Saturday, February 3, 2007

Italian PM Forced To Go Public Enemy
on Calcio d'Italia

As in "Shut 'Em Down".

Violence in Italian football has been on the rise in recent years and is getting worse and worse. Yesterday a policeman was killed and 150 people were injured in what was essentially a riot.

The Prime Minister of Italy stepped in and suspended all play in all divisions indefinitely, saying enough is enough.

There is talk that he will shut down all of the leagues for a year. If this happens then isn't it safe to assume that there will be 4 or 5 appeals and that all leagues will be back up and running in 2 weeks? (if you don't know what I'm referencing, Bobbeh lays it all out here Gabrielle Marcotti updates the story to conclusion here before becoming an apologist for his beloved Italy).

In the current round of articles there are alot of people saying that the problem has gotten much worse recently and this year. I wonder if there is a correlation between the ramifications (or lack thereof) of the match fixing scandal last year and how they appealed and got their punishments ultimately reduced to a mere fraction of what they originally were (and should have been) - did this simply re-inforce the belief for these hooligans that in Italy you can do whatever you want and ultimately get away with it - not be held responsible, or to use the Bush administration "Hot Word For The SAT Echo Chamber Word Of The Month", did this embolden the enemy hooligans? Did a mondo social re-inforcement of the idea of lack of accountability for one's actions contribute to this? I wonder...

Here's hoping the PM keeps his convictions and fights all of the pressure he will get from the powers that be for him to cave on this issue.

To extend the PE metaphor: Fight The Power Prodi!


moin said...

Somewhat of a tangent, but based off something we talked about before. I held a "round table" on SportsCenter about the "best rivalry" in sports. Of course, Bilas picked Duke-UNC, Philips (dumbass) picked Red Sox-Yanks, Melrose (douche, though cool) picked Calgary-Edmonton, Schlerath (ass) picked Colts-Pats.

And they used lame excuses to pick their rivalries, based on distance (Duke-UNC), success (Red Sox-Yanks), popularity (NFL)...

Never mind that practically every nation has one rivalry that beats any of those. Club America-Chivas? Colo Colo-Universidad? Porto-Benfica? Fla-Flu? Just to name a couple of the lesser famous ones that I would take over any of those rivalries. Nevermind the big ones.

Fuck I hate ESPN.

But then they redeemed themselves by airing that Taco Bell ad with the lions. "Ricardo Montalban?"

Moin said...

Oh, when I said "I held".. I meant "I just saw them hold". That is all.

Kanu said...

Si, si. It wouldn't be so irritating if they didn't constantly refer to themselves at the WORLDWIDE leader in sports.

Another thing that is interesting is that all of those mentioned are really regional at best, which got me thinking: we really do not have any rivalries that are truly national, which is interesting in contrast to some of the soccer ones that although initially regional have taken on truly national identities (Celtic-Rangers, Boca-River initially come to mind).

On the other hand, we do get to see Champions League footie thanks to ESPN, and they did recently purchase the TV rights to Euro2008, so all games will be on 'regular' TV for the first time ever, which means I won't have to quit my job and hang out at a pub every day for a month like I did with Euro2004.

moin said...

Or if they didn't keep on using phrases without the modifier "American", like in the best _____ in American sports, as opposed to sports in general. (I heard the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is pretty intense too.)

Truly national rivalries are rare in American sports because, well, of the sheer size we are talking about here. There aren't many truly continental rivalries in Europe or South America (amongst professional clubs anyways). The closest I can think of is the Cowboys-Steelers or the Lakers-Celtics of yesteryears. But... yeah.

Oh yeah, looking forward to Euro2008. At this point, it seems like we'll be seeing some new faces in that tourney, what with Spain and England not looking like it would qualify while at least one of Italy/France would have to get in via the playoff route (not to mention Scotland playing spoiler). Fun times all around.

I'm putting the early money down on Germany and Portugal, FYI.