Dirty Tackle

The survivalist adventures of bearded Andrea Pirlo

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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Bearded Andrea Pirlo contemplates. (Getty)

At times even the best struggle. Self-doubt manifests as ghostly yet tangible apparitions and complacency dulls the senses. Bearded Pirlo is not immune to this. Frustration builds inside him as it does anyone else who is aggrieved and betrayed by the inconsistency of humanity. But he did not accumulate his past successes by letting himself be victimized by destructive states of mind. He retreats to his fortified bunker high in the Alps and confides in an exceptional goat known as Davide, who offers advice and encourages confidence and humility by defecating wherever he pleases.

When Bearded Pirlo reaches his breaking point, he clenches his right hand in a fist, crushing a small children's toy he didn't even know he was holding. He then rebuilds it, handcrafting the internal electronics exactly as they were before, but better and faster and more intelligently designed. What was once a Stone Cold Steve Austin action figure is now a Nintendo GameBoy. Bearded Pirlo asks Davide to deliver it to a children's hospital in town, but Davide defiantly poops on the floor. Bearded Pirlo realizes he must do it himself. That the time for struggle is over. That he can only rely on one person to overcome the shackles of apathy and the afflictions of an aging body. Also that Davide really needs to stop eating so much dairy.

Bearded Pirlo spends his nights climbing. If it has a summit, he will reach it. And if it has an overpriced coffee shop, he will chew on his own grinds right in front of the baffled young clerk, forcing an unflinching eye contact on them until they realize that veterinary medicine is a much more rewarding and lucrative field to pursue. This victory inspires confidence. A bitter confidence that tastes a lot like coffee grinds.

Now Bearded Pirlo must transfer this mental renovation to the field of play. Use it to inspire and evade. Advance and intimidate. As he watches the sun cede its position to the moon, Davide attempts to smile before remembering that goats can't smile and any attempt to the contrary would be supremely stupid. So he relieves himself instead, forcing Bearded Pirlo to clean it up and keep his focus. This is what friends do for each other.

Previously in the survivalist adventures of Andrea Pirlo.

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