It's really hard to love the Italian national team. When they win, they win ugly. When they lose, they lose even uglier. Touch one of the azzurri, and he drops to the pitch and flops around like a squirrel grazed by a motor scooter. Granted, such acting is not a talent restricted to the Italian side -- Brazilians also have a flair for the melodramatic, but at least they combine their thespian skills with a beautiful, flowing form of football. The Italians prefer combining fakery with bar brawling. So it didn't bother me at all when the Italians bombed out of the World Cup. In fact, that was among the high points of the tournament, exceeded only by France's implosion. Brazil's flop came a distant third.