Monday, November 7, 2011

The Iceberg

It’s been a while since I’ve written. I mean, really written, not just, you know, post pictures of myself with a couple of lines of text. Tonight, that’s going to change. Tonight, I am going to write. I have a wicked playlist on (Sample: Feel Good Inc./Gorillaz, Weapon of Choice/Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Michael/Franz Ferdinand, Johnny Guitar/Pearl Jam, West End Girls/Pet Shop Boys, So This is Goodbye/Junior Boys, She’s Lost Control/Joy Division, Karma Killer/Robbie Williams, St. James Infirmary Blues/The White Stripes, Lorelei/The Pouges, Fashion/Bowie), and I am going to write something that I have been meaning to write about for a while:


Coincidentally, Weapon of Choice (BRMC, not FBS) just came on:

I won’t waste it/
I won’t waste it/
I won’t waste my love on a nation.

And, it’s true. I won’t.

Let’s start this post with this: Don’t get me wrong: Italy wins the World Cup, fantastic, crack open a bottle. Switzerland beats Spain, HOLYSHITICANTBREATHEJESUSHCHRISTJESUSHCHRISTJESUSHCHRIST. Philippines play a full 90 minutes, good on you, boys! Canada qualifying for World Cup, and I’ll stand there freezing my ass off in November. While this is all fine and dandy, not one of these seniors will ever provoke the same emotions reserved for club wins. Country is important, but clubs make grown men cry.

Let me explain. I’m real happy when Italy/Switzerland/Philippines/Canada (not necessarily in that order) does something on the world stage. Wins, qualifies, doesn’t embarrassing themselves too badly, I am ecstatic. But the tears—from joy or sadness—don’t flow the same way for country as they do for club.

Italy wins the World Cup, I’m pretty damn happy. Udinese wins the Scudetto, it will be forever branded onto my flesh.

Which leads me back to the original Udinese post: I know, they’re getting (some-what) more press lately. I know, we’re top of the table (as of November 7, 2011). I know, Di Natale is a scoring machine. I know, this little team is surprising you.

But here’s something you may not know: this isn’t exactly news to me. While these “underdogs” may be exciting and fun for you to watch, it’s agonizing and downright painful, for me to. You see, Udinese is a lot like a black and white striped iceberg: you’re use to seeing the shiny and fun top half; the half the looks like it could reach the sky. What I’m use to seeing is the bottom half: cold, wet, dark, and dangerous to boats.

The point of this post is to burst the Udinese bubble. Or chisel away at the shiny clean ice (if we must stick to just one metaphor). “But Sonja! You love this team! (And you’re pretty)” That’s true, on both accounts, but it’s also important for me to make you understand why I can’t share in your joy or celebrations when the Little Zebras win. It’s important to understand why I don’t look forward to watching them play. It’s important to understand why the stadiums are constantly ¾ empty. And it’s important to understand why my first born’s middle name will be Toto.

I love the team, but while you’re waiting for them to do well, I am waiting for them to fail. To make this easier on all parties involved, I will break this post up into common questions I’m often asked about Udinese. Remember, I am not an expert, just an inconsolable fan.

What do you mean “burst my bubble?”
First of all, I went back to the iceberg reference, keep up here. Second of all, they’re not a fun and exciting team that will go far. Well, they are, but they won’t for reason beyond the 11 man (with substitutes) squad. See below for a further explanation.

Okay, so how come they never replaced Sanchez?
Because the owner is a cheap sonofabitch.

But did they really need to? Look at how well they’re doing!
Sorta. It’s a bit accidental. See, they could have kept Sanchez until the winter, they could have qualified for Champions League, and they could have been doing well in Champions League (I assume). But they didn’t and they aren’t. Rather, Pozzo gets young, cheap talent and sells them for big bucks.

Then he’s a genius! Isn’t he?
No. Well, sure, he finds talent, I am not denying that. However, he doesn’t do it for the club. He does it for the dollar amount. Buy low, sell high, don’t replace. Etc. He’s running the club like a soccer puppy mill.

What do you mean by “a soccer puppy mill?”
Glad you asked. First off, I don’t think I actually know what a puppy mill is. I’m pretty sure it’s a mill the churns out puppies for profit (I am going to be honest, I am not going to look it up, it will just depress me and make me throw up) and that’s what Udinese is. Pozzo gets these players, sells them off, and doesn’t replace with an equal kind of talent. Oh sure, his players are talented, but not in the same way as those he sells.

I’ll break it down for you: Udinese will never win any titles because Pozzo doesn’t care for them. He wants to do well (but not the best) so he can keep selling talent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he wants titles. Yes, there’s money in wins, but selling players is a sure dollar. Otherwise there are too many variables and no guarantees.

So instead of putting efforts into titles, he prefers to sit mid-table so he can still sell to big teams (no one would pay attention to him in Serie B) and keep fans moderately happy.

After all, they’re a small club, why should we deserve to win?

Do you believe that? The bit about not deserving to win?
Of course not, don’t be an idiot.

So, you don’t think they’re playing well?
THAT’S NOT THE POINT. THE POINT IS THAT IT’S ALL IRRELVANT BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT GOING TO GO ANY WHERE REGARDLESS! This is why Samir will go to a “bigger” team by January. I mean, we’re top of the table, in a European competition (admittedly, the poor man’s one), we have the number one goal scorer in the league, and yet we don’t deserve to have good players? Of course not, we’ll never really be a top notch team because our owner doesn’t want, no, doesn’t need us to be one.

Do you really think Samir will be gone?
Oh, fuck off.

Okay, so how come Toto is not on the national team?
Oh. I dunno, Italians are stupid? Yes, the man is the lead goal scorer in Italy, yes, he’s fantastic, and yes, he’s dreamy, but in reality, there’s no rhyme or reason to the choice of the Italian National Team. Now, calm down, I am sure there is. But I am not going waste energy trying to figure it out.

The point is Di Natale is not exactly a spring chicken, even by Italian standards. Tonight, I was discussing this with my father over pizza and beer: what would it be like if Di Natale played for the Azzurri. Full time.

Well, selfishly (and probably rightly so), my dad pointed out if he gets injured while in blue, there goes  the Scudetto, Europa, and any chance of Champions League next year. To further our decision of Toto not suiting up, I pointed out that the Italian Nat Team doesn’t play the same way as Udinese; he would not make the same impact as he does as a Little Zebra. And we wouldn’t want him to be an Italian Messi in that regard.
I would love to see Toto play for the National team, I would wear my Italia jersey with pride if he was running up in front. But, at the same time, I don’t think it would be as grand as everyone thinks it would be. This is by no means Di Natale’s fault. Rather, it’s the rest of Italy that would screw it up. I rather he be a hero in Udine than just another name on a sheet for Italy.

Sp, speaking of which, are you really going to name your first born after Toto?

Will they beat Juventus in their rescheduled match?
Without a doubt in my mind.

So, conclusion?
Udinese makes me bipolar.  


Post script: Fun fact on daily search strategies: 

1 comment:

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