Two fine, revealing posts at two of my favorite football blogs:
Vanda Wilcox (AKA Spangly Princess) reports that her fellow AS Roma supporters are so out-of-joint about that club’s dismal season that the leading ultras groups boycotted a home match and played a five-a-side tournament outside the stadium instead. This, after a tense meeting between these same ultras and Roma’s leading players and long, entangled speculation about the debt-ridden club’s possible sale to George Soros, some socialite Germans with strong National Socialist connections, or parties unknown. (Vanda, who has clearly absorbed Italian football culture’s total strangeness, says she’d prefer the Germans to Soros because they come from a country with a “football culture.” Soros, born in Budapest, might say: Che?)
I don’t know whether my reaction to this is more “That’s the spirit, boys!” or “Man, things are really fucking weird in Italy.” I think some combination of the two, yes?
Second, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY READ Brian Phillips’ staggering post on the aesthetics, politics and mythopoetics of FC Barcelona. Written in the wake of Barca’s 0 : 0 home draw against the Brutalists of Chelsea, this piece resonates even more strongly after the Blaugrana’s mesmerizing 2 : 6 destruction of Madrid over the weekend. I would cheerfully admit that discovering Run of Play just about put Eleven Devils out of business, because I just can’t compete with the craft and firepower Brian deploys over there. This post is a good demonstration thereof…and makes more sense than RoP’s blanket coverage of Brian’s computer fantasy team, which I frankly just don’t understand.