First of all, stay the fuck away from my King Alberto, Signora Moratti. I don't like being rudely greeted after a period of Roman dormancy by reports that Inter. and Alberto. are being mentioned together in the same sentence. The only time that is allowed is a) after a game winning goal at the San Siro or b) when Berto pulls a Cantona on Mancio on the sidelines a couple weeks from now. (You heard it here first.) Stay away.
Also, your increasingly feminine features are really starting to bother my eyes. Do something about that.
Yours in calcio,
Second of all, a standing ovation for Marco, who has made the changing of the guard a seamless transition. Therefore, I've decided to reward him with a Jean-Claude Van Damme VHS (Bloodsport, of course), the gum I just found at the bottom of my shoe, and a hearty Spalletti ass slap that I may let linger just a little bit too long as we exchange awkward glances and neither pulls away, making things even more awkward. (What can I say, it comes naturally.)
Actually, he'll continue to fill in while I wage an epic battle with the real world (how dare they) for the next 2-3 weeks and begin to sell off all my worldly possessions. (If anybody would like a Butch Hobson autographed baseball card which may or may not be laced with cocaine, or a Masterlock without the combination you know where to find me.)
Marco will handle the bulk of the work while I make the occasional cameo - couple a week or so - until the whirlwind has subsided. So essentially he'll be the dental hygienist, the unsung hero, and I'll be the dentist, strolling in at the last minute to soak up all the glory while secretly dreaming about having an affair with said hygienist (not Marco, an actual hygienist). Because I'm a nice guy like that.
(Also also, I'm hoping to work out something where Marco isn't such a stranger around here...)
Alright, I don't even know where to begin.....
So let's start with the bad:
2/16 @ Juventus
2/19 Real Madrid
2/27 @ Inter
3/5 @ Real Madrid
3/9 @ Napoli
3/19 "@" Lazyo
I'm not sure there needs to be any other evidence in getting rid of this asinine computer scheduling. That's the gauntlet to end all gauntlets. 31 days, 9 games, against teams which have an average table standing of 6.3 - including Real Madrid. I plan on performing my own disembowelment by the time they make the trip to the San Paolo. So I've got that to look forward to. Yay.
People Who Do Illegal Things + Roma.
After spending much of January devoid of sexy rumors - hell, there weren't even many "give me a couple more stiff drinks and I'll think about it" rumors - we're getting hit with the good stuff just in time for nothing to happen. What a Rosella move. The Brazilian rumor of the week is more Nilmar, the Internacional forward whose past is floating somewhere in Brian McNamee's garbage. I think he's owned by Internacional. I hope he's owned by Internacional. And that's really all I can say about that at the moment.
Nilmar the player we know: pheeeeeenooooooom. Sex on a pitch with a samba soundtrack. Could be the new Ronaldo (R.I.P.), if he keeps his head on straight and stays out of jail for white collar crimes. New buyout clause is at €8m, which is like paying $50,000 for a year old Ferrari without checking under the hood. It may flame out but there's no way in hell you can afford not to take that chance. Realistic? I dunno, wait-and-see approach. There are a lot of big names with big checkbooks who have been paying attention as well. Therefore I'll not get your hopes up by dropping another Nilmar YouTuber video. You're welcome.
I) Dare Vrsic's agent keeps talking about how interested Roma is in his client. Why do I get the overwhelming feeling Billie Mays is involved in this somehow? Or at least will be soon? (I do not own that autograph, sadly.)
I think I was under the weather the last time Vrsic was in the news, so this is his Roma Offside debut. Having watched some YouTuber video (scout's trusty friend, I know), kid's got a little bit of Cristiano Doni in him, and that's more than welcome, as long as it doesn't include that "scores beaucoup goals only for Atalanta" thing. And he plays for Politehnica Ştiinţa Timişoara, which I'd love to hear announcers botch gloriously all of next year. So that's two things he's got going for him. Other than that...uh...I'd like to avoid anything directly or indirectly involved with Romanian football for the time being, thanks. (I'm not trying to go all Zampa here, but I think everyone can agree they haven't been the squeakiest of business partners lately.)
Anyway, another YouTuber video just because it's almost Friday and you almost need something to almost make the week end a little bit sooner.
(This is where the founders of the "Bench Perrotta" grassroots movement can start discussing the advantages of buying a trequartista whose main attribute appears to be finishing. For the record, Perrotta's in my XI until his knees are sawdust.)
II) The little Brazilian phenomenon Robinho will be watching the first leg of the knockouts from the comfort of his couch via injury. So basically it's an early Christmas gift, but only from the aunt you see once a year who never gets you anything that wonderful anyway. No Robinho is nice, but this is still Real Madrid. They're stacked, they'll be mighty fine come next Wednesday. Now if somebody could somehow get the Norovirus into their lockerroom circa next Monday that'd be fantastic and you'd win reader of the year. (Prize is whatever Marco doesn't want from up top - which probably means you'll be shit outta luck.)
III) When you type "Alberto Aquilani" into Google Images, this picture comes up on the third page. Just thought you'd like to know about the contributions I'm making to the world.
IV) Juan thinks Roma can win the scudetto and Doni thinks Roma can win the Champions League. I'd like to combine the two and form a Brazilian goalkeeper with fantastic reflexes, an alarming sense of calm, the ability to tackle like a bastard and tears that cure cancer. But I'll settle for the scudetto and CL.
V) I'm now convinced Mauro Camoranesi fears Roma. He'll miss both ends of this years matchup through injury, this time with a back injury. Hell, with the way Roma dominated play in the first game who can blame him?
VI) Speaking of guys born in South America who happen to be injured, Juan is probably going to miss another. (I think putting this at V would've been a lot easier, but the segue worked, right?) Old Man River has looked solid and provided Matteo Ferrari is given enough of a timeout for his misbehavior during the Siena game, things should be fine until after the Real game. Then you start to worry about rotating somebody, sometime....nm, this is TGIP we're talking about.
VII) Last but not least, I'd like to thank the good people at Soccerlens for their nominations for Best Serie A Blog and Best Blogger of 2007. It was nice to be thought if in that respect since I was only up and running just over 6 months of '07 - even if it seemed like decades. However, my first thought when I was sent the link was that "I don't deserve this". I've said since the beginning, and will maintain until the end, that the club writes itself. There is no club in the world which can provide the same blind passion and asinine tomfoolery on a weekly, almost daily basis as Roma. I started the site with my 7 readers because there were next to zero English sources on Roma on the net and I wanted to do something about it, dammit. (Not to mention I'd been denied admission to a certain English Roma forum for reasons beyond me - howdoyalikemenow?) It's the greatest club in the world and I suppose this is more of a testament to them than me. Especially since I'm not a writer nor do I ever want to be one. Thanks for the nom, and I do urge you to vote, they're cool awards, but not for me. For the most deserving. I'm not one who likes to see titles/awards/trophies handed over just because.
(And of course you readers who sacrifice productivity in order to read my random musings, but I've got something in mind for later there.)
* - Either Marco or I will knock out a libelous Juve preview tomorrow at some point. Enjoy the melba toast and ginger ale.