So there you have it. Blue, a cool color. But so is red, the color of love and wine. Come to think of it, there was also a Pokémon Red! And for those of you who had the honor to witness that generation, red Charizard has always been cooler than the blue Blastoise, no? We’ll leave the gaming world for now, on to the real world full of manly men: Football!
And what better way to describe the meaning and importance of a football match then a derby? One city, two teams. One city, two types of idealism. One city, two fanbases. One city, two…., yup you guessed it, colors. Red and Blue. The Roman derby. It’s the creamy Oreo and Nutella filled layer of the football cake, it’s pure sweetness and emotions (and subsequent heart attacks if you exaggerate with the amount). Usually two is enough per season, a man and his arteries can only take so much.
And so the second derby of the season is upon us. The first one in November ended 2-0 for Pokémon Red, errrr, I mean AS Roma. We were in full Champions League modus back then, fresh off a 3-2 win against Leverkusen. Dzeko scored a penalty (obviously because it’s easier than a field goal) and the second scorer of that day was Yao, who has already left Trigoria by now, crying and blowing in his selfmade handkerchief with a sewn picture of Rudi Garcia in the middle, carying a big bag of Chinese Yuan. Ain’t life cruel?
Right, Roma. Now, the difference between both Roman teams this season has rarely been bigger. Roma, firmly in third spot, recently saw their winning streak halted by Inter. Lazio, well, they won’t make Europe, even if they traded their Blastoise with a level 100 Pikachu which has just learned the move Thunder Punch… A grey season, boring even. 11 wins, 9 draws, 10 losses. 38 goals for, 38 goals against. Wow, now that’s not something to be proud of after a rather succesful 2014-2015 campaign. They just kinda ‘exist’ this season, no real peaks or memorable games.
Of course, that’s the weird thing with a derby. That’s why it makes a derby so special. The better team doesn’t always win the game. Usually, the underdog grabs the win or at least gives the higher placed team a run for its money. In this case, Roma won’t face an easy afternoon on Sunday. But it never is during a derby. Well, unless THAT day in March 2002 when we totally hammered Lazio 1-5 thanks to a certain Montella. Reminds me of the Pokémon battle I did with my character in Pokémon Blue in the gym of Viridian City, now that was exciting! Uhm, well, we’ll save that for another day.
For the derby, coach Spalletti has an almost fully fit squad at his disposal, from Manolas to Pjanic to Dzeko to Strootman to Maicon, everyone’s fit and raring to go for this one. Even a certain Francesco Totti, AKA the ‘Mewto’ of this generation of football players (don’t worry, Pokémon fans will understand). Enough essays have been written about his season up till now, we’ll leave it at that. Let’s just pray Francesco at least plays a couple of minutes and is important. Heck, I’ll even be happy with a last-minute winner from Totti in the form of a cucchiaio in front of the Curva Sud, I’m not demanding. But c’mon, for all we know it could be his last derby. Who doesn’t want to go out with a bang?
Red vs Blue, which color will prevail? Predicting a derby is easy: It’s gonna be unpredictable. Me, Bren, Dhaw, … We can write all the previews in the world but it’s not gonna help. In the end, when those eleven players step on the field of the Olimpico on Sunday they’ll need to put their heads together and give 110%. Less won’t be enough.
There’s still something to play for this season: securing a top 3 finish. Keep Napoli and, to a lesser extend, Juve in sight and Fiorentina and Inter far below us. We need as many points as possible from now until May.
Remember, gotta catch ‘em all, right?