Well, that sucked.
From the time I groggily rolled out of bed at 5:58am to the time it took my ESPN app to load on Xbox Live, Roma conceded another goal. I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s cloyingly obvious what Roma needs right now. I said it before, anyway. No need to reiterate what a mess the defense is right now.
I am, however, trying to keep things in perspective. More than even Sabatini (who I'm sure can dance a mean Tango at this point) and far more than LE, I believe in Baldini. And when he says, "we built this club in 12 days," I remember it. Unicredit owned the team until August 18th. It’s a miracle the bank even let them secure Lamela and Bojan, though I suppose that’s also presuming a lot about Big Tom and Mr. Pallotta (or as I sometimes call him, "Mr. Anti-Lakers")’s investment, too. LE has pretty much worn out my patience with this defeat, but like a bad relationship in which you co-signed Something Important, you gotta ride it out until either A: it gets better, or B: you can afford a new Something Important before ending it. Or C: you both end up in a bad way.
So, after all of this, what are we left with? A massive panino di merda. Delivered by Team Ezio Auditore (make no mistake, it’s as though this happened to the Roman backline as they emerged from Francesco’s Miracle Love Tap)*. Made with unsalted Tuscan bread. Actually, the saltiness comes from our attitudes after witnessing this. Is the Tuscan Jinx back? One does start to wonder.
And quite honestly, while Naples has given the world so many things of wonder, including baba al rhum, pizza, and some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life, I sense that something very bitter – not unlike a strong negroni -- will be coming to the Olimpico come late Saturday evening. I may or may not be considering Saturday’s game an excellent warmup to being very inebriated for the San Jose Earthquakes game two hours later. In other words, I think the wolves will continue to go hungry for a win, especially as Napoli appears resurgent.
Yes, I'm making analogies with a kid's movie here. What are you gonna do about it? They're high flying, entertaining, play attacking, sucker-punching football with a catchy rhythm, and while they're not quite as shocking as last season, I'm still exceptionally nervous. I don't know that in the team's current mental state (yes, despite having Llorente), they're up for it. I lack the dialectal vocabulary in Neapolitan to describe the unpleasantries I expect my team to fasce’ on Saturday. I do, however, expect a rage only found in the rompecoglione nature of a beautiful woman from Campania (trust me, I know this crumpling firsthand). Or the fiery rage of Vesuvio's spirit, as manifested through the raspy voice of Gianna Nannini. Except, it’ll be coming from my raspy throat, as I scream myself hoarse at a television.
Then there's the lack of discipline.
Not unlike the Late Randy Savage circa the nWo era, "Macho Man" Pablo Osvaldo is popping veins in his neck, pointing at the refs with his Cornuto pose, and punctuating every other word with "yeah." The only thing missing is a point up to the sky before diving elbow first into the sternum of a defender in the box. I liked it more when he was impersonating Batigol for cheap pops from the crowd, honestly.
But it’s not just him. This is twice in a week that ex-Goat Starers have gotten under the skin of Roma players. First Lichtsteiner proved he could count and that the bionic Skywalker arm he got after the last Derby works, while Lamela could contain neither contempt nor excess saliva. Then DeSilvestri trolled off the ball enough for DDR to evoke mildly uncomfortable memories of spring 2011**. About all we need now is for Francesco to kick Pandev’s face clean-off and wear it while vaulting into Curva Sud a la Dr. Lecter to finish off a week of "F--- with Roma Day (And EVERYBODY’S Celebrating)."
Also, speaking of flashbacks to late season collapses that remind me of falling short of Champions League… does See-moon’s recent form kind of remind anyone else of that legendary game away to Catania last May in which one John Arne Riise looked like he was melting like a scoop of stracciatella prior to haphazardly un-defending the game winner for the Elephants? Those Scandinavians… And is it me, or does the following standardized test analogy make sense to anyone else (by this, I really probably mean Americans)?
Kjaer:Philou :: Krasic:Ned(i)ved
Maybe I’m thinking about food more because I’m writing this on a flight to the Great White North for work and I didn’t have time for breakfast or lunch before getting through security. Pringles, a meal does not constitute, B.
What’s the old saying in Neapolitan? Ah, right. Om 'e panza, om 'e sostanza. Eccome!
*Fun fact: Did you know Patrice Desilets, creative lead on Assassin’s Creed II, did a study abroad at a high school in Naples, and that his time there was a heavy influence on the games? Yes, I am actively considering this as a superstition, because I’m crazy, and I’m a nerd. Just like I told a visiting Florentine friend "AC:B > AC II" two nights before the match.
**Give or take. Because after the calcioscommesse verdicts come in, I emphatically believe that the only things thrown in that Bari match were ‘bows. And kidney shots.