Yes, I am aware we lost to Genoa today. And yes, I know we lost on Sunday as well. (I saw the match on Sunday, and missed the one today.) But, as George Plimpton once said ‘We are not discouraged.’ Or, at least, I am not. That much.
As many of us have observed, the Viola haven’t gotten all that many points from their last month of Serie A matches. Meanwhile, the team has played well (very well, one could argue) in Europe, and play the good teams tough domestically. But we are sitting eighth in the league and, with a club that some observers now see as awfully thin to be playing every three or four days, signs of trouble are on the horizon. But I say: NO! In spite of a shaky October, there are reasons to remain optimistic about the boys in purple. Here are ten:
1). It’s still early. If I gave up on Fiorentina every October, I would have missed three great seasons where they qualified for the Champions League.
2). Watching Bassy Frey save penalty kicks, like he did on Sunday.
3). When I walk down Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, and some car passing me starts honking like crazy, and the driver rolls his window down, and screams “FORZA VIOLA!” and gives me a fist pump, and only then do I remember that I have my Fiorentina windbreaker on.
4). Remembering that Champions League play starts again next week, with another game vs. the Hungarians. I smell three points like I used to smell roast beef when I would visit my grandma’s. Three points closer to the knockout stages of the CL will make us all breathe a little easier.
5). Watching Alessandro Gamberini single-handedly destroy another supposedly “worlds greatest” striker. Who will be next?
6). Having my wife refer to me as belonging to the ‘Toyota Enthusiasts Society’ because every other piece of clothing I own advertises that Japanese automaker.
7). Supporting Ricky Montolivo, which is a bit like raising a child. Sure, he has all the potential in the world, but most of the time he just falls flat on his face. You pick him up, dust him off, and send him back out here. And tell all your friends about that one time where he scored this amazing goal three seasons ago…
8). Remembering that no matter what, some of the bigger clubs in Italy suck a lot worse than we do right now. Yes, I’m looking at you, Roma and the Beckhams.
9). Speaking of the Beckhams, also remember that we have the best young player in Italy right now, a lad named Steven Jovetic. Yeah, I said it. Fuck you, Pato.
10). For the last few season, we have played better in the second half. Is it better coaching, better training or just dumb luck? Hell if I know. But things will look up.
So there you go. No reason to get down. We play again this weekend, and then have a European night in beautiful Florence a few days later. Keep your chins up, and remember, ‘We are Not Discouraged.’
Thanks to my pal Tim for pitching in with some extra recaps and previews over the past few weeks, which have been uniformly awesome. Right now I am trying to figure out how much I can do for the blog going forward. If I had the time, I would continue to write all the time, since I like writing about the boys and like all of you. But, as Tim knows, I have been named Executive Director of the non-profit I work for, but I also am still doing my old (full-time) job at the same place. I’m not complaining, I’m happy to have the work. But I am becoming more and more busy as I basically try to do two full-time jobs in one work week, and still be a good dad and all that. I always do this blog late at night, but now I am working even late at night, and I don’t know how frequently I’ll be able to keep the football writing going. Eventually, I may become more of an “Occasional Guest Blogger” then a regular writer. I’m not sure. We will see how things shake out over the next few weeks. But if you don’t hear from me for days at a time, know I am still with you all, and still following the team. My silence means I am just having trouble finding the time to do anything else.
Hope you are all well, and, as I said, keep your chins up.