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There's Nothing Going On Today But We've Got Group Hugs

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Peace, Love & Happiness:

Do you ever have one of those days that, when you’re 65 years old and reflecting on your life, will just stand out to you? When you’ve done something so utterly astonishing to yourself, even if not on purpose, that you couldn’t help but freeze because you wanted to soak in every second of the moment. One where your first instinct is to call everyone you’ve ever met, but you know they’ll never believe it. Well, I had that day yesterday (luckily there was a witness). I’m pretty sure nothing in my life has come close to it, and in terms of "coolness," nothing ever will.

I’m not saying this to brag, I didn’t necessarily do it on purpose and everybody has one of these days, and I won’t tell what it is, but this is just a fair warning: Roma could sell Cristian Chivu to Internazionale today for Alvaro Recoba and a plate of prosciutto and ricotta cheese tortellini and I would be writing a post with pictures of butterflies and cupcakes, with whimsical sonnets dedicated to the Great Recoba and glowing praise of Rosella Sensi and Daniele Prade. I’ve been walking on a cloud like I spent last night in the Playboy grotto (not even in the ballpark you dirty dirty people), so nothing could bring me down, absolutely nothing. Group hug.

I was watching a few old game tapes and some highlights last night, and I have to say I'm so ready for the season to begin. The speculation can be fun, and seeing new names come into the club is always exciting, but the games are what it's all about. The crowds, the goals, the celebrations, it can't be beat. I'm especially ready for the first game against Inter (and I don't mean the Super Cup). Unfortunately, the summer isn't even halfway through, so there's still a lot of waiting to do. Back to the mercato. Boooo. Group hug.

Chivugate:

Alright, Inter might be backing off or they might not be. Moratti says there's a 50/50 chance they land Chivu. Then there's the "interesting" offer from Barcelona, after which Daniele Prade gave Barca the green light to start negotiating with Chivu (see that Massima? That's called class). Prade has said the two teams will have final negotiations before the weekend, so I'd guess Chivu has less than 48 hours on the payroll, but this thing was supposed to be done eons ago. Whatever. I'm done speculating and I just hope it's quick and painless. At this point it feels more like a full-cavity search. Or so I've heard.

I'm going to go into Franco Semioli mode here for a second. Reports are stating Inter have targeted Andrea Barzagli as Plan B now that Chivu is ready to do the merengue. Apparently Marco Materazzi called Moratti to give the green light on acquiring him. I'm sure the Inter hierarchy were waiting by their phones with bated breath for that one. Now, I have maintained all along that I want Chivu anywhere but Inter. But I would give the OK to sell Chivu to Inter for €10m flat if it also kept Barzagli out of Milan, at least the slightly-less-evil half. I think Chivu is a great athlete and a class defender but Barzagli can and may very well become The Guy. He is so talented and is so mature in terms of his instincts and decision making, it scares me to think of him anchoring the Inter backline for years to come. Let's all pray it doesn't happen.

The Rest Of It:
I) So it looks like Julien Faubert is doing his best to drop Bordeaux's asking price by failing to report to training camp. I'm sure Bordeaux are thrilled with this, a chunk of their leverage just went out the window. Whether this impacts Roma only the privileged few will know. I still think he's in the running, but I also thought Chumbawumba was around for the longhaul. Once Chivugate is officially over the clarity should resemble Moses' parting of the Red Sea. Or Paris Hilton parting her legs after 3 weeks of "female companionship." Either one.

* - Faubert's agent stated that his client prefers a move to Scotland. Now, I don't believe it for one second but, if it is in fact true, I don't want anyone who would choose Glasgow Rangers over Roma. That's a recipe for mental mistakes galore on the pitch.

II) Legea got pissed after it was reported Kappa are supposed to be Roma's new shirt makers, so they decided to top Kappa's offer. I haven't talked to a single person who wants to see Kappa dropped in favor of Legea. Maybe Roma will get a clue and realize they'll probably lose half the revenue of shirt sales (anybody outside of Italia ever see Legea in any stores?) if they go with the crap Legea puts out. Wait, did I just say maybe Roma will get a clue?

Welcome to Rome, Legea.

III) Jean-Michel Aulas phoned in his interest of Matteo Ferrari, as did "several big clubs" according to Matteo's agent. Which is actually code for "sign my client to a fucking extension already before we pull a Chivu." Now, Ferrari's not going anywhere, but it's nice to see Matteo gaining notice from some of the big clubs in Europe. Even if it would be a "non-lateral" move.

IV) Pietro Leonardi is insulted by the offer of at least part of Mirko Vucinic plus cash for Fabio Quagliarella. He wants straight cash. Even though he really likes Mirko and would like to acquire him. So, he wants straight cash so he can then go out and buy Mirko?

I'm convinced I lose 3 IQ points every time he speaks.

V) Doni got the start in net last night for the Selecao and didn't exactly dominate the highlight reels, Brazil ended up losing 2-0. Even though neither goal was really his fault, world-class keepers may have stopped those. The first & second. Maicon was largely to blame for the first, Doni reacted quickly once he saw Nery Castillo flick the ball up but it was just out of his reach. The second was just as tough, phenomenal strike, but Doni has been known to botch a free-kick or two. Remember the second leg against Lyon where Doni just about gave the game away in the first half and then was Dino Zoff reincarnated in the second half? He's going to take at least 18 months off my life next year.

As far as what this means for Roma, if Gianluca Curci or his agent were watching that Brazil game it's going to take an act of divine intervention to convince him to go out on loan. I love Doni, but his decision making has always been shaky at best. Who was that keeper they had in the youth setup a few years ago? I think they dumped him. Wasn't he supposed to be pretty decent? Oh yeah, his name was Marco Amelia.

VI) I came across an interesting little tidbit the other day. In Philippe Mexes' 7 caps for Les Bleus, they have yet to concede a goal while he has been on the pitch. Which is code for "Raymond Domench is an imbecile." I'm convinced Domenech and Leonardi are long lost brothers separated at birth.

VII) Now that the Don Fabio is on the outs, expect those Cicinho rumors to resurface. A few weeks ago Cici said that he wanted to stay in Madrid if The Don remained but would favor a move elsewhere if not. He hasn't exactly been subtle about keeping secret his first choice is to join BFF Doni in Rome. Real can't be pleased that Roma refused their advances for Chivu in favor of honoring Barca, but I'm sure Real aren't too hurt. I'm assuming at this point that the rest of Europe looks at the Roma management as that kid in school that was so unintelligent that even the bullies pitied him. I think his name was Raymond Domenech.

* - Because of the technical difficulties in posts today I'll only be sending out one hair match-up today. And by technical difficulties I mean I really don't feel like doing the second post right now and I'm going to go to the gym.