Originally Posted by Yachtzee
Really? There is actually only a 1 inch difference between the two as far as size goes. Much of his antics off the pitch are very reminiscent of the kind of goofball craziness Ochocinco often displayed. Other things about him, like the tendency for coaches to criticize his tendency to go off and do his own thing and his tendency to lose interest when he's not involved in the game sound very familiar. The one thing he does that OchoCinco never really did is lose his cool at times and draw a red card. But I chalk that up to the difference in culture between the NFL and European soccer. Plenty of world class soccer players are know for losing their cool and doing something stupid that draws a red card. That doesn't necessarily make players like Wayne Rooney and Zinedine Zidane thugs. It just means they're hot headed at times. If they did that kind of stuff in the NFL, the league would come down hard on them. And with the different number of games in a season, getting banned 3-4 matches in soccer is no big deal, whereas having to sit out 4 games in the NFL is 1/4 of the season.
I guess maybe Balotelli is OchoCinco with a little Corey Dillon mixed in.
I still don't agree. Rooney and Zidane were never left off of their squad during the time when their teams were struggling because their coach was afraid of what they would do or because of off the field conflicts. The same goes for Ocho. His antics never compromised his on the field play in the way that Balotellis did. Also, Balotelli picks up a yellow card every game almost exclusively for just being Mario Balotelli, even though he rarely deserves it. That didn't happen to Zidane and hasn't happened to Rooney since his Everton days. Also, Balo isn't really a giant, but for an international striker he is.
Bill Simmons has a term that applies very aptly to Balotelli (and this brings me back to Tyson). He calls it the Tyson Zone. The definition is roughly as follows: "They could be in any headline in the news and it wouldnt surprise you." Any headline. Something silly, something dangerous, something criminal, anything. Tyson is there, Charlie Sheen is there, Rodman is there, and Balo is there. I don't think Ocho applies, (he doesn't seem the criminal or dangerous type). All of the following headlines could apply to Balo.
"Italian football star sleeps in bed every night with two panthers."
"Manchester City Striker sets pub on fire after being disappointed in their selection of red wines."
"Italian superstar actually international spy."
I would read any of those headlines about Mario and not be surprised. I would be surprised to see Ocho in similar headlines, and that's the difference, at less to me.