(Tokes up) What a long, strange trip it's been, man...
It was March 2008 when Roberto offered me the opportunity to join him in writing for the best damn English-language Juventus blog in the world. It's been nearly 3 1/2 years since then, which is an eternity in blog years, as Roberto and I continued plugging away despite the new arrivals (and subsequent departures) of many other bloggers on this site.
I consider myself a pretty rational person, I don't believe in very many supernatural phenomena, I don't believe in astrology, etc, but if there's one "odd" thing I believe in, it's cycles. Everyone has cycles in their life, that have a natural beginning and a natural end, different phases of your life if you will. That's the reason I left my hometown city, that's the reason I will leave my adopted city New Orleans in a few years. As much as people often want to extend a cycle beyond its' natural expiry, it doesn't work. And you can't recreate it, no matter how much fun or entertaining as that cycle was, you'll just be disappointed with the result. That's why (partially) that Alfredo convinced Salvatore di Vita to leave Sicily and break away from what he knew.
I think I've come to the point that I've hit the end of my cycle, if you will, as a writer for the Juventus Offside. In the wake of Calciopoli, I created a Facebook group that eventually became by far the largest on the site, and found Roberto's writing through someone linking his posts. Sure, it's been a lot of work, sometimes grinding out posts when you don't particularly feel like writing, but overall, it's been an absolute pleasure. It's connected me to Juventini worldwide, many of whom I am friends with via Facebook, Twitter, [Insert your social network] that I absolutely love chatting with. It's led me to the situation that wherever I go in the world, I can probably go out and grab a beer with a fellow Juventino. (Dark larger mixed with pale ale, of course, closest I suppose you can to Bianconero Beer)
It certainly has been a dark time for us Juventini these last few years, with a humiliating 7th place finish followed up with 7th place without Europe. It's been an honor to have commiserated with all of you during the worst era in Juve's history, and while we might not win the Scudetto this upcoming year, I think times are changing for the slightly better. You all stood as proud Juventini during the post-Calciopoli era, imagine how sweet the victories will be when they start coming. (And how annoying the bandwagon fans will be)
If you'd like to keep in touch, you can friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. I'm also quite pleased to announce that I'm co-founding a site called JuventiKnows.com with Marco, Lars, Adam, and TeamGREASE. We hope to offer a variety of opinion on all things Juventus, and I really hope you'll check us out and give our site a read. (It's still a work in progress, so be patient! It's improving by the day) In the meantime, I hand things over to John...and if his Cannavaro piece is anything to show, he's certainly ready to take the reins himself, an absolutely wonderful post he put up.
As I said, it's been an absolute pleasure conversing all things Juve with you here for the last 3-and-a-half years. May this be an "arrivederci" (see you later) and not a goodbye.
Keep the Bianconero belief alive,