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BatiGol Weekly 36: Decline and Fall

Not in, like, a Gibbon or Waugh sense. More in a "How are you choking away this opportunity?" sense.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

In December, we dreamed of a purple empire that would span all of Serie A, that would shake the entire peninsula as it trampled over the rest of the league. The dead of winter was our Viola spring, and spring for everyone else has been our winter. As Juventus and Napoli and AS Roma have blossomed into form and grown towards the Champions League places, Fiorentina has withered and shrunk, clinging desperately to any hope for a top-three finish.

Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.Marcus Aurelius

I don't know why we're so surprised, though. This happens. Every. Single. Year. Fiorentina either shoots out the gate and looks excellent for the first half of the season, or limps out the gate and suddenly picks it up late. We've seen it under every coach and in every season, and Marcus Aurelius would probably have a word or two to say to us about it.

So now it's time, perhaps, to set aside those dreams of empire, if only for the rest of the year, and instead set some goals that, while more modest, are still laudable. For a hundred years after Aurelius presided over Rome at its grandest, the empire deteriorated under a series of ineffective rulers, so riddled by rebellions and dissent and foreign incursions and defeats against traditional and new rivals that it seemed certain to fall at any moment. At that point, contraction and stabilization were the goals, and expansion was simply unrealistic.

And yet, a hundred years later, Diocletian took the throne, shored up the borders of the empire, squashed the dissent, and ushered in thirty years of peace and prosperity that hearkened back to Rome's golden and silver ages. While I hope it doesn't take that long for Fiorentina to regain the scudetto, it's worth remembering what Santayana said, and hope that we're not seeing the future as this iteration of the Viola Empire shakes to its very foundations.


Latest news

Another week, another round of of transfer rumors. Catch up on them here.

And here is our coverage of the Frosinone match.

But not everything is terrible, because Federico Bernardeschi just got his first senior call up from Antonio Conte. Read more here.

Must read

Here are the progress report for the Viola playing elsewhere.

Better vote on who's going to be our next Facebook cover picture. If you still haven't, here is the link to the poll.

Khouma Babacar as issued a statement condemning a racist incident that occurred in Serie D last week. Catch up on some serious stuff here.

Comment of the week

Going to attach this in an email to Daniele Pradè. Be right back. Thanks, drew t.

Well, that's it for this week. Here's hoping for some better results next week.