BERGAMO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: AS Roma manager Luis Enrique looks on before the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AS Roma at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on February 26, 2012 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
As I believe my initial email to TO read something like "Hey. No Roma Englinh* language. What gives?", I figure it's about time we heighten standards around these here parts. Given the bountiful interest of the open bloggers spots at current - and I'll wait to see how many pieces are submitted before deciding on a firm number of contributors to add - this will be straightforward and simple. What we'll do is run a contest in which written entries are provided from all interested; I will then post them here, the author anonymous, and they will be voted upon by you, the community, the winners to be decided by good old fashioned democracy. (Yes, I will figure out a way to do so such that it's fair.) And in order to keep things anonymous, if you say which one is yours when posted, though I imagine it won't be terribly difficult to deduce for most, you both are disqualified and you have to spend 45 minute substituting for Daniele De Rossi at DM/CB3 for AS Roma. Which will be
a bit like the exact same thing as standing in the way of stampeding sweaty Italian gentlemen. But maybe that's your thing. For me, that's what I would call "a problem" - understatement.
I. The limits: A written entry with a 353 word limit, as it mirrors Luis Enrique's ultimate tactical destiny once he firmly loses his marbles. (His vision has no place for your 'details', such as 'basic rules of the sport' or 'sound tactical considerations' or 'goalkeepers'.) And yes, I will count each entry with an abacus.
II. The subject: anything involving Roma which would be relevant on a day-to-day basis; a current topic. I'll see right through any attempt to woo the voting masses with a moving ode to a fallen Roman or Totti's genetic material as thinly veiled chicanery designed to sway emotion rather than logic, just like every political election ever.
III: An entry providing a solution to the Riemann hypothesis wins automatic inclusion into the club, no questions asked.
IV: They'll be going up as is, as my copy editor left me for a younger model. Sorry. (Basically, think of what I post as the absolute threshold of good taste for now - we won't get into the legal consultations of yore...) (Also, this is an international audience. A good thing to remember, Webster's.)
V. Please - prettiest of pleases - provide your name, email and SB Nation username alongside the entry (in a word doc, if possible). Email them to: chiesaditotti[at]gmail[dot]com. Bribes are accepted in the form of PayPal and Nigerian lottery tickets.
Deadline (of importance): Kickoff of the derby. (Moving things along quickly.)
Oh, and I reserve the right to choose one on my own, just because. And no, I'll never tell - but like a good little leader, I'll deviously and disingenuously tell everyone they were my 'chosen one' as you suckle at the teat of validation.
God, that sounds like something Mourinho would do.
Plus the one bit of advice I do have, concisely summed:
My inbox does get thwacked with emails looking for advice or posing questions on "writing" and "blog starting", which is rather funny, as I am arguably the least qualified person to comment on anything involving actual werds. And typically, when posed with such questions, I don't know what to say, but I do, from time to time, unveil my one piece of actual advice to which I hold true, more often than one might think:
"I don't necessarily write what I believe or believe what I write."
What's real, man?
Have fun. It's worthless if it's 'work'.