Forza Azzurri

A few days ago, I was walking down via Due Macelli by my favorite store- a male intimo shop mainly stocking teeny, tiny and multi-colored banana hammocks that I would have barely noticed had I been in West Hollywood. However, I am in Rome, where these minute holsters stop me in my tracks almost every week.

I think its just the idea of straight men concentrating on underwear choice with as much focus as when choosing a good wine that makes me laugh. Last week, it was not just the underwear, but the D&G ad. Five hot, oiled and well-cut men in a locker room in white briefs with the tricolore stitched on the side. I started humming YMCA as I walked over to meet Charlotte. And then I realized, it wasn’t just the average D&G “maybe he’s gay” ad, I was 100% positive I saw Cannavaro, captain of the Azzurri, Juventus player and happy-go-lucky guy. (I know this from TV.)

“Charlotte, the Azzurri are doing a D&G ad.”

“Yeah. D&G has designed the National Team’s entire collection. Uniforms, dress outfits, socks, shoes and sunnies.” She said matter-of-factly. For the record, Charlotte knows a lot things, and what she doesn’t know, she finds out on the internet.

“And the official team UNDERWEAR!!!” I shouted melodramatically.

Charlotte was not impressed, nor happy as I dragged her away from a nice shakerato towards the banana hammock store. Sure enough, there was Cannavaro, Gattuso , Zambrotta (I have pulled these names from the internet) and others (Blasi? Did he even make the team? I'm sure its Blasi) hanging out in their undies, in a locker room, in the window on via Due Macelli, and on via del Tritone, and on buses everywhere.

Thank you, Domenico and Stefano, for making soccer much more fun. I’ve always loved the sport from both an ex-player's perspective (Cougars 1989) and also because I love watching nice legs. The “I made a goal, time to show my abs” is also a nice touch. And now, care of D&G, we don’t have to be bored during long, goalless games. And we don't have to imagine what happens after the post-game shirt swapping. We now know. They swap shorts too, and hang out in the locker room flexing.

Note: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Marky Mark did it first. But he never made 90 sometimes-boring minutes quite this fun.

When I told this to A, he was curious.

“Come sono le mutande?”

In the brief (heh heh) encounters I have had with Italian men, I have noticed that they are picky about underwear. Not just boxers versus briefs, but color, fabric and label are also factored into the choice. Red Pradas? Striped Cacharel? Where else but Italy could you give a gift of D & G underwear to the festeggiato? Most Italian men love to dress, and thus every single layer counts. They understand, as much as we women do, that what is hidden underneath is just as important, if not more so, than the outer layer. For me, polkadots can change the outlook on my entire day.

On the American/British defense, anglos do care too. All my ex-boyfriends were partial to Calvin Klein, grey or white, and one even ironed his shorts every Sunday evening. However, I can’t imagine Rooney (England) or Bocanera (USA), posing in their underwear with their teammates. They’ve got games to play and cokes to sell.

On a side note, hair has become an important factor in the Azzurri Team look. Totti chopped his shag short, Del Piero shaved his, and thus so did almost the entire team although there are a few loose ends... During half-time of Italia-USA, after the expected "Complimenti, 'sti americani stanno giocando bene..." A and his friends started in a discussion about how nice it was that the Azzurri are going for the cropped look:

"Sembrano piu' seri, piu' educati."

I think this was before Di Rossi was expelled.