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Temporary Insanity

Testosterone x 2
He is both feared and respected by opponents. His determination outweighs his skills at least 2 to 1. He has more heart than any player I can think of and despite his tough reputation, he is usually quite the gentleman. Well, except for during the Tottenham match. On the world stage, Gennaro Gattuso had some rare moments of temporary insanity.

Today the UEFA Disciplinary Committee met and determined to ban Gattuso from European play for 4 matches. He had already been suspended for the return leg to Tottenham due to yellow card accumulation, so there will be a total of 5 Champions League matches without everyone’s favorite bulldog. Which means there is now another reason for Milan to get to the Final this year, that is if we want to see Gattuso play in the Champions League again this season.

He apologized for his conduct, but the fact is, he crossed a line. A few times. And he did it while wearing the Captain's armband, too, which is considered particularly poor form. There was actually talk of an 8 match suspension, so I’m thinking that his contrition and his reputation of being tough but fair helped him avoid that. Of course, the English press would have had him banned for life, but they are known for exaggerating things here and there.

Passion is what makes Gattuso amazing to watch, and passion was also his undoing last week during the Tottenham match. His passion and tenacity were what got him to the highest level of football. His destiny was to be a fisherman. But his heart led him to be a footballer. Which is good, because he would have been one hell of a ferocious fisherman.

It is widely known that he has never been as technically skilled as other players, but his passion and determination always impressed the coaches. He worked twice as hard to be half as good, until he actually became pretty darned good. So good that he plays for one of the best clubs in the world and earned a World Cup title with Italy, too. I think this is what our parents meant when they said that if we really believed in ourselves, we could go places.

Losing Gattuso for our Champions League campaign is like a shot to the heart. This season with Allegri, he has found renewed form, and has been an attacking machine as well as the heart of our defensive midfield. But I feel confident that if the rest of the boys can exhibit a fraction of his passion, play with even the smallest portion of his heart, then we will see our beloved Rino in the Champions League final. Either that, or you may hear of a very hairy, aggressive fisherman mixing it up in Calabria.