Totti Tuesday: ‘Baywatch, pudding & cactus’

Giuseppe Bellini

Aaah Parma. Actually one of my favorite, or ‘less hated’ if you’d like, teams in Serie A. Not only because of the mighty Matteo Ferrari, but THAT particular game. You know, back in 2001. When Gangnam Style or SWAG didn’t exist, Totti’s hair was long, Romagnoli wore diapers and most of us were still teens drooling at posters of Pamela Anderson (David Hasselhoff for the female Giallorossi out there) in Baywatch. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. By the way, since when is Andderson written with a double D? Nevermind, on to the football-related stuff…

There were fears that the game would be postponed because of His Holiness. No, not Totti, the other one. In case you have been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, there were Pope elections going on. Long story short: if a new Pope wasn’t voted quickly, Roma – Parma had to be called of. You know, crazy Christians, riots at Saint Peter’s and sh*t. Luckily, a new Pope arose by Wednesday evening so the game went through without any problems. No denying this time around: God must be Giallorosso (Double G).


Parma in pieces


I know it’s not nice to talk behind people’s back but between you and me: Bren really is bad juju for this team. After his Torosidis post went online, the Greek defender got injured and was not called up by Aurelio Andreazzoli (Double A) for Parma. I like you Bren, just… try to stay away from any Totti-posts till May alright? Atta boy. The injury itself ain’t no big deal (Florenzi and Perrotta to the rescue) while the back three of ‘Hos-Burdisso-Castan have proven their worth. It’s Rosi Amauri I’m worried about.


A somehow surprising lineup from AA this time. Osvaldo on the bench, so was Piris. The midfield was fortified with Florenzi and Tachtsidis inherited Pjanic’s role while Perrotta got a start in a more advanced role alongside Lamela and Totti. I expected Totti to sing or rap pregame when reaching for a microphone but alas, it was an anti-racism message. Not bad either but I desperately wanted Totti to throw out some Jovanotti or Miley Cyrus Rage Against the Machine lyrics, anything can help in the quest for three points. And we all know he can sing. Sorta.


The game was a tale of two halves. The Giallorossi started furiously and basically started with a 1-0 advantage. After 7 minutes Lamela scored and it could have easily been 3-0 by half time. The second half was all about one man: Totti. Scoring his 226th goal in Serie A (goodbye Nordahl) against his favorite target. With a trademark free kick after an earlier one hit the post. Roma hit the post twice on Sunday btw, Parma once. If Zdenek Zeman (Double Z) was still here, it would have been 5-4 or 4-6. And all our underpants would be stained. Now they’re just slightly moist…


Thanks to the win and a little help from our friends in Torino, Roma currently lie in fifth with Inter (albeit with a game in hand) and… the neighbors. How the mighty Aquile have fallen. Serious Scudetto contenders two months ago, now hopelessly clinging on to El places. Their next games: Catania, derby, Juve, @Udinese. Auwtch.
Enough about the blue babies already. So it looks like Andreazzoli delivered the goods once again. After his horrid debut in Sampdoria, Roma won four games and one (very acceptable) draw in Udine. Confidence is high and it’s actually a shame there’s an international break coming up. It kinda reminds me of December when Zeman’s Roma was on fire, only to be halted by the winter break. By the time of January, Zeman’s team collapsed like a pudding in a hot Summer son. Will it be different under Andreazzoli?

Astonishing Awards


The …. Award: Totti. Simply no words. How much praise can one give to a player like Totti? Soon, we’ll run out of words to describe the figure, the myth, the icon that Francesco is for the club and the fans. Free kicks, insane backheels, records, you name it, he delivers. The choice of Franciscus as the new pope was really a missed opportunity. There’s only one true Pope in Rome, who ironically shares the same name.


The Nostalgia award: Perrotta and Taddei. My Spalletti-meter went through the roof after that sub. Nice to see the older warriors getting their time in the spotlight for once, in this age of rejuvenation and young violence. Maybe Andreazzoli can teach an old dog new tricks?


The Goicoechea award: Stekelenburg. Yes he got a clean sheet but ‘Stektacular’ also got the brainfart obligatoire. Although being 30cm bigger than the rest, he released a fairly easy ball into the feet of a Parma player, Amauri methinks, when the score was only 1-0. Luckily, Parma smothered the chance but I don’t dare imagine if Parma had punished that blunder. Maybe Sabatini should keep Fulham’s phone number, you know, just in case.


The Nutcracker Prince award: Florenzi. With some imagination, he even looks like one if he grows a moustache.


The 300 award: Daniele De Rossi. Eureka! As Archimedes would say. I finally found out why he grows his beard. Daniele played his 300th Roma game in Serie A and therefore he wanted to celebrate in style: like in the movie 300. Spartans, Romans…. You understand the link. Classy Daniele, classy. Now ditch the beard! THIS…. IS…. REAL LIIIIIIIIIFE!!!

Bitchslap of the week


Barcelona. Keep your dirty hands off Marquinhos! Unless, of course, you include a certain Argentinian player who’s name also starts with an M in the deal…. (if anyone in the comments writes Mascherano, I’ll personally go and give this person a wedgie while I sexually harass him with a cactus)

Notes


• Out with Kappa, in with Nike. Just do it. Nike is obviously a hugely popular and far more known brand than Kappa. Moneywise, this is a very good deal whether you like their style or not. Guess it’s part of the owners’ plan to make Roma a brand worldwide. Nike, sheiks, new stadium… You can’t deny these are intersting times for us Roma fans. AS Roma never actually was a ‘family club’ or a ‘romantic small provincial side’ to begin with if you play in a city with a population of almost 3 million people. True, since the Sensi era (or even before that, under Conti, Di Bartolomei and Pruzzo) they lost some of their Roman soul. Money makes the world go round, one cannot simply survive in Serie A with eleven homegrown players or money from the local barbershop and pizzeria. Times, they are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan once sang.

• Roma’s not getting Arab money. Seems a marriage between Americans and Arabs is something so unearthly even Roma can’t handle the pressure. Well, we still got Disney right?

• Roma clearly have the easier schedule for the upcoming weeks. Apart from the derby, we face Palermo, Torino, Siena and Pescara. Fiorentina on May 5th is the real big test. I’ve already given you Lazio’s one, here are the others:
Milan: @Chievo, @Fio, Napoli, @Juve (auwtch X2)
Inter: Juve, Atalanta, @Cagliari (@Sampdoria somewhere in between)
Fiorentina: @Cagliari, Milan, @Atalanta, Torino
The derby and Milan-Fiorentina, those are the two key games. And as fate wants it, they are played in the same weekend. Milan-Fio on April 7th and the derby Monday 8th.

Breaking Bad


Next week we face….errrrr no one. Due to an international break and WC qualifiers, there will be no Serie A next weekend. Maybe a perfect time to put up that Zeman love letter I was talking about a few weeks ago? Or an ode to Rodrigo Defendi, Paolo Castellini, Fabio Zamblera and Mauro Esposito,whatever. I’ll get wasted enough to find something to entertain you guys in my next Totti Tuesday (Double T). See you next week!


“I don’t know what I do that is so important... I try to be myself, say what I think and do what I say. I do express myself very clearly. What would’ve happened if Roma had called me earlier? To be honest, I still think it weird they called me at all...” – Andreazzoli, 2013

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