A Custodian of Sorts

Watch this, the first minute in particular. I'll wait.

Brunello Cucinelli – Convictions & Principles from caustic_image on Vimeo.

This overlaps very harmoniously with my reasons for believing the club to have acted with courage, dignity and aplomb over the past ten days. It inspires me. Now, this might look foolish in a week's time when Roma plays his team in a game we're heavily out of favor with the bookmakers for, but hearing Antonio Conte talk doesn't inspire me. I'm trying to disregard my inherent dislike for the man and the institution he represents as much as possible, and take all guilt by association out of the equation. Even after that, I am still left unimpressed with his retrograde talk and style, encompassed between quips about spiked baseball bats and the stated belief that everything goes in a locker room, as long as no one outside knows about it. It seems dated and archaic, and irks me. This isn't to say it can't be successful; by all accounts, it has been so for Juventus. But as an orphan of Zeman, I have never drawn straight lines between what's good and what works.

Like Brunello Cucinelli says in the clip above (what, you didn't watch it? tsk tsk), it's different today. Much as he negates the ability his employees have of finding out everything about him after two hours on the internet by opening the doors himself and leading by example, Roma must do so. I maintain that it is impossible to pursue a project based on integrity, patience and openness and handle the Osvaldo case in any other way than in which it was. There's an imperative on Roma to be open, to be frank, to be proactive. Otherwise there's no credibility, and without that we have nothing. The fans have been asked to take a leap of faith, and should the club decide to move the finish line while we're mid-air there will be no confidence in the club's next step. These are the fundamentals of a well-working communications plan: have it reflect a good reality you're proud in. 

After Sócrates' passing on Sunday, I learned that he opposed the practice of taking teams into ritiro before games as far back as thirty years ago. Yet when Luciano Spalletti abolished the system in Roma, instead entrusting his players with responsibility it was treated as a novelty. Then, too, it failed to make a lasting impression: after one particularly bad day in Florence (hey...) the then president overrode the explicit wishes of the coach and captains and reinstated a week-long ritiro to shape the team up. That's symptomatic of the challenge in changing the way we think and talk about this sport.

A final backtrack to Brunello Cucinelli: he and his employees create beautiful things which can capture the imagination. Not unlike Roma. (Another parallel to Roma would be that a suit from his collection will cost as much as a player signed to play for Roma, but that's neither here nor there.) His brand isn't the economic success in the way some other brands known to even those uninterested in the industry are; it is much more esoteric than that. Yet he seems perfectly content with foregoing that financial success and power for the knowledge of behaving in a correct way to the outside world and his employees. Sometimes, sitting down together as a group with mutual respect for each other and the work you do together for a meal [1, 2] is more important than winning critical acclaim and approval of the retrogrades. See you next Monday, Conte.