The Derby Ritual & Liveblog

Paolo Bruno

Because we all have one.

Lazio 3 - Roma 2

Roma goes up in the first 20, loses 3-2. New movie.


Four minutes added.


Mauri off. Red. Terrible call.

Tachtsidis yellow carded and suspended.

chris: They're playing on the same amount of water...

Bren: If this were a hockey game, gloves would be dropping really soon.

chris: There's so little to analyze here: Roma's shot themselves in the foot, ankle, lower calf and...

[Totti subs off for Pjanic.]

    And now Zeman concedes it. Wow.

Which color shirt is Piris wearing tonight?

Andrea: We need to have two separate coaches, Zeman to work on the offence, someone else to organise the defence.

Marquinho on for Florenzi.

chris: Incredible pass by Taxi. Erik aside, highlight of the match for Roma.

Mauri should begin every game on a yellow for being Mauri.

Jonas: Has to be a standin for Chris Martin during a string of concerts.

Bren: What's wrong with Marty anyway? How injured does a keeper have to be to miss a game?

chris: Only one thing could save them now: Fabio Simplicio.

Lazio goal, Mauri, assisted by Ivan Piris.


Tachtsidis on for Lamela.

chris: Bren, bearer of oppatimism.

Bren: I think we can get lucky and catch some crazy rain induced bounce/slip and level the game


And it's all coming apart. Or: Roma.

Andrea: Jesus. That's a gift to the Laziali.

De Rossi red because Mauri can dive like a 3 year old.

(A slap, but never one to hurtle himself to ground. His reaction won the red, not the hand.)

Jonas: so, how did first half go? Roma as usual I presume: early goal, good start and then falling apart like puddin? [Everyone nods]

chris: What did I say about those terrifyingly good first 15? They need to stay in the locker room til the 16th - spot the other team 20 goals if they need.

Dhaw: Cannot hang on to the leads. Just cannot.

    'Hos didn't even try.

Goal Lazio.

chris: Referee is a little yellow happy for these pitch conditions.

[Stek's theme music.]

Goal Lazio.

chris: Get Bradley off the pitch. Jesus.

Dhaw: I wanted to punch Bradley right there. Where the fuck was he standing on that FK and doing what exactly ?

chris: Could Mauro get some decent weather in which to play? Fuck Milli Vanilla - I think he brings the rain.

Dhaw: They need to stop giving away corners. Even though Mauro G helps me remain calm but I don't need these many corners

chris: Bradley feels like he might be in red card territory today. The irony, eh?

Dhaw: I am actually disappointed with Balzaretti's crossing all season long.

    His runs and defending has been alright but crossing has been horrific.

chris: Hey. Goicoechea. Come off your line, won't you?

The rain is absolutely belting down now and puddles are forming on the pitch. This one will be delayed at the least, called at the worst.

chris: Nico Burdisso in a derby just feels right now.

They're playing some decent football to start here.

    Thus I am fucking terrified.

Dhaw: It is a Roma record now innit.

    Only player to score 6 for 6.

Bren: 6 for 6


Dhaw: ZZ wearing a suit.

(Delay in the match. Stadium now being powered by Samsung & Apple's mobile departments.)




Dhaw: Yes. Probably he is counting his goats.

Bren: Did I just see someone wearing #81?

chris: I was rather convinced Taxi was going to bullet one of those headers in from 20 yards or so today. Alas...

    Though that was certainly less likely than the highly probable fourth minute red card.

bren: so beIN has magically appeared on my cable guide, but its just a blank screen w/ a phone number...ugh, assholes.

Andrea: We're fielding three born and bred Romans. Lazio, how many again?

There really is a very decent number of Italians in this Roma team. I like this, really I do. Their standard is also very high - most of them are in the Nazionale loop.


Late to the party. Official:

13 Goicoechea, 23 Piris, 3 Marquinhos, 29 Burdisso, 42 Balzaretti, 4 Bradley, 16 De Rossi, 48 Florenzi, 8 Lamela, Osvaldo 9, 10 Totti. Subs.: 55 Svedkauskas, 5 Castan, 46 Romagnoli, 11 Taddei, 27 Dodò, 15 Pjanic, 77 Tachtsidis, 7 Marquinho, 20 Perrotta, 17 Lopez.


The Derby Ritual

I awake to a grim haze in an attempt to find myself.

Far too early I rise, wiping the sleep from my eyes and my dreams from the palette of reality. I lean over to grab my phone; power, slide, clock. Have I done it? Have I missed it? Have I Rip van Winkled into midweek? Am I and several innocent passers by about to discover just how smart a phone can when it's swirled, barrel-rolled and tumbled to the urban landscape below, launched in pain through the pane, its infinite fragments but a fraction of those comprising my shattered heart? Is this the beginning of a Frank Miller series?

I exhale - there's time.

I shuffle to the kitchen. Indeed it is a shuffle, for the night was long, the morning shorter, eyes knowing no sweet solace of darkness til indeed there was light. Out of the corner of my eye the mirror throws me a glimpse. No Hallow's Eve mask exists so fearsome as that of Derby Weary. I snap a selfie. I send it to her. "Why won't you leave me yet?" She might later.

I open the refrigerator to find the same breakfast I've been consuming for years: cardiac arrest in a can. I grab a protein bar. I feel good about the healthy choices I'm making in my life. I feel even better that conviction blankets so seamlessly the lies I tell to myself. I settle to the couch, crack one open, Oxford comma, and glance to the right. A little fairy has lined a number of cans up as though sitting atop a log in the American South, and the bullets taking them down one by one by one are my frantic nerves. I smile. I call 911. I ask if they can have an ambulance with 4G on standby. They hang up.

I grab another phone. Any phone. I call a country. Any country. I hang up. I'm killing time.

I grab a laptop. Any laptop. I lean back, place it upon my thighs, over the fleece socks, gym pants and blanket made of the softest baby unicorn hair money can buy. At least that's how they marketed it on Alibaba. I'm suspicious, but not enough to prevent me from composing an email, curious if they're in need of any stockists. I've got some time on my hands. I've got a decent jingle in mind, too. I wonder if Urban Dictionary defines "stockists" as "the 'maintenance engineers' of the retail world." I proof read the email. Ha. No I don't. I hit send. Twitter asks me if I would like to follow Western Union and a Nigerian Prince. I take the hint. I log out.

I open Chrome Canary, my Roma browser because symmetry is important to me. I start to Roma. Roma. Roma News. Forza Roma. La Roma. Tutto Mercato Roma. Roma Roma Roma. Ramalamadingdong. What the fuck is happening to me. I'm losing it.

The tactical sheets are fraught with crippling emotions and fears. But of course Taxi is a talented young Greek, yet what does the young boy know of war? Surely he's too hot-headed, indeed the Derby shepherd's crook normally reserved for Romans to wrangle his neck home before long. I dismiss. Rumblings of De Rossi in the center. Oh me. Oh my. Could it be Genoa all over again? I've found the other side of the coin. I dismiss again. I look at the back line. I recall this is a derby. I wake up several minutes later with a suspicious lump on my head. I fire bullets.

The formations are announced. I peek. I mumble. I check my email. I respond. I await a response. I respond again. I Ermes. I scour the internets to find whether or not that is indeed the inaugural use of Ermes as a verb. I celebrate. I belt out Ermes songs. I wonder if I'm a 16 year old girl. I dismiss of caring. I am awash in the memories of derbies yore, of mediocre men finding greatness under the lights of one singular night. I long for the shock of Cassetti, the innocent glee of Alberto, the superbly-coiffed fire of Borriello, the refreshingly unrelenting unawaredness of Juan. I consider whether or not unawaredness is a word. I consider whether or not I care. I determine both that I do not and it should be. I chuckle. I check the status of Luca Toni's contract with Fiorentina. I weep solemn. I find Ricardo Faty on Twitter. I weep for other reasons. I fire bullets.

I look at the clock. It won't be long now. I check for streams, realizing one of the few real world uses my Russian studies offer come in the form of understanding higher quality Sopcast streams. The other is picking up women in search of green cards. I can't decide which is of more frequent use. I find a stream. I full screen. I lean back again. I wonder why there is a man figure skating with machine guns in this commercial. I wonder further why I don't live in this glorious country.

I kill time. I delight in photos of Zeman and a cigarette. I want a cigarette. I want a spoon and a lighter. I want my mommy.

I toss on some Weyse. This isn't helping. I switch to Metallica. This might be worse. I begin to run through Daniele De Rossi's playlist. Shortly, I'm wondering if the drug store across the street stocks over the counter anti-depressants. I weep for Daniele. I weep for weeping.


I murmur things on the internet. I check the clock. I see the time is upon us. I sit up and I lean forward. I breathe. I breathe again. I look left, I look right, I center myself. Kickoff.

And I am found.


Because 12h early isn't too much.

Probabile formazione (4-3-3):
13 Goicoechea; 42 Balzaretti, 3 Marquinhos, 29 Burdisso, 23 Piris; 77 Tachtsidis, 48 Florenzi; 16 De Rossi; 8 Lamela, 9 Osvaldo, 10 Totti. A disp.: 55 Svedkauskas, 5 Castan, 46 Romagnoli, 11 Taddei, 27 Dodò, 15 Pjanic, 4 Bradley, 7 Marquinho, 20 Perrotta, 17 Lopez. All.: Zeman.
Indisponibili: Lobont, Stekelenburg
Squalificati: Destro
Diffidati: Castan, Osvaldo, Lamela, Burdisso

Alarming to note that an injury is the only thing standing between Svedkauskas and Lazio.


    8+ hrs. Long night this.
    c: Why is the most noticeable thing in that clip the fact that Bojan started for Roma in a derby?

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