Who Killed It

Tonight, we saw the death of calcio. She could have been saved, but the ones with the power to do so not only neglected the opportunity, they laughed and pointed as they let her die. I don't mean it in the sense that they could have breathed new life into the title race, and even if there's something to be said for a new champion after three straight seasons of the same, the point I'm struggling to build towards is that treating tonight with the seriousness it deserved would at least have restored some credibility and dignity into Italian football.

But she is dead, killed not by the hand of one but by the neglect of many. Lega Calcio's decided to split up the finishing weeks of football, going back on a long tradition of always playing the final games at the same time to minimize the chance of scenarios precisely like this from occurring, and few can understand why. Lazio lost the incentive they had (sporting fairness clearly not existing in their world view) when they knew Atalanta and Bologna played a 1-1 game, all but ensuring their survival. 

Hence the banners, hence the jokes. I'm sure they (said with all the contempt italics suggests) believe their effort in Roma finishing second is monumental, and this is undoubtedly the proudest day in Lazio history, but they're playing themselves. Everyone (except for Ranieri and DDR, although I suspect a lot of their comments were fronts for the media, keeping a brave face, and so on) knew this would happen, and no one expected Lazio to do well here. (And let's be real, even if they wanted to, it's still a club still  not fully safe from relegation, against a club with an excellent shot at winning the treble. Kill yourselves for making it seem like you had Roma's fate in your hands and chose to screw us.)

Their pride in having abandoned their own team, their own colors, and welcoming Inter as brothers makes them the real losers today. What a miserable existence they must lead, when losing is their happiest moment.