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Round 37: Channeling My Inner Calm

In an attempt to channel whatever smatterings of serenity that might remain within the deepest trenches of my cynical body, I’ve decided to begin this week’s preview with a haiku:

Two goals not enough.

Harlot, tease me with C-Word.

Feel sixteen again.

I didn’t watch the game this past Monday.  I’m glad that I didn’t. 

I touched on this last week; I hate weekday games for purely selfish reasons.  Yes, having a midweek European game, well, means that you’re playing in Europe – and who doesn’t love the International Competition like the World or European Cups?  But for a Stateside fan, it kind of sucks.  I won’t be in a job that gives me a glut of unfettered vacation and sick days forever – last summer, for example, I purposely scheduled an elective yet necessary surgery around the USA and Italy games so I could watch them while home recovering. 

But I obviously can’t always do that.  I could just try and keep up with the score at work or, if I’m feeling particularly friendly with austerity, I can cut myself off from all communication and avoid the internet like Amauri avoided the net (pre-Parma, but more on that later).  I did it two weeks ago against Lazio, but I just couldn’t do it again.  Luckily I had a busy day at work, and completely forgot about the game until I checked my Blackberry as I was leaving. 

This is a preview.  A what?  A preview.  A what?  A preview.  Oh, a preview!

Fine, enough of that, for now it’s time to look ahead…

Now that we’re 5 points out of 4th, and 3 points off from Bert and Ernie, I mean Sigfried and Roy, I mean Romulus and Remus finger-cuffing the last of the Europa League spots, I’m officially depressed.  I’ve been cynical in the past, but healthy cynicism is…well, healthy.  Now I’m ready to find a sturdy tree (I’ve got the rope in the garage).

There are still 6 total points left.  Great.  Just two tiny points from two little games from the “other,” “littler” (yet suddenly bigger) people in black and white tucked away in Slovenia the top right corner of the boot, and there’s the nail in our coffin.  Not that I enjoy complaining and/or stating the obvious or anything. 

Bad news:

The ones that got away. Everyone talks about Cassani, Nocerino, and the Palermo contingency that impresses south of the boot, making the egg on the face of Alessio Secco look even drippier and thick…er.  It’s true, I know, he’s one of the worst people who’s have ever lived, I wish a SEAL team with cameras strapped to their helmets would run into him one day too, I get it.  But at least those players were given up for the pursuit of other players, even if that decision was ultimately a poor one.  They weren’t dumped for perceived lack of quality or productivity, only to bite us in the collective asses when we play them. 

I’m getting sick and tired of Sebastian Giovinco.  He’s a great talent.  He can dribble, he can move, he’s quick, has good feet, is good off the ball, and can shoot.  And he’s a lefty. 

He also whines more than a bratty ex-girlfriend, and is likely six inches shorter. 

But he will kill us.  We knew he would, and he did the first time we played him.  If this season were written by a drunk, surly Hemingway, that day in January would have been the denouement – likeable characters begin to die, love becomes lost, the protagonist begins to spiral into his own psyche, and calamity ensues.  Now that I think about this, perhaps it was written by him, as the only logical next step seems to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Here's to hoping for now that Felipe Melo can manage to place himself firmly onto Frodo like an overly eager fraternity brother who spotted the only female in the room.  That is, if he can do so without being sent off within ten minutes.

Regardless, let’s be cynical realistic and expect at least a brace from Seba, and another brace from Palladino.  So really, we’ll be starting the game down 4-0.  Remember when you were young and trying to get your younger brother or cousin to play wiffle ball against you, but he wouldn’t because you were older and better, so you’d have to spot him 5-10 runs just to get him to pick up the bat?  It’s sort of like that, only this time your little brother grew up, grew muscles, and has a really, really good memory. 

In other news both Marchisio and Krasic will both miss action due to suspension, while Aquilani is a scratch due to injury.  What could possibly go wrong?

Good news?

No dice.  The only thing I can think of is that Amauri also will not be playing, because surely he’d find the net against us (starting down 4-0 is better than 5-0 I guess).

Alright, screw peace and serenity, I can’t take it anymore.

I’m brooding enough over Catania and Chievo enough as it is.  Maybe it’s because at this very moment I am writing this from Washington D.C., but I’m feeling a change of heart coming on.  I’ll deviate slightly from my good news/bad news shtick, and close this edition contentiously, divisively, and with a platform for 2011.


1. Ex-Juventini who are completely vapid on the pitch, impotent on the ball, and feckless in their results while wearing black and white, leave, and then ruin our lives. 

2. Lawyers.  I hate admitting it, but I am one.  I guess it’s part of a masochistic streak that I’ve always had, which also explains my affinity for Juventus.

3. Professional licensing continuing education requirements.  Right now, I can think of  a lot of things that I’d rather be doing on a Saturday in May than sit in a room the size of a large banquet hall, watching power-point lectures on ethics, procedure, and practice.  What’s worse?  See number 2, only imagine one who thinks he’s really, really funny, and imagine that as your lecturer.  Things can’t get worse, right?  Wrong.  No wi-fi, and thus no internet for me, and no time to find pictures or other bells and whistles for my readers.


1. The Mid-Atlantic United States region and its obsession with seafood.  Seriously, Virginia?  A triple-decker seafood salad club sandwich, incorporating generous portions of lobster salad, shrimp salad, and crispy bacon?  You’ve really outdone yourself this time. 

2. The fact that after tomorrow it will finally be appropriate to throw all delusion to the wind, get ready for the summer mercato, and wrap ourselves up in the false security that with no European action to worry about next season, we can focus solely on Serie A. 

3. Citations and references to links to corroborate points in my blog, pictures, videos, and other internet pyrotechnics that spruce up an otherwise drab blog entry.  Unfortunately, I’m without these luxuries today (see number 3 above).

4. Free continental breakfast and lunch.  I paid for the hotel, and I paid for the CLE course, but both are offering breakfast?!  Which one do I possibly choose without feeling like I’m not getting my money’s worth from the other?!  Problems, problems…

5. Free wifi at Starbucks.  Coffee is overpriced and overrated, but for the first time in my life I got to act like a real-life little hipster, with my cappuccino, pretending like I'm all important with my laptop out at a coffee shop.  Maybe someone thought I was writing a screen play.  I should've worn thick-framed glasses or something.  Anyway, thanks guys!

Probable lineup:  this is completely unscientific, the aforementioned suspensions and injuries.  I’m not even sure if Jorge Martinez is still alive, I am just completely out of ideas. 

4-4-2  Buffon; Grosso, Chiellini, Barzagli, Motta; Martinez (zombie version), Giandonato, Melo, Pepe; Del Piero, Matri.