?Paolo Bernardelli is the brakeman on Italy's top four-man bobsled team, which placed second at the most recent world championships. A brakeman must have a blend of speed, power and weight that any defensive lineman would envy, so Bernardelli drags his 230 pounds over 40 yards in 4.6 seconds, plays noseguard and averages five sacks a game.
?Bamouri Tour� is an agricultural student from the Ivory Coast. He ran back kicks for Mantova but is too conspicuous to be a ringer for Cremona. "When we first showed him a football, he wondered whether he should eat it," Primavera says. Tour�'s teeth are so strong that before a recent game when his teammates forgot to bring an opener, he bit the caps off 12 bottles of mineral water.
?Carleton Bond, an exchange student from Boston University, plays in the offensive line. "Football's something to do besides going to a bar and having a glass of vino," he says. He's taking courses in dental technology, but there's no truth to the rumor that he wants to do his graduate study on Tour�'s teeth.
?Virgilio Capellini, Primavera's 56-year-old associate in the violin shop, serves on the club's board. He attended violinmaking school with Adolph Primavera, but went into other craftwork after graduation. Alfredo took him on soon after opening his shop, when there was more work than one man could handle. Capellini has carved an extra-high objet d'art of a kicking tee from a block of oak. It's no coincidence that the Steel Tigers' kicker, Franco Bernardino, is among the most successful in the league.
?Pietro Manfredini won the Italian kayaking championship three times but quit the sport shortly after Italy boycotted the 1980 Olympics, when he would have been a medal favorite. Now he's an impassable pass blocker, to whom football is a way to "have some fun and stay in shape."
After the Bollate game, Manfredini, who works for the state as a forest ranger, had to go off to helicopter pilot school, Remondini was laid up with a bad knee, Bond had to sit out a one-game suspension for fighting with a Bollate player, and Bernardelli was in the army, grounded by an unsympathetic commanding officer who doesn't consider football worth a weekend leave. These are the kinds of problems the Steel Tigers, who were 2-4-1 through last week, are used to. "I've often wanted to say to hell with it," Primavera says. "And then I see the enthusiasm on the faces of little kids at our games."
More than anything else, Cremona needs a spendthrift sponsor—an Exxon to take in its forlorn Esso tiger like a long-lost pet. Any takers? Your money might go for ringers. Then again, it might go for bounty. But either way it's tax deductible. "Give us $30,000," Primavera says, "and we'll even write you out a receipt for $40,000."
And you can probably get a pretty good deal on a violin.