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Manu’s Grab Bag: Stellar Presentation

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Juventus trash Udinese as the uber-hyped Moise Kean steals the show.

Juventus v Udinese - Serie A Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Before the game started, Friday’s fixture against Udinese had all the tell-tale signs of a boring drab game in which nothing really noteworthy happens. And then the starting lineup was announced:

Wojciech Szczesny, Martin Caceres, Andrea Barzagli, Daniele Rugani, Leonardo Spinazzola, Rodrigo Bentancur, Emre Can, Blaise Matuidi, Federico Bernardeschi, Moise Kean, Alex Sandro

And will you look at that! Moise Kean starting, Leonardo Spinazzola startign, too! We got old man Andrea Barzagli back — albeit it unfortunately ended up being a brief cameo — Alex Sandro playing as a wingback! It was enough to get me interested, but enough to get my attention?

Let’s cook.

Winner: Moise Kean

YES!

YEEEEEEEEEEES!!!

YOU ARE RIDICULOUS, MOISE KEAN!

It is so uncommon for young guys to actually live up to the hype, so my expectations were low. Best case scenario was probably a solid outing with some flashes, I thought, foolishly.

I don’t want to jump the gun and this was just one game against Udinese; we are not talking world-class competition here. But Kean not only lived up to the hype, he exceeded it. Not only were the goals were impressive, but his movements on the pitch looked fluid, calm and collected. His burst into the box was explosive and his finishing was spectacular. This guy is brimming with potential, sure, but what is truly astounding is that he is already a phenomenal player at the age of 19.

One shudders to imagine what will he become with some more time. This is Moise’s world we are just living in it.

Winner: Puns

Bring the Moise.

Rock You Like A Hurri-Kean.

Come On Feel The Moise.

Rock And Roll Ain’t Moise Pollution

I’m workshopping this, I’m willing to take suggestions.

Winner: The Unrelenting Passage of Time and The Certainty that Death Will Come For Us All

Moise Kean is 19. Hans Nicolussi Caviglia is 18. They were born during this current century, they were born during times I actually remember. Like, doing things and interacting with other people. I was 7 in 2000.

I remember my first crush by then, I remember the Sydney Olympics, I was an actual person and these kids were not even alive.

It’s an odd moment when kids younger than you are now your “idols” on the pitch, I guess this is what growing up feels like. I do not like the feeling fellas, I do not like it one bit.

I guess it’s officially time to call it. I’m never going to be a professional footballer. Sad day.

Winner: Kevin Lasagna

Haha, Lasagna.

With that out of the way, what a cracker by the Italian! I was first made aware of Lasagna’s existence, because, well, his last name is Lasagna. But as he showed today and a few call ups to the Italian National Team, he’s actually pretty good!

It’s always great on my book when a guy gets some international recognition, for mostly gimmicky purposes, but then ends up being an actually pretty decent player.

Kevin Lasgna you are alright in my book, man.

Parting Shot of the Week

As I was getting ready to watch this game, something happened. I realized that I was not that interested. I kinda didn’t want to watch the game, I caught myself thinking. To be honest if it wasn’t because I was expected to submit something as part of my arrangement with your friendly neighborhood blog BWRAO, I would have definitely done something else.

The reason was simple, it didn’t matter. Juventus was plus-16 in the table, well on their way to repeat as Serie A champions — again — and the only game I truly cared about was the return leg against Atletico in a few days. Which led to me asking a question.

Why do we watch? What is the purpose of living and dying for a team? To be a fanatic?

At first, I thought, to see them win, of course. But that can’t be it. In any given league or competition there is only one team that wins, and that would render the fans of every other team as purposeless and I don’t think they are. You can’t base your entire fandom on whether or not you win, that would mean not being a fan for the vast majority of fans and teams, because the vast majority of them don’t win.

As I watched Kean fulfill all the hype and Leonardo Spinazzola fly down the right wing after his injury and find out Emre Can is actually a pretty good PK taker, I found out why we keep watching. Because it’s nice to feel identified, to feel like you’re something bigger than yourself, if only for a few hours.

Watching Juve trash Udinese was meaninglessly beautiful. And that’s what I love about sports the most.

So even if the league is all but done and even if we get ousted from the Champions League in the upcoming Round of 16 matchup and the games turn meaningless. I will still watch, and I will still be excited and I will still be all in.

Because I’m a fan. And being a fan doesn’t have to make sense.

See you Tuesday.

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