TORONTO -- The Little Italian has become a huge target for the Toronto Argonauts.
Two hours before last night's 23-16 loss at Rogers Centre, Calgary Stampeders kicker Sandro DeAngelis had a skirmish with Argos defensive lineman Jonathan Brown.
The two were yelling at each during the warmup, then Brown rushed towards DeAngelis.
If not for offensive lineman Alexandre Gauthier and Taylor Robertson stepping in to protect their kicker, he may not have been healthy enough to play.
"It was an interesting pre-game to say the least," DeAngelis said. "It started last week. He said some things, I said some things. It was stupid male testosterone boiling over.
"We apologized to each other and are acting like men not kids. We shook hands and forgot about it but it became a verbal warfare."
The tale of the tape doesn't favour DeAngelis. At 5 ft. 8 in., he gives up about eight inches and 70 lb. to Brown.
Although tempers cooled, the rest of the Argos took delight at pestering DeAngelis every chance they could on the field.
On the opening kickoff, DeAngelis was the last man to beat for returner Bashir Levingston but Raymond Fontaine grabbed the kicker and wrestled him to the ground.
Then, when DeAngelis hit the goalpost on a 38-yard attempt, Argos defensive back Byron Parker got in his face to taunt him a little.
Still, the kicker hopes he sent a message that he won't back down from a fight, even against somebody as large as Brown.
"Sometimes people think because you're a kicker, you have to take their crap," DeAngelis said. "I'm not going to take anybody's crap. I live a simple life. You treat me like crap, I treat you like crap. I disagreed with things he said."