One of my favorite memories of my grandfather—an urbane Brazilian who was a surgeon and spoke at least 5 languages, mostly so that he could unleash unspeakable profanities in all of them—was going to visit him in San Francisco when I was about 9. It was the first time I’d ever flown on a plane by myself, so I was feeling very grown up; when you’re 9, that’s a good feeling.
When he met me at the airport in his 20-year-old Toyota, the first place we went wasn’t back to his comically messy and overstuffed apartment on Nob Hill. It wasn’t to the Golden Gate Bridge or Chinatown or Pier 39 or one of the innumerable tourist attractions sprinkled throughout the Bay City. It was to the nearest bodega, where he bought a 6-pack of O’Doul’s. For those of you not in the know, O’Doul’s is an American lager that is brewed to contain no alcohol. As you can imagine, it’s not particularly good.
As he explained to me as we got back in the car, this would be like a training bra for me. I was, again, 9 years old and had no idea what a training bra was, but I was thrilled that he was talking to me like an adult, so I nodded in the most grown-up fashion I could muster. I went through about 12 of those things over the long weekend, while his usual intake of wine—Two Buck Chuck only, because he was also the world’s cheapest human when spending on himself—and Trader Joe’s beer didn’t dip in the slightest.
When I think back on that, I always get a warm fuzzy. He may have been the first full-size human to include me as his equal in an activity. Obviously, you can’t go letting a child drink a bunch of beer and wine, but he wanted me to be there with him as he did his usual, and he wanted me to be on equal terms. He was even happy to mock me about it, just as he would have mocked someone four times my age who drank O’Doul’s. He treated me as a fully autonomous person even when I still wasn’t entirely immune to bursting out crying because someone stole my pencil in class, and that was wonderful.
I’m going to spend a lot of time mining for similarly comforting memories for the rest of this week, and probably for the rest of this season, because it is really damn unpleasant being a Fiorentina fan right now. The team is as bad as we’ve seen it since the days of Delio Rossi or Siniša Mihajlović and it’s hard to see a way that it’ll get better. We’re all going to get on here and rage and/or mope about the exact degree and nature of this team’s crappiness, and that is not going to be a pleasant calculus. I suggest, then, that everyone start stockpiling pleasant memories as if they were firewood to get you through to the end of spring. Otherwise, we’re all going to go crazy.
A group of notable figures, including Davide Astori, were inducted into the Fiorentina Hall of Fame this week.
Goddammit. Fiorentina got shelled at the Franchi by Juventus. Here’s the full coverage, including a bunch of questions that BWRAO’s Danny Penza was kind enough to answer for me, as well as a few that I answered for him over there. Again, goddammit.
As our search for Fiorentina’s greatest-ever XI approaches its conclusion, the question about the best striker in club history wound up being, predictably, a landslide for a certain Argentine number nine. And no, it wasn’t Nacho Castillo.
I got my wife to write up a description of seeing Fiorentina live. If you’re trying to convince a non-football fan to join you at the Artemio Franchi, this could be useful.
Comment of the week
Yeah, it’s pretty grim in Violatown right now, but baelfire is willing to remind us that it’s not all beer and skittles for Lazio right now, either, as they got binned by Apollon Limassol in the Europa League on Thursday. Heck, maybe Fiorentina can even follow the Cypriot outfit’s lead and hire some pros as well.
How much does this suck?
This poll is closed
There’s no other answer. It’s very much.
That’s it for this week, folks. Try to get more exercise.