Please join everyone here at Viola Nation in wishing Gian Lorenzo Bernini a happy birthday. The sculptor and architect, responsible for designing St. Peter's Basilica and dozens of other buildings, would be 417 today. From the sublime Cathedra Petri to the genuinely silly Elephant Obelisk, he's responsible for some of the most beautiful and memorable edifices in the peninsula.
So Bernini made his awesome stuff, and it's still breathtaking after half a century. But what about something as beautiful and transitory as soccer? Even footage from games 40 years ago has this weird surreal quality, due to the slower pace and grainy film, but it's still not the same as watching it live; it's the difference between seeing Inception in a theater, and watching it on Netflix for the fifth time (does the top stop spinning?): the overwhelming tension of seeing something new and unpredictable and viscerally interesting versus already knowing the outcome and watching anyways.
This is the paragraph where everything gets wrapped up into a nice solution and we all get to learn some important lesson. Unfortunately, no dice on this one. Even as technology advances at an inexpressibly rapid rate, there's no way to re-experience a match, to get that satisfaction deep in your guts from watching someone else bisect a defense with a perfect pass or thump a ball into the back of a net. In the long run, the only real evidence of the beautiful game (or even a beautiful game) is anecdotal. The only tangible evidence of success is silverware.
And that, I think, is why a lot of us here are Fiorentina fans. We're not Florentine (most of us, at least), and our ties to the city and team are tenuous and self-constructed. As a group, we're not necessarily interested in seeing our enemies driven before us. We'd rather enjoy that perfect, transitory instant of perfection as Gonzalo Rodriguez nips in to sneak the ball off a striker's foot, then fires a pass that describes a perfect parabola that ends at the feet of Federico Bernardeschi. We tend to value the aesthetic, the fleeting, over a fully-stocked trophy case. With apologies to Horace 3.30, we have built a monument more lasting than bronze, and it is our memories and experiences of watching, like, spiritually fulfilling victories and agonizing defeats. An Elephant Obelisk would be cool, but the steady passage of time is also okay. Sort of like this.
Mundo Deportivo says that Barcelona are interested in Berna. Here is our response to this totally rational rumor.
Here is Davide Astori talking about Scudetto ambitions.
Comment of the week
As Sebastien Frey announced his retirement this week, I suppose we should be grateful that James of Melbourne deigned to let Luca Toni share the screen in this goodbye comment. Seriously, though, well put, James. We'll miss them too.
That's all for this week, everybody. Get ready for a midweek fixture against Belenenses to decide Europa League seeding, and then a game against some team from Turin. Juvenuts, maybe. Until then, forza Viola.