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BatiGol Weekly 240: Somewhere in time

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In which we discuss very, very scientifically accurate alternate histories. No more questions, please.

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Serie A Fixture Unveiling
Darkness plays those tricks on me.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images for Lega Serie A

If there are two things we do well here at Viola Nation, they’re taking the pulse of the comment section and conducting experiments that have absolutely no grounding in reality. We’ve therefore run some simulations in the laboratory to figure out how much longer they would have required in the real world had Rocco Commisso, Joe Barone, and Daniele Pradè were in charge of them. Please keep in mind that all of these are based in science, so don’t try to argue. We take as our guiding principle that, since we were hoping for announcements on 1 July and it’s now been just about double that, it would take the brain trust nearly twice as long to accomplish famous stuff.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Had the troika of Comisso, Barone, and Pradè written Cien años de soledad rather than Gabriel García Márquez, it’d be a very different book. The most obvious change is that it would be titled Cien noventa y ocho años de soledad (198 Years of Solitude), given that it’s clearly taken them longer to act on the mercato than it has for the Buendía family to reach its inevitable demise. The great wind and the ants would have relaxed for nearly another century, allowing Colombia’s greatest literary town to almost its lifespan. Ancestry.com could have saved Aureliano Segundo a lot of trouble, and Ortho might have done wonders for Amaranta Úrsula. Sorry, Gabo, this might be an improvement, if only because it’d be cool to stretch that book out even more.

Columbus crossing the Atlantic

Everybody knows that in the year 1492, Columbus crossed the ocean blue. After departing Carolina Palos de la Frontera on 3 August 1492, he sailed south to the Canary Islands with the Santa Clara (aka Niña), the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. After various minor misadventures, he arrived at either the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos Islands on 12 October 1492. That was a 70-day voyage, including 29 on the Atlantic heading west.

If the Viola braintrust were in charge of the voyage, though, it would have been very different. The leg from the Canaries to the Caribbean would have taken something like 58 days; as none of Columbus’ ships had the capacity to carry provisions for such a long time away from land, the entire expedition would have perished of dehydration, leading to a complete rewriting of the history of the Western Hemisphere and, subsequently, the world.

Roger Bannister’s 3:54.9 mile

Roger Bannister is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating athletes (and humans) in sporting history. A medical student who challenged world records and the human imagination without the benefits of modern training regimens, he was the first person to record a sub-4 minute mile; while that may not seem like much of a feat since record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj hit 3:43.13 in 1999, if you ask the fastest person you know to go out and run a sub-6 minute mile, you’re probably asking too much unless you know a lot of really, really fast people.

Had a 6-legged amalgamation of Comisso, Barone, and Pradè tried to run that sub-4 mile, though, it would have taken them about 7:49.9. Honestly, that’s not a huge deal, considering that John Landry surpassed Bannister just 46 days later with a 3:58 time. What’s important here is imagine the Doctor Moreau-inspired creation of three (generously) middle-aged men combined and running a 6-legged race. I had to think about this and it will doubtless haunt my nightmares, so I figured it made sense to share it with yall, too.

Zona Cesarini

While we joke about the Zona Babacarini around here, due to Khouma Babacar’s badly-missed knack for turning home late goals, the gag is based on the Zona Cesarini. Renato Cesarini, a Juventus midfielder back in the 1930s, made a habit out of scoring at the end of matches, leading to the rise of the Zona Cesarini as an easy broadcasters’ trope to describe any goal in or around stoppage time.

Were it Comisso, Barone, and Pradè who were trusted with scoring those late goals, though, they wouldn’t have put the ball in the net until 5 minutes after the triple blast; while it’d be hysterically funny to regularly watch a footballer suddenly sprint back onto the pitch and positively leather a shot into the empty net while everyone else is trooping back to the dressing rooms and preparing for post-match interviews, the impact on the standings would be, um, minimal.

16-year Lagavulin

As an idiot American, I’m far from being an expert on the subject of Scotch whisky. A lack of knowledge has never prevented me from writing something very bad, though, so let’s have a look. Lagavulin is a really nice Scotch single malt; it’s one of my favorites, and my wife will go to bat for it as well. It’s got a nice, peaty burn to it, but not so overpowering that you miss some almost floral notes among the usual vanilla and caramel flavors you get from a nice Islay. If you weren’t sure from the name, it’s aged for 16 years to develop the signature taste.

If Comisso, Barone, and Pradè were in charge of aging the Lagavulin, it’d sit in cask for around 31 years; at that point, the fun flavors from the used (usually bourbon) barrels would overpower all the good stuff and leave you with something that would just taste like a tire fire, and not in a good way.


Was this too long? Did it seem stupid? Just be glad that it’s me writing it and not Comisso, Barone, and Pradè: they would have written around _________ words to make the same point. You’re welcome.

Latest news

Here is all of the coverage we mustered for the Intercontinental Champions Cup finale against Benfica. Didn’t write anything else because so many of yall showed up and I was busy, uh, interfacing and not drinking beers with everyone.

Kevin Bonifazi is a good defender and would be a swell addition to the club. That’s our opinion and we’re sticking to it.

Keeping up with the Federico Chiesa saga is just too much, so we’ve got it laid out in timeline form. This makes the events easier to understand, although the motivation behind them remains opaque.

Viola Nation has added more talent than Fiorentina this summer, which feels pretty damning until you meet the new writers, who are all so, so damn excellent.

Serie A finally released the schedule for the upcoming season, and it is positively brutal in the early going for the boys in purple. Cripes.

Must read

Commenter par excellence Hesanka has continued his tactical retrospective of Fiorentina under Vincenzo Montella, looking again at wingbacks. This is very worth your time.

FiorentinaNews.com editor Stefano del Corona took some time out of his very busy schedule to answer some questions for us. And when we say very busy, we mean VERY BUSY: he just got married, so auguri, Stefano!

We lied about the lack of ICC coverage in Newark, as Mike McCormack managed to talk to some of the members of the Viola Club New York with predictably fantastic results.

Less fantastic is the boredom-induced analysis of Serie A teams’ transfer policies based on player purchases and sales. This is what happens when we don’t have transfers to report. You’ve been warned.

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Comment of the week(ish)

Somebody please check on Hesanka.

That’s it for this week, folks. Wear sunscreen.