Saturday, August 26th, 2017— Los Angeles, California
1:32 Pacific Standard Time:
As the final whistle approaches, I sit and stare at the screen with a maelstrom of emotion. What did I just witness? How did this scoreline happen? Just thirty minutes ago my whole conception of Roma had undergone a spectrum shift. All the doom and gloom felt over the summer had subsided due to a display of quick, exciting football. The whistle blows. Disappointment, ruefulness, confusion, shock, surprise—-they all dance circles in my hippocampus.
2:01 Pacific Standard Time:
I pick up the guitar, strum some George Harrison Beatles tune: while my Roma gently weeps. No good. I look outside, sun reflecting off the pool. I take a dip. No good. I check the surf report. No waves. No good. The match is still behind my eyelids. Now, Hindsight, pompous as ever, begins its process, forcing my brain to formulate reason.
Fact #1: If Roma had started a right-footed right back (god, that’s redundant) the first goal would’ve never happened. I believe this true as going back to the tape shows poor Juan Jesus trying to clear a ball by cutting to his preferred left. That doesn’t happen with a real right back. That horrible, center-crossing ball, caught everyone out of position.
Fact #2: If VAR had been used Roma would had fair appeals for two potential penalties. I am convinced the arms around Fazio, that tugging incident, was a PK. No tug, and he’s got a clear goal scoring chance. I also believe that the logic behind the “Perotti Incident” is flawed. How can it be a corner and not a PK? That would mean he tapped the ball around the defender after the contact. Right? Right? Am I crazy? Maybe.
Fact #3: If three struck balls had shifted an inch they would have been three goals.
Fact #4: Roma lost 3-1. When you play a game of ifs you win or you die.
6:35 Pacific Standard Time:
The city buzzes with the hype around the impending McGregor vs. Mayweather fight. I enter Rose Liquor.
“Who you got on the fight?” the clerk asks.
“Roma, always Roma.”
I leave the liquor store with a sixer of Red Stripe.
Beer One: I read and reread Bren’s match review. I linger on his second-half diagnosis and drink. Were Roma that bad in the second-half? Did not Inter seize the few chances they had? Was Roma’s crumbling not the effect of EDF turning into Zeman and pressing for the equalizer? I think and drink. I like an overzealous team. EDF’s gung-ho tactics at the end of the match didn’t pay off, but the team was pretty damn close.
Beer Two: Woah, the comments section got ugly. Fast. The second beer goes down a lot quicker, my taste buds believing the lager is water. Do I comment? Do I join the CdT circus. Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell the blood of Bren gang up!
Beer Three: I’m inspired to write an article, but the match still broods along my cerebral cortex. Instead, I heat a frozen pizza. I eat a frozen pizza. This is the mood I’m in.
Beer Four: I realize that understanding Roma is a lot like trying to understand David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Are we meant to understand? Or we suppose to analyze every little thing? Or is it not simply art, like loony Lynch states? Roma’s loss was a roller coaster drama. Exciting, heart-wrenching, strange. Compared to that bore against Atalanta, the match was thrilling. Can we not just be happy to witness the beautiful game as it is? Anyone who watched the match knows who displayed better football. But as we all know, it often doesn’t matter who the better team is. Football is a game of chance. Inter took their few chances. Roma did not take their many chances. Oh shit, I am trying to analyze—abort.
11:01 Pacific Standard Time:
My fiancee slides into bed as I stare at the ceiling. She’s worked all day, blissfully without a mind’s confinement of team allegiance. I am full of beer and pizza. Roma is still on my mind. Going on twelve hours. But no longer am I disappointed about their loss. Rather, I am excited. I had convinced myself that EDF could not create an entertaining brand of football. I saw glimpses of direct passes and movement that make me optimistic. Sure, it hurts to lose. Especially at home to our former manager. Yet, I think I can go to bed knowing that Roma put in a good match, a hard fought game. My eyelids close and I dream Romaless for now.