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BatiGol Weekly 221: Golden years

In which we discuss fandom, revisions, and why we keep doing this to ourselves.

ACF Fiorentina v Atalanta BC - Serie A
Don’t let me hear you say life’s taking you nowhere, angel
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Since we’re Fiorentina fans, and much of Fiorentina’s history focuses on the near-misses, the almosts, the could-have-beens, I got to thinking about this today. Which reversal wrecked this team the most? If I had the power, which one thing would I go back in time and change? At which turn would a different direction have brought the Viola to the glory

There’s no shortage of high-profile disappointments. That Champions League tie against Bayern, for instance, was simply heartbreaking, but was it as bad as seeing Giuseppe Rossi crumple to the pitch holding his knee again? Or as bad as Mohamed Salah reneging on the handshake agreement he had with the club, only to sign with AS Roma? The Cecchi Gori fiasco? This, more than trophies, is the true wealth of Fiorentina.

But it’s not always the big things. All too often, it’s the minor results that make all the difference. Last year, it was an inability to beat Cagliari at home in the penultimate match of the season, when a win would have guaranteed the team a place in the Europa League. The demolition at the hands of AC Milan the following week officially slammed the door, but it wouldn’t have mattered with a win over the Sardinians. And there are so, so, so many other tiny, insignificant, completely forgettable defeats like that across every 90 minutes, and across every season, year after year after year.

It seems strange to me that we turn to Fiorentina as an escape from regular life, which mirrors this team so perfectly: a series of small defeats and smaller victories stacking up across the decades until you can’t recall any of them; all you can recall is their cumulative weight. You recall that because it’s an omnipresent burden, pulling you backwards into the slurry of the past in which individual events blur into each other until they’re a single, monumental archetype which is true even though it didn’t happen, and we do this to ourselves every week during the Serie A season.

I’m not sure what this says about us, other than a high tolerance for self-inflicted emotional harm. I guess that’s toughness, although my mom used to say that there’s a fine line between tough and stupid, and that I usually came down on the wrong side of it. Maybe that’s what fandom is, though: stupidity, brought on by the repeated trauma that comes with putting so much of yourself in the actions of something that’s almost entirely arbitrary. Maybe this is what we deserve for spending our time on football instead of, I don’t know, learning how to play the accordion or building award-winning birdhouses or something.

All I know is that I’ll still be here on Saturday for Torino. See yall then.

Latest news

Fiorentina lost a perfect home record with a draw against Cagliari. Catch up on all our coverage here.

The club has its first silverware of the season thanks to the Viola beating Juventus in the Supercoppa last week. Yeah, it’s a pretty good feeling.

Catch up on the Viola youngsters (and Amidu Salifu) on loan in Serie C.

Must read

We took a look at Giovanni Simeone’s struggles this year and drew a few conclusions.

Cristiano Biraghi scored his first goal for the Azzurri in dramatic fashion and we’re pretty excited.

We’re still working on putting together Fiorentina’s greatest XI, and now we’d like to hear what you have to say about the central midfielders.

As the international break turned our brains to mush, we got to wondering which Viola players correspond to which superheroes, and you delivered.


Which famous failure would you most like to see changed?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    The failure of the Rossi-Gomez strike partnership
    (21 votes)
  • 12%
    The Bayern Munich fixtures
    (4 votes)
  • 15%
    Cecchi Gori
    (5 votes)
  • 6%
    Qualifying for the Europa League last year
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    I’ve got another one to add in the comments
    (1 vote)
33 votes total Vote Now

Comment of the week(ish)

Mike-R hammered this joke about superheroes right out of the park. Even if it’s way too soon, man.

That’s it for this week, folks. Talk to someone new.