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BatiGol Weekly 93: Positively 4th Street

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In which we discuss jerks, sports, and cognitive dissonance.

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Benevento Calcio v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
You just want to be on the side that’s winning.
Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

One of the real difficulties of liking a sports team is that some of the members of that team are going to suck. Not that they’re not good, because we can forgive that; after all, nobody ever doubted that Nenad Tomović is a perfectly nice dude, even as we got frustrated with his performance on the pitch. No, I’m talking about guys on the team whom you just genuinely dislike, because they seem like jerks or badmouth Fiorentina or just have objectionable faces.

This brings us, naturally, to Cyril Théréau. The Viola’s leading scorer on the year has 6 goals in 9 matches, including 4 in 7 for Fiorentina, which is good for 6th in Serie A. Along with his 2 assists, his exploits in the goal column should make him the sort of pleasant surprise who, at the age of 34, is suddenly having an inexplicable career year.

Instead, though, he’s rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. His enthusiastic celebrations against Udinese, the club he forced an exit from this summer, left a bad taste. So did his refusal to let Khouma Babacar take a penalty against Benevento that the Senegalese striker had won, especially since Fiorentina was already 2-0 up. He’s also got a couple tats that are generally strong indicators that someone’s kind of a tool.

All of this means that we get to practice the sort of cognitive dissonance that allows us to love Fiorentina, even though it’s employed some despicable people over the years. After all, Marco Alonso killed someone while driving drunk, which would leave nearly anyone else stigmatized for life. Adrian Mutu—whom I love dearly because of the wonderful things he did on the pitch—has a laundry list of mistakes that wouldn’t look out of place in a prison.

I guess this is all a long way to say that our only choice is rispettere la maglia, rather than the players who wear it, because at least a guy like Théréau will be gone in the next couple of years, and only the purple shirt (well, hopefully not his specifically, because who the hell wears 77?) will remain. It feels weird to say, because it goes against everything we’ve ever been taught about life, but it’s safe to say that in football, it’s not what’s under the shirt that matters.

Poll

Who’s your least favorite Fiorentina player ever?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Cyril Théréau
    (11 votes)
  • 19%
    Houssine Kharja
    (14 votes)
  • 9%
    Alessio Cerci
    (7 votes)
  • 39%
    Mohamed Salah
    (29 votes)
  • 16%
    Someone else I’ll name in the comments
    (12 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now

Latest

We like Cholito for his future, even if the present isn’t quite working out yet. Here are our full thoughts.

Fiorentina beat a winless Benevento side for all 3 points. If you like reliving a win over a pretty good Serie B team, here you go.

Comment of the week

Mike-R is here to wish you the happiest of Viola holidays.

That’s it for this week, folks.