I’ve mentioned it several times in these spaces throughout the years, but for Chris before me, for myself, for Jonas, for Sam, for Masonio and Dhaw, contributing and keeping CdT afloat has always been a labor of love, so you can imagine how amazed, and quite frankly astounded, I was when people started actually reaching out to me wanting to contribute around here. I mean, nine out of ten articles I’ve ever done on here were crafted plopped on my couch with my dog passed out next to me, so to think that what we do here resonates with people in any small way is beyond humbling.
So, it is in that vein that we say hello (and a belated one for Kevin and Jimmy) to some of the newest contributors. Feel free to answer the questions yourself in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading!
#1 Tell us about that fateful (and possibly regretful) day you let Roma into your life? Where were you? What were you thinking? How have you been coping since?
Kevin: When I was younger my grandparents took my brother and I on a trip to Rome. We were out on the streets one day and a fake Totti jersey caught my eye, so we haggled with the vendor over it. While I was already a soccer fan and had many other jerseys, none were as special as that one because it represented my love for the city itself. And then, as I started watching more and more, I fell in love with the team. As for how I’ve been coping since? Copious amounts of alcohol.
Remus: 2000-2001, I was thirteen years old. My friends and I spent many hours after school playing FIFA soccer on Playstation. Totti, Batistuta, Montella… they were only pixelated heroes to me then. Admittedly, I didn’t watch much soccer. A young teenager in a southern California surfing town, my world was very small, although I played and loved the sport. While playing the video game one day, I stumbled upon a crest, a wolf mother feeding two small children. This was the beginning. I began researching everything about the team (it was the dawn of the internet age… thanks AOL), only to realize they were in the midst of a historical campaign with Capello. Tragically, I fell in love with Roma during their last Scudetto sixteen years ago. I cope with Roma like I cope with any loved one: with patience, respect, and humility.
Thomas: January 30th, 2005, while studying in Rome. I was flirting with the club but stopped short of declaring myself a Romanista, that was until January 30th, 2005, the date of my first trip to the Olimpico. Roma, after trailing Messina 2-0 by halftime, mounted a ferocious second half comeback with goals by Totti, Cassano, and Mancini to win 3-2. The emotion, ranging from despondent to jubilant, and passion of the crowd at the Olimpico was like nothing I have ever experienced at a sporting event.
ASRCanes: Slightly different from the other guys: I had been an Azzurri fan for years before Roma. My grandfather didn’t follow any clubs when he was growing up in Italy, just the national side, so he got me hooked on them starting in 1998. Four years later, I remember waking up at 4am before school to watch every Italy match. Then Byron Moreno happened. It absolutely killed me emotionally; I had fallen in love with Francesco Totti and I was so upset about the red card (and refereeing in general) that I skipped school that day and vowed to never watch soccer again.
As the 2006 World Cup approached, I finally had high speed internet and the knowledge of how to stream matches so I decided to pick a club. With my family being from Frosinone, my initial instinct was to follow Lazio. However, I remembered how much I admired Totti during the ‘02 WC and thankfully chose Roma instead. July 4 and July 9, 2006 are still the greatest nights of my life; I was in Frosinone as Italy beat Germany in extra time and five days later won the World Cup. A celebration at the Circo Massimo capped it all off and I was forever addicted to calcio from that point on.
Jimmy: The 2006 World Cup was my introduction to Francesco Totti, and Francesco Totti was my introduction to Roma. I remember watching Italy’s dreams come true with my dad on a Spanish-language cable channel (the only channel we had that was showing the World Cup - times sure have changed, haven’t they). It wasn’t hard to see that Totti was a special player. Everything developed from there - searching for ways to watch Serie A in America, buying myself a Francesco Totti kit, even learning Italian to better understand the news and the players.
#2 Okay, so what is your fondest Roma-memory so far?
Kevin: It’s probably a tie between Luca Toni’s goal against Inter Milan in 2010 and Roma’s 3-2 comeback against Bayern Munich in the Champions League that same year.
Remus: Totti’s brace against Lazio in January 2015. I cried. The poetic justice of his performance cannot be overlooked. That game may have prolonged his career. And the selfie…
Thomas: There aren’t a lot to chose from if I’m being honest, but February 26, 2006 was pretty good. That was the day Roma beat Lazio and in the process won their eleventh straight Serie A fixture.
ASRCanes: Rodrigo Taddei at the Bernabeau. I went so crazy I broke some things in my kitchen and my Dad wanted to kill me. Luca Toni vs Inter in 2010 and Vucinic’s 90th minute diving header the following season are up there as well.
Jimmy: It has to be Balzaretti’s derby goal. I’ve seen dozens more impressive goals than that one, but I’ve never seen a more emotional one. Federico’s tears really confirmed that Roma is more than just another football team.
#3 Your worst?
Kevin: Either Roma’s defeat to Arsenal via penalty kicks in the 2008 Champions League, or when Roma bottled that home match against Sampdoria with the scudetto on the line.
Remus: Too many to count, but the one that still burns is the Coppa Italia loss to Lazio in 2013.
Thomas: I agree with Kevin, that Sampdoria match was agony. Although, the 7-1 loss to Manchester United was bad too.
ASRCanes: I still hate Giampaolo Pazzini with a passion. That Sampdoria match was absolutely heartbreaking.
Jimmy: The Coppa loss to Lazio. Just as painful as the 2004 ALCS series was for the Yankees fan inside of me.
#4 Do you have any other sports allegiances that might counteract your Roma sickness?
Kevin: I’m a huge Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Broncos fan, so that helps offset the pain somewhat. Also my favorite college basketball team, Fresno State, made the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time in nearly twenty years, so that was quite a pick-me-up during last season.
Remus: After studying abroad in Seville, Spain, I grew to respect Sevilla F.C. They’ve got a great team, coach, and director of football. Yet, Sevilla is only my mistress. Along with Kevin, I am also a Lakers fan. I watch the WSL (World Surfing League) as much as I can.
Thomas: I’m an Oakland Raiders fan so, no, not really.
ASRCanes: I’m a Jets/Mets fan, so I am completely used to not winning trophies and having my heart broken over and over (I became a Miami Hurricanes, aka Canes fan when I went to school there, which was post-2001 National Title, so same for them as well I guess)
Jimmy: I’ve been a Yankees fan since childhood, so I get my own fair share of winning through that outlet. My other sport is basketball, and although my Boston Celtics are in a bit of a rebuilding phase right now, they’ve had enough wins in the past to make up for today’s growing pains.
#5 Totti and De Rossi aside, who is your favorite player on this current squad?
Kevin: Iturbe. Just kidding, it’s Florenzi.
Remus: Florenzi, but since he is out, I’ll say Manolas for now. It will be sad to see him go…
Thomas: I can tell you it’s not Paredes. That guy needs to spend more time on his defensive positioning and tackling and less time on his eyebrows. All jokes aside it’s got to be Mr. “Roman Born” Florenzi. He’s got so much heart.
ASRCanes: Florenzi. I like him more than DDR to be honest. With the revolving door Roma now seems to operate, I find it near impossible to become attached to any other players, which is a shame. Pjanic was the nail in that coffin.
Jimmy: I hate to repeat everyone else but it has to be Florenzi. So much passion and so much effort, week in week out, has to be loved.
#6 Give us one realistic name Roma could and should add within the next year or so
Kevin: Any capable left back. Maybe it’s time to take another crack at Abdul Baba Rahman? Arthur Masuaku?
Remus: A left-back would be nice. Yet, I’ll go another direction. Riccardo Saponara, although in a rut of sorts, he could be an amazing addition. I think Milan still owns him, but we’ve stole from them before... Italian ✔ Out of contract this summer ✔ creative midfielder ✔
Thomas: I want to see more Italian players in the squad; selling Bertolacci and Romagnoli was upsetting. That being said and since wing-backs are perpetually needed, maybe Zappacosta would be a good fit. I like Remus’s Saponara idea, however.
ASRCanes: Bringing Matteo Politano and Lorenzo Pellegrini back. Matteo Darmian on loan this winter would be great as well.
Jimmy: A Roman academy graduate. I’m not picky about who (although I think Alessandro Bordin may have the best chance), I just want to make sure that there are plenty of Romans in the squad as Totti and De Rossi head towards the ends of their respective careers.
#7 I know you’ve only been at it for a couple weeks now, but has the process of writing about Roma changed the way you think or feel about the club?
Kevin: Absolutely. Roma fans are very passionate and sometimes rush to judgement, but as a writer, I’ve had to learn how to channel that energy and let my thoughts mature before developing them into something rational.
Remus: It has made me even more obsessed! Now I have a forum to discuss all the madness of Roma that goes through my head every day.
Thomas: I spend more time researching and thinking critically about Roma than I did a few weeks ago and it has started to change the way I look at the club, especially its administrators. They appear disorganized and lacking a viable plan of fulfilling what they promised the fanbase.
ASRCanes: Agree with Kevin and Thomas.
Jimmy: It’s definitely helped me move away from the land of hot takes, which I appreciate.
#8 If you could ask James Pallotta one question about the club, what would it be?
Kevin: What’s your actual plan?
Remus: Do you really care about this club? Or is it just about money?
ASRCanes: Why do you never come to Rome? (basically what Remus said)
Jimmy: Do you actually support Donald Trump? Please say no.
#9 Roma has always had some pretty slick kits, but which one is your all-time favorite?
Kevin: This one forsure!
Remus: Dig this one.
Thomas: This one. It’s the Coppa Italia patch and I always liked the navy blue socks.
ASRCanes: Last year’s away shirt. I am an architect/town planner who has a life-size 10 foot by 8 foot assemblage of the Nolli Plan of Rome in my apartment, which is the map that was screen printed on the front of the shirt. Needless to say, I am still in love with that kit.
Jimmy: So simple, yet so refined.
#10 Finally, finish this sentence. In five years, Roma will be…
Kevin: Playing in the Stadio Olimpico still.
Remus: a part of the MLS after seceding from Serie A in an effort to gain more American interest.
Thomas: the death of me.
ASRCanes: Owned by Chinese investors and still playing in the Olimpico.
Jimmy: playing in the Stadio Della Roma. Someone has to be optimistic.
Hahah, we’ll end it on that note, thanks Jimmy! We’re going to keep expanding our ranks to make this place as vibrant as possible, so if you’re interested, here’s what we’re looking for.