With the advent of the transfer window creeping and thus the return of the silly season, it has been decided by the executives here at the Roma Offside that we need some sort of ranking to determine which rumors are likely to happen and which are pure bullshit, without a prayer in the world (whether you want it to happen or not).
I figured we could go with a standard letter grading system, or give the old percentages, but that's no fun. So I came up with a new standard of grading the possibilities of "closing the deal", via my own personal feasibility/expectation rankings, also known as: The Skank Skale.
SS Grade - What that means.
Paris Hilton - Done deal; or, easy as pie. Also known as The Sure Thing, or Drunk Sorority Girl. Footy terms: Deal imminent; definitely going to happen.
Lindsay Lohan - You know there's a very good chance of it happening just because she probably can't differentiate between intercourse and toasting a bagel. Or at least she's too drunk to realize it. Chances increase with the introduction of cocaine, alcohol, crotchless panties and/or a snorkel. Footy terms: The deal is heading towards the final details.
My Ex - I kid I kid. (Although, that whole daddy issues thing...)
Any of the Pussycat Dolls - There is simply a very good chance this is happening, and though there might be better (cleaner) options, not bad in the long run on any of them. Footy terms: There's a good chance it happens. Don't print the shirt, but be on the lookout.
Fergie - She just looks like she's carrying a briefcase full of STDs (like Hideki Matsui, but without the adult entertainment). Which means: Hands off. Footy terms: It might look alright, and have some talent, but run the other way when you see this deal. If the team is a little too eager in making it happen, there's probably a reason. (Not a good one.)
Mariah Carey: She might, she might not, but for the love of God just save yourselves. She's all types of insane and you want none of that. Footy terms: It makes zero sense. Why do it? Why? (A slight variation on Fergie because with Fergie there's just a little bit of that appeal that for a split second maybe....but no. Mariah, just makes zero sense.)
Jessica Simpson - The 50/50, just because she's too dumb to know what she's doing. Footy news: Exactly that, 50/50 chance.
Jamie Murray - That strange British chick from Dexter with the strangely attractive yet strangely horrifying features all at the same time. You know, you may just see her having a pint down at the pub and about 60% of the time she'd tell you to fuck off in no uncertain terms but the other 40 she might just say "why the fuck not, I'll give you a throw". Footy terms: A decent chance of happening, and it might just hit that near completion point, but the sides are just
far apart enough and too stubborn to budge, so probably not, but maybe. (Pic, not sure she's popular enough yet)
Elisha Cuthbert- Likely a no, but there is a slim glimmer of hope if the right circumstances arrive and you put a hell of an offer on the table. And alcohol. Or a movie with a decent script where she isn't "token hot girl, but I'm a real artist I swear I am, is my shirt tight enough? Can you see my nipples? Good, I want an Oscar". (Plus, any chick that dates hockey guys is real questionable in my book - Canadian or not.) Footy terms: Probably dreaming, but if you break out the big guns (such as a Bronzettiballs), it just might happen.
Ali Larter - You know what, she's just normal enough that something says "Hey, my chances aren't good, but they're not impossible." Let's see where this goes.
Footy terms: Feel em out, get in touch but most likely not going to happen. At least not now, maybe down the line...
Keira Knightley - Almost definitely not happening, just a few millimeters above Jessica, but for some reason there is a prayer in hell... Footy terms: The 5%
Jessica Alba - Never. Gonna. Happen. Quit dreaming. Footy terms: Pure fantasy, zero percent chance. (Saved for the likes of Nasri, Essien, Messi, etc etc)
This is all under the assumption that you're already moderately famous or will be at some point in the near future. Sorry. I'm sure there's a little bit of tweaking in there as well.
* - And these here rankings do not reflect the opinion of this here author in any way, shape or form. The order would be much different.
So, onto the actual application (or attempt at it):
(Yeah yeah yeah, some are late, the plate has been full.)
Julio Baptista: The guy is, literally, a beast. But is he a Spalletti beast? And at what price? Basically, the way I see it, he'd be suited to play through the middle of the pitch in this system - trequartista and striker - and that's about it. Plus, he wouldn't exactly be coming in for pennies. With Simone, do they really need an expensive backup? No sense. SS Ranking: Mariah Carey
Juan Manuel Vargas: Way back when sometime in the summer I called him a "younger, more talented Max Tonetto". Now that Max has taken to his old stomping grounds on the wing, it rings that much truer, which makes him a perfect vice-Tonetto, as he can fill-in with Max-like qualities at both positions. Especially that whole defense on the wing phase TGIP seems to be going through (honestly, as much as I don't like it, I can't really blame him after watching Cicinho and Giuly clear enough space to land a Boeing 747 on the right flank).
Obviously a few teams are after him, and with his supposed improvement (please forgive, I don't get the opportunity to watch Catania on a regular basis - or maybe I do and choose not to), there will be some hefty bids coming in. In June/July a reported bid of €4m wasn't enough, and now it's supposedly a €10m pricetag. We'll see, but considering the other two teams after him in the summer were Rubentus and Liverpool, Roma will have to dig deep to get him if TGIP just can't live without him (like Cicinho). And if not for Mathieu, I'd say go after it. But I'm still in the Jeremy camp because of the versatility he provides all along the backline - especially after this year's injury shenanigans - and midfield at that price (free). SSR: Jaime Murray
* - Not only does he look like a Peruvian Gattuso, but his nickname is El Loco. One youtube highlight clip was is basically him starting a fight on the field after a situation had been defused, getting red then having to be restrained as he was heading towards the tunnel, attempting to start another fight with some guy on the sidelines. That's gotta be worth at least €2m right there. Just awesome.
Emanuele Calaio: Seems Roma has been in talks about taking him on with his agent Alessandro Moggi, whose father is none other than Lucky Luciano (and the guy with the strange youth club ties to Lazio). They want him as a backup for Francesco, which is fine if by saying "Francesco" they actually meant "Mirko Vucinic" or "3rd stringer".
The other catch is part of the negotiations center around Ahmed Barusso, who Napoli wants in return. Simply, if it's a loan - fine. If not, no deal. It's looking very real, though, from reports. As far as Calaio as a player, I really have no idea. He's a 25 year old striker who has spent much or most of his career in the lower leagues without jaw-dropping results. Seems to have a lot of talent, but doesn't play. Only one start this year (I hear that Lavezzi guy is decent). We shall see, don't print the shirt just yet, but it could be soon. SSR: Pussycat Dolls
The requisite youtube highlight video:
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Sidney Govou: Mssr. Govou wants Roma, not necessarily the other way around. Let's see, what is Govou known for:
• Being a winger.
• Having his motivation and "give-a-shit-factor"* (I'm coining that right now) fluctuate.
• Being highly inconsistent.
• Showing flashes of the spectacular.
• Being a whiny bitch.
• Getting PMS or some other hormonal disorder which affects his ovaries.
• Causing a rift with his captain.
Nope, got one, thanks. And if he gets sold, we don't want another. SSR: Fergie
* - Mancini is getting ranked on his "give-a-shit-factor" every game now.
Olof Mellberg: Oh finally, a Swede. And not just any Swede, the ex-captain of the NT. Glory be. It's being said that he's garnering longing looks from Roma, Juve and Milan after his contract runs out next summer. Works for me - he's a good, solid, hard-nosed defender, who can also play RB - but will he appreciate falling 3rd in line after being The Guy at both Aston Villa and for Sweden? Well, he is for the NT, anyway. At least at Juve he'd get a chance to play and some of those Milan defenders have to start dying off soon, right? What's the age expectation of there, 98? I think he'd be a fantastic signing for the squad and a solid 3rd choice defender, but how feasible is it? I hope good, but I tend to doubt it. SSR: Elisha Cuthbert, potentially bumping up to a Jessica Simpson.
Should do it for now. More rumors will come fast and furious. On your toes.