Il Derby

Il Derby is a big day. It is the rivalry soccer match that happens twice a year between Roma and Lazio. A rivalry that has been going on for years, it has been the fight over the capital. Lazio has precedence in terms of history, but AS Roma is named  after the city. So who is the proprietor? This match is the judge every year. As someone who more often than not has watched it, along with other rivalry games from behind the TV screen, this will be my first time seeing the glory or tragedy in person.

After a spontaneous phone call from my Uncle Angelo Friday, I’ll be hopping on a train at 0300 and shipping down to Rome for the night and tomorrow afternoon. From that point, I’ll let you know how it goes and finish this. FORZA ROMA.

________________________________________________________________

Roma 2 | Lazio 0

“Roma e nostra. Alla prossima belli andate a casa

“Abbiamo rimesso la chiesa al centro del vilaggio.”
Rudi Garcia

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What a game. First time to a Derby (Roma vs Lazio rivalry game, check link below) lived up to its infamy. The build up was crazy. The history behind today’s game was insane. Roma had been on a cold streak these last few years in terms of the rivalry and the squads strength in general, but not today. With a wisp of magic in the air, I knew today was going to be a good day. It was one of those games where you just couldn’t see your team loosing, like you didn’t have a doubt in your heart. Maybe it was my greenhorn mentality kicking in since it was my first time out for this game. I’ve been to Bruins playoff games, Patriots playoff games and Red Sox playoff games but between it being my actual hometown team and the fact that the stadium is filled with the most passionate fans you’ll most likely meet, puts this game above the rest. The only comparable game was Game 5 against the Canucks a couple years ago when the Garden was simply electric. Today was just utter spectator-ship to the extreme. I couldn’t video some of the intense fans because it was all fast and in crossing but it was crazy. Crazier than any other of the games I’ve been to. When people say they bleed black and gold etc, they’re referring to these guys. Legit bleeding red and yellow for their team.

The night before I went to Pizzeria Remo a Testaccio with people whom I all consider family. Great pizza, even greater company, and the best wait staff. Because you know what the best part was? Our waitor, was a Lazio Ultra. Meaning he was banned from the stadium for 8 years after igniting a Carabinieri truck on fire and can’t go back until 2015. You pickin up what I’m puttin down? Crazy right, but the guy was the best waitor I’ve ever seen in my life. Treated us like family even though we were Roma fans. It’s guys like him that exemplify the fans around here. Put them in a square mile of that team during a game….all bets are off, put him in his element, he’s the best friend you never met. He was the best, his only defect was that he was just a fan of the wrong team. Oh and he loved how I could open the liter beer bottles with my iPhone, he said “Only in America,” while subtly grabbing another bottle putting it on the table and cracking it open with his wedding ring….”Only in Italy.”  However, best part of the night was when my _________ leaned over to me and said “Aho, la parte piu bella e che vedi, noi magnamo, e i Laziali c’e servono“, translation, “Hey, you see, the best part is were the ones eating and the Lazio fans serving us.” I almost died laughing, even though I realized it was this type of back and forth that makes this rivalry what it is on game days. This field for 90 minutes turns into a Colosseum, the Olympic stadium a battlefield and soccer, a means for an eternal military campaign.

Closing notes on the game as I wrap this up. State side fans need to come up with some chants man. Fans over here out sing out chant and out noise Americans by a billion decibels. Its insane how many songs and chants (Cori) they have, especially for Lazio. Imagine 60-80 thousand fans screaming and singing together in unison, its breathtaking. Lastly, between the flares, banners, flags the size of billboards, and colored smoke grenades it was very impressive. The smoke grenades create this like lingering fog of war over the field. I can’t imagine being on that field playing or scoring a goal or playing through 33 Derbies like Francesco Totti has (age 38), while still outrunning more than 90% of the guys out there. Unbelievable and I can’t thank my Uncle enough for bringing me. Grazie mille.

World Soccer Rivalries Link: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1730264-why-roma-lazio-is-one-of-world-footballs-fiercest-rivalries

Thanks all folks. – Alla prossima.

B&A,

M

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