"Wow... Italy..." I said, non-commitally, though my soul was on fire with joy.
"Yeah," he said, grinning. "They're really takin' it to 'em. Can't stand them."
Oh, the beauty of anti-Italian solidarity! Later, when I saw the extended highlight package, my only regret was that I couldn't watch the game whole. De Rossi's early blunder could not have been more karmically just. The Italians, in fairness, did seem to get the wrong end of a few questionable decisions (I hate the 50-50 offsides call going against the goal-scoring team), but they also continued to distinguish themselves for their mastery of repugnant false-injury hysrics. After Italy scored its first goal to cut the lead to 2-1, the teams got into a mini-melee under the Slovakian net. Slovak goalie pawed softly in the direction of Fabio Quagliarella's head, triggering a paroxsym of absurdly fake facial pain, followed by a series of writhes that landed Quagliarella deep into the goal-mouth, jiggling like a caught fish in a net. Brilliant comedy, but also a total red-card seeking disgrace, and a fitting exit for Team Italy..