The land of bulls showed it pedigree today against Germany. You can’t last as long as they have as a people without magic and skill. The Azzuriplayed their usual whining, diving, defensive football for 105 minutes and then were sensational for the final 15. Brilliant stuff from Grosso and Del Piero.

Team Italy’s Vatican-backed abstinence defensive strategy (motto: “You can look, but you can’t score”) is paying dividends. Of course, if anyone can seduce Italy into a goal it will be France or Portugal. (Here’s why Germany couldn’t score.)

Best ESPN Factoid: I’ve been harsh on ESPN game announcers during the tournament, but I must admit I really dig those “scenic” shots of the large crowds gathered in public squares watching the games. Watching Rome burn in a blue and red glow of fireworks reminds me of when I get Gertrude to light my farts. Spectacular!

Best face paint:You can tell how old a German is by counting his rings . . .

The Final Whistle:

Overall Hasselhoff Rating for the Day: (out of 5)

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