Nei giorni di burrasca e in quelli senza vento

Yesterday in the blasphemous church I tried to make a point about the fallout of Totti kicking Balotelli, and that it would in the end prove to be irrelevant. For more than one reason, the most important being whomever confuses morality with fame are not only na├»ve, but bring the disappointment onto themselves. In addition to that, I believe that no matter the bru-ha-ha of the past couple of days, this will phase out and die down. The haters are going to hate, and they've been waiting for another excuse to rip into Totti, and nothing will change that. Meanwhile the neutrals will forgive and/or forget, and the romanisti have Totti's back. Always and forever. 

I want to claim the final eleven minutes of today's game as backing me up. Roma was on the ropes, Roma were heading for a premature end to the season. Roma needed a champion, Roma needed a captain. He stepped up, as he always has, when Roma needed him the most. Two goals later, and who remembers the polemics? Eleven minutes later, who (besides the aforementioned haters) are still stuck on the kick, instead of applauding the nth decisive performance of his career? The entire stadium rallied around its captain, embraced him, and his family made personal banners in support; it was Totti Day.

Roma's entire season reads like a fairy tale, or at the very least a Hollywood film inspired by a fairy-tale. From initially being derided universally to staging a comeback the likes of which the world hasn't witnessed since one any of the Rocky films, it's been a ride. Totti's game today mirrored that, in condensed form. At first it was him against the world; then he went back to being the people's champ; then he stunk it up, and played miserable; finally he roped-a-doped them and came back to win the game all by his damn self. Because make no mistake, for 79 minutes he wasn't good at all. His miss a few minutes before the equalizer was the kind of miss I thought impossible for him to make, it was nothing short of shocking. But make no mistake about this either: those 79 minutes are irrelevant when he scores two goals, his team's only two goals, and keeps his team alive to dream for another seven days. Nothing could possibly matter less.