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News Alert! ESPN Realizes Florence has a Professional Football Team

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Just a quick note today as we all look forward to the big UEFA Cup match v. Everton….

As an American sports fan (and not just a fan of soccer), I often go to the ESPN website to get my general sports news. For those of you who do not live in the United States, ESPN is the biggest sports television network in the country; they broadcast over a number of stations and generally provide high-quality coverage of American sports.

ESPN also has a very good website (espn.go.com) that provides all the latest news on American sports and columns by some very respected sportswriters.

ESPN’s coverage of soccer, however, has always been a little spotty. On television they cover some Champions League and some MLS, but little else. On their website they have a soccer homepage (called soccernet) that does a good job of providing up-to-date scores and decent coverage of football news. Much of the website, however, is weighted towards coverage of the Premiership and English football in general. Their coverage of the Spanish and Italian leagues are limited to one (admittedly very, very good) columnist for each nation: Phil Ball on Spain and Roberto Gotta for Italy.

Well, today, Gotta came out with a very long and very thoughtful column on Fiorentina. It is generally an overview of Fiorentina’s season and a consideration about whether the team will be able to break into the top four. Nothing groundbreaking, but it is a good, solid feature article about our favorite team. The article can be found here.

What struck me about this was the fact that I have been going to ESPN for a long time and I’ve never seen a feature article on Fiorentina. They most they have ever done is report the news on the team. Obviously this is all prompted by the big match with Everton today, but does this suggest that the wider world is finally starting to notice the rise of the Viola? Who knows? I’ll take this as a good sign that the club is being noticed, and accept it as a token of good luck for the big game later today.

I’ll be back later with a match review…