Going out with a bang

An amateur soccer player in Italy decided to go out in style the final game of his career by riding off into the sunset in a helicopter—with a twist. He was placed into the helicopter by masked men waving guns. 

Ignazio Barbagallo called it quits with his team Citta Di Viagrande, a team in the third division of Sicily’s local league, last week and teamed up with a YouTuber to turn his retirement into a big spectacle. In the middle of the game, a helicopter landed on the field (causing a massive cloud of dust) and two guys rushed out to apprehend Barbagallo. 

The stunt appeared to be a surprise to at least some of the other players, which is understandable since Sicily is the home of the Mafia. They realized what was up after reading the sign that one of the abductors had left on the field: “servizio eliminazione giocatori finiti,” which means “elimination service for finished players.”

Barbagallo is known locally as a prankster, according to Fox Sports Italia, but the league didn’t find it funny. The club was fined €200 and banned from playing until May 31. Barbagallo was suspended until June 30. 

Virginia is vindicated

In 20 years, people will undoubtedly remember Virginia more as the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed, but right now it’s all about the Cavaliers bouncing back from last year’s debacle to win the national championship. 

What looked like a boring game on paper—between two teams that are all about defense—turned out to be an overtime thriller.

And of course, here’s the annual “One Shining Moment” video.

AB really thought this made JuJu look bad?

Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Sunday social media war extended into Monday, with AB posting a screenshot of an old Instagram DM from JuJu.

That’s seriously supposed to make us think less of JuJu? All I see is a guy who recognizes that Brown is a great receiver and hopes he can learn something from him. 

At least not every former Steelers star is surrounded by so much drama. Right after Brown posted that, Le’Veon Bell posted this text he got from former teammate James Conner. 

Chris Davis is in the slump of all slumps

With a lineout to left in the fifth inning, Orioles millstone Chris Davis dropped to 0-for-22 on the season. His hitless streak, dating back to last season, stands at 48 at-bats, surpassing Eugenio Velez’s 0-for-46 drought as the longest in baseball history

If the Orioles let Davis continue to flounder like this—and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t, since they’re actively trying to be as bad as possible—it’ll be fascinating to see how low his batting average can go. He was a paltry .168 last year, even though he never went more than five games without a hit. 

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Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.