And we are live from the line out front of The George And Dragon Pub in C@Lâ€™s charming Fremont neighborhood. I figured showing up at 8 am would at least get me a decent spot. Nope. The line was around the corner at 8:30, and is a complete disaster at this point. The regulars assure me that Iâ€™ll be able to see, though Iâ€™ll likely have to stand in the parking lot. Charming.
Anyhoo, Iâ€™m pretty excited for the game, and have been doing some cogitating about just how crazy it would be if the Azzurri won, given that most of these guys are going to have to change jobs in the next couple days (when they dismantle Italian soccer). If nothing else, this should provide ample fodder for Marcello Lippi to speechify prior to the game.
Signor Lippi, hereâ€™s how I would roll with it; feel free to substitute clichÃ©s as appropriate:
â€œBoys, this is the end of a long road. It goes without saying that we have worked very hard to get where we are. Many doubted us. Many thought that the recent unpleasantness [grumbles of laughter] back home would distract us. They thought we would crumble. Instead, it has only made us stronger.
In many ways, we donâ€™t know what tomorrow will hold. Many of you will change clubs. Some may leave Italy.
But that is tomorrow.
For today, there is only one game. One game between you and your destiny. No matter what happens tomorrow, no matter what the politicians and judges say, no matter what the newspapers write, today is your chance to be a champion forever. To be remembered as the best team in the world. They can take away your clubs. They can try to shame and embarrass you. But they can never take away what you will do today. They can never take away what you will do on that pitch.
There is only today.”
(Okay, Iâ€™ll stop now. Also, the other people in line are looking at me funny.)