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"As You Bite It": Uruguay-Italy through Shakespeare

For never was a story of more woe...

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images



Two Group D teams, both alike in indignity,
In fair Natal, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

When Suarez bit The Chiellin'.
From forth the fatal teeth of that sick dunce
A pair of star-cross'd players doth bump and bore;
Till a misadventured toothy munch
Did end L. Suarez's World Cup evermore.
The fearful passage of his pock-mark'd skin,
And the continuance of Chiellini's rage,
Killed focus at the next set piece—helped Uruguay win—
And now is the focus of each back page;
The like of which, if you missed it then,
You'll see over and over on ESPN.

SCENE I. Natal, Brazil. A public place.

Enter Cavani, and Suarez, two Uruguayans, pushing for the opening goal.


I will frown as I pass by, and let Chiellini take it as
he list. I'm that chill.


Nay, as they dare. I will bite his shoulder;
which is a disgrace to him, if he bear it.

Enter CHIELLINI. They fight, right by the penalty spot.


Did you bite my shoulder, sir?


I did accidentally let my teeth bang against your shoulder as I missed my headbutt of thee, sir.


Did you bite my shoulder, sir?


[Aside to Cavani] Is the law of our side, if I say


No. It's a definite red. And think of the ban.... This'll be your third.


No, sir, I do not bite your skin, sir, but I
did seem to really hurt my buck teeth on your pointy shoulder blades, sir.


Do you quarrel, sir? I don't really care, as I'm kinda loosey-goosey 'bout stuff, but, inquiring minds and all that.


Quarrel sir! no, sir. But look at this mark on my shoulder!


If you show the ref, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.


Serve? SERVE? Thou doth rollest around on the ground, sir, hoping the ref bethinks we were both perchance guilty of a contravention of FIFA Law 12, the one concerning violent conduct.


Well, sir.


Say nothing, Suarez, I thee bid.

Here comes one of our master's kinsmen, Ramirez.

Tasty right peg, that kid.


You lie, you know.


Ay, ay. We're drawing, and I'm frustrated, and also: something of a psycho.

They argue anon.



Put away those clear bite wounds on thy shoulder, Chiellini.

You're not a patch on Claudio Gentile.

Put up your shirt; you know not what you do.

Call yourself a robust guy, boo-hoo....



Reds, yellows, and bite marks? Not again!

Chiellini has thrown himself down all game,

And Suarez doth prove himself utterly insane
Down with the Italians! down with the Uruguayans!

Enter the REF, aka DRACULA, in his pretty yellow shirt, and the ASSISTANT REF, aka the LINO


What noise is this? Lino, ho! What?


A bite? A bite? I was looking for offside.

As for a bite.... I know not.


Play on, then, teams, I doth elide,
All talk of teeth and ten-a-side.

For never would I add to this red woe

I was done when I sent off Marchisio.



[Aside] I'll take the corner, I'll whip it in

Aiming for the head of D. Godin.


[Also aside] I shalt fling myself at the ball, our sole attack

And score the winner off my sweaty back.

The ball is whipped in by RAMIREZ; GODIN doth rise. The ball doth indeed smack off his sweaty, tight-shirted back. BUFFON, in the Italian goal, can only watch. The final minutes are played out in quite a boring way, to be honest, especially by aged PIRLO.

The whistle blows.

Enter BLATTER, with FIFA Attendants


Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this Brazilian sod,—
Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That fuel the fire of his toothy rage
With purple fountains issuing from Chiellini's veins,
On pain of torture, from those corrupt hands
Throw your mistemper'd super-tight shirts to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved Blatter.

Forget Qatar; we've moved on to this indecent matter:
Three career bites, bred of nary a word,
By thee, Luis Suarez, of Uruguay,
Have thrice disturb'd the joy of our games,
And made football's ancient fans
Cast by their grave words like "nuts" and "lifetime bans."
If ever you disturb our sport again,
Your career shall pay the forfeit of the peace,

But now: at least five games—wait, no bribes?—

Alright then... TEN!
For this time, all the rest depart and soon:
You Italy shall go home once again:
And, Uruguay, come you next Saturday afternoon,
To take on Colombia in the knockout stage,
To old Rio and the Maracana,

But without Suarez, he doth watch from afar.
Like Chiellini and his poorly skin—and every sorry Italian—

While the whole world doth pray for a Colombia win.

Exeunt. Curtain.