BELLI WELCOMES RABID FANS
MISSISSAUGUA – Never short on words, Argos DT Adriano Belli quickly squashed any impression that the Argos will be the least bit intimidated by the hostile Hamilton crowd this Sunday.
“Heading out to Hamilton, playing my Simon and Garfunkel on the way, seeing the Box J Boys, the people yelling at us, all of the black and gold; we love playing there,? Belli said with a smirk. “It’s going to be a hostile environment so let’s get hostile with their quarterback.?
Belli is no stranger to the atmosphere at Ivor Wynne. Like many former Tiger-Cats who have traded in their Black and Gold for Double Blue, he knows exactly what he is in for when the Argos hit the field and insists that the Boatmen try their best to take the negative energy being directed their way and use it to fuel them.
“I speak for a lot of guys on defence when I say that we feed off of that,? Belli continued. “We love shutting the crowd up by making a big play or making a big sack and hearing them all quiet down.?
Belli has returned to the Argos’ lineup after missing 13 games with an injury. His season seemed all but done when he was placed on the nine-game injured list but the one exemption that the CFL grants teams to activate a player from that list allowed him to return last week in Montreal. Belli is an emotional leader on and off the field and Argos head coach Jim Barker understands that #78’s true value extends far beyond the playing field.
“He just brings something to our whole football team,? Barker said of Belli. “He brings an energy, an excitement and an enthusiasm that only Adriano can bring so it’s great to have him back.?
Belli’s best attributes are sometimes his biggest downfall. His history of taking untimely penalties is something that has hindered him in the past but Barker, who has turned a once disorderly group into a disciplined squad, believes that Belli should have no problem buying into and putting the team first when it matters most.
“If Adriano cares about his team and he cares about us winning, then he does the right thing. It’s just that simple,? Barker confided.
Last week, Belli was back to his old tricks again but this time he contained it to playfully head butting of teammate Grant Shaw and organizing a dance on the team’s sideline with fellow members of his defensive line. Said Belli, “We are going to be dancing all game long and may the better team win.?