From Comcast SportsNetFLORENCE, Italy (AP) -- Mario Balotelli insists he's not crazy, although he does acknowledge that he "can do strange things" from time to time. For example, Balotelli recently had to evacuate his house in England after fireworks were let off in his bathroom. And he has been questioned by Naples prosecutors over a visit with the Camorra crime syndicate, allegedly saying he saw bags of cocaine piled on a table. Speaking at Italy's training camp on Wednesday, the Manchester City striker was also asked about constantly ending up pictured on the gossip pages with an array of women. The media "tends to talk more about my private life than what I do on the pitch. It's normal but it bothers me," Balotelli said. "I'm not crazy, not at all -- even though I can do strange things." With Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi both out long-term because of injury, Italy is counting on Balotelli to lead its attack in friendlies at Poland on Friday and at home against Uruguay four days later. The 21-year-old Balotelli has scored five goals for Premier League leader City this season but is still yet to find the target in five appearances with Italy. "I always have pressure on me," Balotelli said. "I'm ready to take responsibility." The son of Ghanian immigrants, Balotelli often faced racial taunts when he played for Inter Milan despite being born and raised in Italy. "Racism is ignorance. I can only hope that certain things don't happen again," Balotelli said, adding that he doesn't miss Serie A at all. "Serie A has fallen. The Premiership is a great league and I'm playing for the best squad. I don't see my future in Italy."
High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 9 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from Friday's games.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.
DRIVE: Batavia (episode 9)
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Oak Forest football
VIEWERS' CHOICE GAMES OF THE WEEK: Fremd runs past Schaumburg
WINTRUST ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame running back Ty Gavin
FRIDAY'S TOP 25 SCORES
(1) Lincoln-Way East 31, (16) Bolingbrook 0
(2) Batavia 24, Wheaton North 13
(3) Brother Rice 31, (17) Montini 0
(4) Marist 24, Benet 7
(6) Homewood-Flossmoor 56, Sandburg 0
(7) Cary-Grove 55, (15) Naperville Central 41
(9) Nazareth Academy 42, Marian Catholic 6
(10) Maine South 48, Niles West 6
(11) Oswego 22, Plainfield South 15
(12) Richards 41, Eisenhower 6
(13) Phillips 41, Raby 0
(14) Willowbrook 42, Downers South 20
(18) Oak Park-River Forest 48, Lyons 0
(19) Warren 43, Mundelein 7
(20) Glenbard West 35, Proviso West 6
(21) Hillcrest 43, Bremen 6
Joliet Catholic 33, (22) Notre Dame 17
(23) Hinsdale Central 21, Hinsdale South 12
(24) Rolling Meadows 34, Buffalo Grove 7
Wheaton Warrenville South 13, (25) St. Charles North 11
SATURDAY'S TOP 25 GAMES
Fenwick vs. (5) Mount Carmel
(8) Simeon vs. Curie
Chris Emma, Matt Zahn and Gabe Ramirez join David Kaplan on the panel.
0:00- NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins the panel to discuss the Bulls’ terrible defensive performance as well as Zach LaVine’s impressive season debut.
11:35- Khalil Mack is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Can the Bears pull off the upset against Tom Brady?
23:50- NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran joins Kap to talk about how New England views the Bears and discuss how Matt Nagy’s team can exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses.
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.