Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's Get Serie A-ous

I had a chat with the friend of mine who inspired me to switch over to Serie A this past month. He said that he liked the idea, but that he didn't understand why I felt I had to give up the Premiership completely.

"In order to fully immerse myself in Serie A's narrative arc," I explained, "I require total exclusivity. The only thing missing now is the overwhelming print coverage the Premier League takes for granted."

"Good luck finding any quality English-language coverage of Serie A," he offered.

And he's right.

On-line coverage for Lega Calcio seems pretty threadbare. A quick peak at the English-language version of Gazetta Dello Sport reveals some tumbleweeds drifting past three-day old stories. ESPN Serie A coverage features some day-old specials as well, including the headliner. Channel4.com is updated regularly but reads like a boring fan blog. The Offside is pretty alright, although has a piecemeal quality. And I dare you to find something relevant on the Guardian Serie A page.

There are a great many good blogs though, Spangly Princess taking the lead from what I've read so far. Any suggestions for some big ones I'm missing right now would be appreciated.

As for television news and analysis, all we get here in terms of Serie A analysis is this thing, a weekly roundup on our local Italian-themed network station. I don't know how else to describe it other than saying watching it is a bit like being stuck on a bus on your way to work with well-intentioned but horrible people discussing something you love. Not for the squeamish.


ursus arctos said...

Surely a musician of your quality and interests must be able to read Italian, no?

Richard Whittall said...

Well, that really is the embarrassing thing. While I can pronounce Italian pretty well, I'm stuck with my Italian-English dictionary to figure out just what something like 'Va tacito nascosto' means.

Terrible I know.

ursus arctos said...

Sigh. Too many concert performances, I guess.

And not having the benefit of those formative years in the monastery.

The fact is that I'm not convinced you are missing much in terms of quality. Sure, entire Amazonian rain forests have died so that the tifosi can get their requisite 4-8 pages of Inter/Milan/Juve "news" a day in each of the major sports dailies (24 pages if we are talking Juve and Tuttosport), but a great deal of it is just page- filling recitals of the mundane, transcripts of vapid interviews and baseless transfer speculation.

Just like England, I guess.

Richard Whittall said...

I know...it's just there's something to be said about standing back and watching the media feeding frenzy unfold, and pinpointing the absurdity of mass claims about Manchester United's 'resolve' after some away draw in Lancashire.

I just want the same hysteria in Italian. In that light, I found this gem: www.antijuve.com

Brian said...

This doesn't help the broad media-context problem, but I've often thought that match broadcasts could be carried out entirely in musical terms.

Gattuso ... Gattuso ritardando ... Pirlo ... andante cantabile ... Kaka ... accelerando ... crescendo ... staccato ... staccato ... SFORZAAAAAAAAAAANDO!!!!! Dolce! Dolce! Molto maestoso!


ursus arctos said...

antijuve is great. There are equivalent sites for Inter and Milan, but I of course prefer the original.

There are also a whole series of similar books taking the piss our of one or other of the big three (just as there are lots of hagiographies). I'm very partial to this one: http://www.ibs.it/code/9788804564355/tribuna-fedele/dio-esiste-juve

whose title translates "God Exists! Juve Have Gone Down!" and contains nothing but various anti-juve chants, jokes, graffiti, etc.

Brian may or may not know that operatic warhorses (most prominently the Triumphal March from Aida) with altered words are very common in Italian curvae, though my campaing that the Nord should adopt "0 Mio Babbino Caro" for Marotti has so far fallen on deaf ears.

ursus arctos said...

Geez, my typing has gone to pot.




Special K said...

I shall endeavour to convert you.


"use the force" Richard.


after yesterday's performance I'd say face #2

Brian said...

Antijuve is worth it for the pictures alone.

I've been arguing for ages that the curvae at the derby della capitale should act out the mad scene from Lucia di Lammermoor. Since they kind of do anyway, I don't see why they shouldn't formalize it.

Richard, have you looked at mCalcio? I never remember to read it, but it seems like they've got a fairly straight-ahead approach to the narrative arc.

ursus arctos said...

What Brian said about MCalcio (despite their Juventino taint).

And especially what he said about Lucia.

Richard Whittall said...

I haven't looked at mCalcio yet no, although I will now. And Lucia's a bit out of my pay grade -- if I'm singing Italian, likely it's by way of Handel, German-born English composer, educated in England.

Can't think of a footballing equivalent. Perhaps Jurgen Klinsmann?

ursus arctos said...

The Water Music allusion certainly works . . .