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Pain


I really didn’t care about this Coppa Italia final. I don’t like either team, and I didn’t care what happened. But then something inexplicable happened. Matri almost scored the winner, just before the final whistle. I was so thankful when it was called off for offside. But then, ten minutes later in extra time, he did score the winning goal. You know, the player we agreed to pay €11m for to a rival club? The one who could possibly, on a good day, be worth half that much… maybe? The one whom we bought, then loaned to two other clubs, only to loan him back to the same team we purchased him from? All the while paying half of his wages? And not only did he score the winner tonight in Rome, he did much better at all of the other clubs than he did for us. It was like being kicked in the stomach. With a steel-toed boot. With cleats. By something with superhuman strength. As a Milan fan not only was this adding insult to injury, but it was like a whole new level of trauma to a season filled with so much pain.

He's cheating on us and is now a hero, while we suffer more

Pain is described by Wikipedia as “an unpleasant feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli, such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting alcohol on a cut…” one might also add “or being a Milan fan this season.” Interestingly, the origin for the word pain derives from “punishment.” It’s true, even after several years of punishment and unnecessary pain brought on by terrible decisions from management, this season has hurt the most. To watch this feeble squad, many whom have just arrived, try to honor the weight of the crest they wear, taking the red and black stripes on like a burden for which they were never built to bear. Watching Inzaghi, himself a Milan legend, age before our eyes with an impossible job, the crest on his coat visibly sucking the life out of him. It has hurt so much. And now this, the kick in the stomach to exacerbate the pain we already had. It’s almost too much.

According to Wikipedia, “pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future.” I can tell you from the traffic on the Twitter, the blog, and more this season that many fans have withdrawn from Milan this year, protecting themselves, and attempting to avoid similar experiences. The rest of us could be called masochists, but there is not actually a word in the dictionary that actually describes what we have subjected ourselves to this year. Not even the Curva Sud can watch, and even Galliani is often seen leaving before a match is over.  We may call ourselves simply “fans”, but adding the word “Milan” ahead of fans puts us in a category of our own. To truly call oneself a Milan fan this season means that pain is who we are, with no relief in sight, either.

Oh yeah, and Galliani's other transfer fail put in the cross for that goal, too

Lastly, Wikipedia reports that “pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in most advanced countries…” This is true of Milan fans, too. Just ask fans of Juventus, Bayern, Barca, PSG, and more. A lot of the so-called “bandwagon fans” have moved to those clubs to escape the pain. And after this season, can anyone really blame them? Maybe when we finished second and a few fans left the club, it was easy to point a finger and criticize. But after this season, we might even envy the fans who have moved along. For those of us who truly bleed red and black, moving on isn’t an option. We will suffer every ounce of pain this management inflicts upon us. We will hurt with every loss or poor performance, and feel the sting of every poor transfer.

Only now, we will also be forced to stare at a silver star alongside Juve’s three gold ones. Knowing that perhaps Galliani’s worst transfer decision ever helped to earn that for them. He will likely come back to the club this summer to haunt us, too, as Juve have opted not to buy him. And we will continue to pay his remaining transfer fee of €11m for two more years, too, and probably continue to cover half of his wages if he plays elsewhere. That is to say nothing of watching Juventus hoist the man they formerly hated in the air, the one who helped run the morale of the squad into the ground during his three and a half years at Milan. He has won them the league and now the Coppa Italia, and has them in the Champions League final, too. All with the experience he gained at Milan, and with a smile and celebrations he never had at Milan, either. This level of suckerpunch is beyond mortal capabilities to deal with. No amount of alcohol can ease this pain, no doctor can prescribe something to help us cope.

I know, I know, this one's for Milan. We hate you, too.

If you are still reading this, you are undoubtedly also in an incredible amount of pain, too. And you and I both know that walking away from this is not an option. So we have to cope with it as best we can. Find ways of helping each other tolerate every incomprehensible transfer decision, every mindboggling performance, and whatever “big” changes Galliani plans to make this summer to try to alleviate the burden that being a Milan fan has become. But given the recent history, you should really brace yourself for more torture. After all, Matri’s contract has two more full years on it. Now that is some serious pain.


This post inspired by the music of Oingo Boingo’s “No Spill Blood”


Our next match is
Milan vs. Torino
Sunday, May 24 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)