As Dick van Dyke once sang, gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face. While I haven't seen Bye Bye Birdie, I can only assume the song was directed towards eternal pessimists; a gentle melodic reminder that life moves in circles. Well, my friends, I'm here to tell you that the gray cloud hovering over Roma over the past several months appears to be lifting, as word is breaking that club President James Pallotta and club icon Francesco Totti have agreed in principle to a one-year contract extension.
Multiple outlets are now reporting that Pallotta and Totti have agreed, via telephone interpreters, to the basic framework of a new deal, one which we can only presume will be the last of Totti's illustrious and unparalleled career. While no particulars of the deal have been made public, nor the deal officially confirmed, speculation has run rampant, particularly surrounding Roma's plan to milk this for all its worth:
The idea is to let the final game against Chievo on May 8 be an occasion to celebrate. The club is also believed to have a great deal of business plans surrounding Totti for the next season, as seeing him play against the other Italian greats as well as in the Champions League could have a powerful effect on the brand.
We spent most of this standoff talking about the tactical reasons to extend Totti, but a farewell tour of this magnitude is sure to generate a healthy revenue stream for management, so much so that it sort of makes you wonder why they every hesitated making this move in the first place.
So while I wouldn't say Totti Watch 2016 was much ado about nothing--the rift between Totti and management was pretty evident , and it certainly produced its share of controversy in the public sphere--it appears that this ordeal is nearly behind us.
We'll have more on the particulars as they become available, but it seems as though our worst nightmares were avoided. Totti will receive the send-off he deserves.