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BatiGol Weekly 48: Progress or something

Or, what a really obscure 16th century Tuscan astronomer teaches us about football.

Well, that's some kind of progress.
Well, that's some kind of progress.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Happy 508th birthday to Alessandro Piccolomini. Now, you may ask yourself, "Who the heck is Alessandro Piccolomini? Knowing The Tito, he's probably some stupid, obscure minor figure from some esoteric field who has no bearing on anything even remotely relating to Fiorentina or even soccer in general." And I'd answer, uh, well, yeah, actually. You've kind of figured out my shtick. But bear with me on this one.

Piccolomini was an astronomer, poet, philosopher, philologist, and general academic. He mostly lived and worked in Siena, but Cosimo di Medici commissioned him to do some work as well, so there's a Florentine tie-in. Anyways, Piccolomini was a pretty big cheese of the day and age. He believed that there was more land than water on the earth, that the stars were fixed in place and not moving, that the sun revolved around the earth. You know, a lot of stuff that was (and still is, as far as we can tell) wrong.

So he got all of this stuff wrong and basically didn't advance the ball for science at all. In fact, considering that he helped establish the astronomical system that Galileo Galilei proved wrong, you could make the case that Piccolomini set science back quite a bit. But--having set up this straw man, I'll go ahead and knock it back down--that's a pretty reductive way to look at it, because it was all that ultimately wrong work that gave later thinkers something to push back against and really get some stuff done.

That's how progress works. The world gets everything wrong, then slowly corrects itself before getting other things wrong. And what makes soccer (sport in general, but soccer in particular) so intriguing and beautiful is that it's a perfect microcosm of that process. So, as we steal ourselves for yet another mercato that's almost guaranteed to frustrate or disappoint in some way, it's a good thing to step back and remember that, for all the setbacks and screw-ups and ugliness, things are moving in a generally positive direction, even when they seem all ass-backwards.


Latest news

There's a transfer window coming, so Fiorentina must be interest in Luca Cigarini. Here is our report. Bonus: Gianmarco Ferrari is also a target.

Here is our report on Leicester City's interest in Josip Iličić, of all people.

For your weekly transfer rumor roundup, check out our regular Transfer Tuesday feature here.

And there's no way you don't have enough soccer to keep you busy this summer, but here is Fiorentina's preseason schedule if you need that Viola fix to keep you going.

Must read

We've got another first hand account of that thrilling and ultimately heartbreaking Juventus match. Read it here, and check out the pictures here.

Here is the our final updates on the Viola players who went on loan to clubs in the Lega Pro, Serie D, and outside Italy. It's got a few big names, so you should check it out.

If you're ready to watch the Euros but need a Fiorentina-centric guide to them, we have just the thing for you. Here is Part 1 of our Euro preview, and here is Part 2.

Comment of the week

Normally, we don't spotlight quotes in this segment. But Mike-R dug up this absolute gem from Borja Valero's agent that we need to enjoy.

That's all I've got for this week. Love each other, people.