan followed the same script. Super fast Albrizzi would score an early goal and then on came the rattlesnakes. Every game ended with a Pomodoro victory of 1 – 0. The 74,223-to-1 underdog was now soccer-mad Italy’s top dog.
The grumbling about using snake as soccer players continue. As of press time, Italy’s Soccer Federation, is seriously considering banning the use of non-human players. If the Federation fails to prohibit animals, look for the introduction of black bears, tigers, and pumas into the game. We live in exciting times.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.