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BatiGol Weekly 100: Backwater

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In which we discuss Shakespeare, the provinces, and ripping off scabs.

ACF Fiorentina v Juventus - Serie A
Some things will never change. They stand there looking backwards half unconscious from the pain.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

This is what it feels like to be a provincial side: you are always facing longer odds than the big clubs; no matter what you do, some richer club will somehow get away with something ridiculous to get one over on you; the media ignore the obstacles you overcome just as much as the injustices you suffer; your best players will break your heart over and over and over again; you will see the same big clubs triumph year in and year out while you desperately search for the small positives of the unimportant.

Any of this sound familiar? Of course it does. It’s what we feel pretty much all the time, even when Fiorentina wins, because the Gazzetta and Tuttosport and Twitter don’t really mention the Viola that much, instead discussing the minutiae of Juventus or one of the Milan clubs.

If you, like most of us around here, chose Fiorentina as your club rather than because you’re a native Florentine, it can be easy to sink into the resignation of backing a second-tier outfit, an opening act, an also-ran. It helps excuse the losses, because after all, how could you expect more from a minor club? When a star player forces his way out, how could you expect him to stay? When the refs call a ridiculous one against you, how can you be surprised when you know they’re always going to give the bigger club a break? When another transfer window opens and closes without a major acquisition, how can you expect superstars if the owners won’t spend enough to keep up with the rest of the league?

But the hell with that kind of complacent, easy cynicism. Nobody here chose to be a Fiorentina fan because you wanted a team that would win every match and pack its silverware case. If we were, we’d all be hanging out at Real Madrid sites or Bayern Munich sites or PSG sites. We’re here for a variety of reasons, but we’re all here, not somewhere else.

So don’t wait for all the wounds you get from watching Fiorentina stumble through yet another lost season heal. Rip those scabs off. Feel the agony anew every weekend, and sometimes on a Tuesday. Remain agog that a linesman’s flag stayed down or went up. Be shocked every time the rumor about whoever joining the Viola turns out to be false. Expound upon the stupidity of leaving Florence, Florence for crying out loud, for any other city.

Because then the triumphs are so much sweeter. A Juventus fan can’t ever understand what 4-2 means. A Chelsea fan can’t comprehend the joy of Federico Chiesa. A Bayern fan can’t fathom the sheer giddiness of seeing 20-year-old Nikola Milenković go forehead to forehead with Gonzalo Higuaín, who clearly wants no part of him. These tiny triumphs, unnoticeable to the outsider who thinks that Barcelona not winning the Champions League since 2015 is a serious drought, are what make the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune almost endurable.

Almost.

Latest news

Diego Falcinelli and Bryan Dabo have chosen their numbers, and they’ve avoided doing anything stupid like 74 or 60.

Word is that Napoli are getting ready to try and buy Federico Chiesa this summer, and it doesn’t look good for Viola fans.

Fiorentina hosted Juventus in a loss that was even more farcical than it was frustrating. Here is our full coverage.

Serie A has a massive new TV contract that could have a major impact for Fiorentina.

Milan Badelj has turned one hundred and eighty degrees and now claims he wants to stay in Florence.

Poll

While we’re on the subject of Hamlet, which Shakespeare play best describes Fiorentina?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Hamlet: indecision destroys a promising career and ends with everyone dead.
    (3 votes)
  • 21%
    A Midsummer Night’s Dream: nobody knows what the hell is going on.
    (7 votes)
  • 40%
    King Lear: a series of bad decisions just get worse. And worse. And worse.
    (13 votes)
  • 12%
    The Winter’s Tale: madness leads to senseless tragedies and somehow it never seems to form a continuous narrative.
    (4 votes)
  • 15%
    Twelfth Night: who you fall in love with turns out to be very different from who you eventually end up with.
    (5 votes)
32 votes total Vote Now

Comment of the week

Sit down, Federico Bernardeschi, because Professor baelfire is here to give you your lesson.

That’s it for this week, folks. Don’t bother getting dinner reservations for Wednesday at this point.