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BatiGol Weekly 96: Pyramid of tears

In which we discuss first cars, Hellboy, and the beauty of defects.

Spal v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
No, things don’t come so easy.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

I got my first car when I was 17 because my parents were tired of driving me to school and the bus didn’t go by our house. Like most teenagers, I was useless and unreliable by nature, so they opted for a car that was both cheap and safe, which manifested as a 1992 Volvo S60 with about 215,000 miles on it. Cloth seats. Those iconic Volvo headrests. A cassette deck. I was smitten.

The car—which I christened Pogo, after a southern opossum from the mid-20th-century—turned out to be perfect for me for a multitude of reasons, most of which were good reasons to run screaming. The top speed was 62 miles (100 km) per hour, attainable only when traveling downhill and with a healthy tailwind. The engine had a habit of shutting off while I was driving; the cheapest solution was to break the shift link so I could pop it in neutral, restart it, and slide back into gear while still moving, so that’s what we did. The right rear window didn’t roll down. The air conditioning worked when it wanted to, which was rarely in the Texas summer.

When Pogo finally and predictably kicked the bucket after half a decade, I was heartbroken. My next car, while a doughty and stolid Volvo station wagon, was Fine. But it lacked Pogo’s quirks, and I missed them. It felt wrong to be able to unlock the passenger door from the outside, to forgo the ritual that preceded getting the tape deck to work, to hit 65 on the highway like it wasn’t anything. I missed all the half-repaired features, because those were what made my car different from everyone else’s. Those were the basis of its, and my, character.

The same holds true for people. To quote John Myers, “My uncle used to say that we like people for their qualities but we love them for their defects.” While it’s yet another piece of evidence that Hellboy is a seminal work about the human condition (read the comics if you haven’t because Mike Mignola is basically the reincarnation of Caravaggio), it’s also pretty damn true. All of the people I love are capable of irritating more than anyone else and often do. I’d submit that’s not isolated to me, either, but is a pretty common thing.

It also applies to Fiorentina. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be cool to see the lads in purple never misplace a pass, never miss a tackle, never take a bad touch, and finish every single chance they make, year after year, decade after decade, trophy after trophy, world without end, amen. That kind of sterile perfection is amazing and cool to look at, but its also not why I love this team. I love this team because they give up the stupidest goals and the stupidest counters and pigheadedly miss easy passes and shots and get beaten by bad teams and steamrolled by good ones. But when they drop a 4-2 on Juventus or a 0-4 on Inter Milan or even a 0-0 at Napoli, it makes me so much goddamn happier than seeing them paste SPAL 5-0 every week would.

That’s why I don’t spend much time hoping for a better team. A better team wouldn’t be as good, and also, as a long-time Viola fan, well, I’ll let Max Rockatansky handle it.

Latest news

The Viola won their midweek Coppa Italia tie against an in-form Sampdoria, but you should revisit our full coverage of what was a pretty crazy match.

In contrast, the Serie A matchup against Genoa was about as fun as watching a gravel pit. We still gave it (the match, not the gravel pit) the full coverage treatment, though, so enjoy, I guess?

Fiorentina are in the hunt for defensive reinforcements, and Ulisses Garcia may be one of the top targets. Get to meet him here.

Must read

The lads on loan to Serie C clubs are doing pretty well, especially Josh Pérez. Get the full report here.

With the January window approaching, now is a good time to re-evaluate the moves from this summer.

Comment of the week

Thanks, m.atthew, for reminding us that we’re better.


Not quite topical, but how’s everyone handling the bowels of the holiday season?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Oh what a day. What a lovely day!
    (0 votes)
  • 23%
    Out here, everything hurts.
    (6 votes)
  • 23%
    If I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die historic on the fury road.
    (6 votes)
  • 23%
    Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves?
    (6 votes)
  • 30%
    (8 votes)
26 votes total Vote Now

That’s it for this week, folks. Don’t go to the mall. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.