Just Before the Kickoff


A lot has happened since our last Serie A game. Over eight million people now have been infected with a virus that has killed almost half a million people worldwide. Racial injustice and murders here in the United States have set off protests worldwide. We are wearing masks and taking a knee and not exactly sure how this season will end. There is plenty to think about just before the kickoff.

Our hearts and minds are full, but after the kickoff, it will only be football

On a happier note, after reaching the final from a controversial ref call against Milan in February, Juventus lost their second final this season. Congratulations Gattuso. While everyone with eyes knows that Milan should have been playing in that final (and possibly losing to Gattuso) instead, the irony of Juventus losing on penalties was not lost on me. In fact, it was absolutely delicious.

But what we saw in all of the Coppa Italia matches was that these players haven’t played in three months. Football is going to look different, at least at first, while teams get back into shape and overcome the mentality issues that come with a season being interrupted by a global pandemic.

One piece of our lives will return to normal-ish

The fan situation is weird. Our semifinal match was an eerily empty stadium. The final had virtual fans visually, but no sound. Which was actually even more weird than just an empty stadium. It’s a shame that they didn’t take a page from the Bundesliga’s post-COVID-19 playbook and add the fan sounds, that was the closest to having actual fans of any of the options.

Speaking of having fans, there is a lot of talk about the possibility of having fans back in the stadiums before the end of the season. Which is probably viable in most countries, but in Italy, it takes three months of public arguing to get anything agreed upon, so don’t hold your breath. The season is only going to be seven weeks long.

There are still other things on our minds

All douchebaggery aside, thinking about what the world has been through during this painful break from this season makes me so grateful that we will still get to see the rest of this season. That we still have players and stadiums and football. We lost so much individually and collectively, if not due to the COVID-19 outbreak, then to the political unrest and racial injustice.

We gained so much, too. We found everyday heroes in our doctors and nurses, as well as our everyday heroes like grocery workers, mail carriers, delivery drivers, and more. We learned new respect for the little things in life, like being able to go outside, have toilet paper or go out to eat. We learned that the game of good cop, bad cop is a real thing, and that the good cops are actually really good people. We learned to appreciate every minute, every eight minutes and forty-six seconds of life, too. We’ve missed Serie A, but we’ve also missed humanity at times, too.

We've missed this so much

Now we have the chance to sit in front of our screens again and watch our favorite players play football again. I cannot think of anything more healing than that. I know I have so much to be grateful for, just before the kickoff.


This post inspired by the music of The Cure’s “To Wish Impossible Things”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 27
Lecce vs. Milan
Monday, June 22 • 19:30 CEST (1:30pm EDT)

Just Before the Kickoff Just Before the Kickoff Reviewed by Elaine on 11:45 PM Rating: 5
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