When the Courage of Men Fails

This week was supposed to be a celebratory week for this blog, marking ten years of bleeding red and black. Literally blogging from February of 2011, the season we last won the Scudetto, and through every season since. Not sometimes, not only when Milan were winning. But for every single game, every single transfer window, every burned coach, three ownership changes and every rumor in between. Yet this week, Milan lost in an awful performance, with a lifelong Interista scoring the first goal. Inter won in the worst way, and took our top spot on the table. Now we face a team on Thursday that is coached by a former Inter player, and we face Inter in the Derby on Sunday. Not only are Milan fans not celebrating this week, they are attacking our team and players and even each other. It would seem as though the courage of men has failed.

The Return of our King, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

It is fitting that Ibrahimovic led this team to our last Scudetto win, and he has returned again, a King, not unlike Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings, to fight and win this war Scudetto. This is the time in this Milan story when we face the moment of reckoning. Outnumbered, with a squad that is younger and less experienced than Sauron's Conte's Inter, many fans have turned away or lost faith in our team after they lost one battle. But we have not lost the war. This team will fight until the last day to conquer the forces of evil and reclaim Middle Earth Serie A.

How do I know? How do I still have faith after watching our finest men get slaughtered by a bunch of lower table orcs on Saturday? Maybe it is because I have suffered with Milan so intimately for the past ten years. Having first fallen in love with Milan almost 27 years ago, I have painfully watched, researched, and written about the most excruciating times in Milan history of this past 30 years. Every single minute of every single game. A new post every 24-48 hours during the darkest times at Milan.

I know that there is probably no one else who understands what that even entails, or the blood, sweat, tears, and carpal tunnel syndrome it takes to write over 2100 posts about such a difficult time. Not only without any compensation, but against all odds. Those who know even a fraction of the personal battles and adversity I have faced during this same time are amazed I'm even alive, let alone still blogging. And there is literally no man who understands what it means to have done it with the constant sexism and abuse that I have. Because, like Eowyn, I am no man.

Eowyn slew the Witch King of Angmar, something no man or hobbit or males of any other race could do. Unfortunately, Milan Twitter is even more evil than the Witch King, and is still alive and spewing hate worldwide. But like this young Milan team, I will never give up. Like the 12 guests who shared why they keep bleeding red and black on my podcast last week, or the many other guests from all over the world who have been kind enough to share their Milan opinions over the eight years of my podcast, I believe in Milan.

COVID-19 may prevent scenes like this, but it will not stop our team

With the Maldini dynasty restored and continuing to bring great powers to our beleaguered club, and Zlatan the King having returned to destroy Sauron's Conte's evil army and restore our place in Serie A, Milan now only need the courage of men to ensure we win this war. Like the people of Middle Earth in Tolkien's brilliant trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, many fans have lost their faith. But this team believes. None of our players signed contracts with ridiculously low wages, many signing during uncertainty at the club, when it seemed like there was only a fool's hope. Despite youth, injuries, COVID-19, and so much more, these players believe they are worthy of the Scudetto this season.

This week, for Milan fans, it may feel like those left behind after the battle of the Pelennor Fields. But even with such heavy losses for Gondor, that was the battle in which the Witch King was slain. And not by a man. Like Eowyn, I may not get to celebrate my victory of ten years of blogging against every odd. But Middle Earth was not saved from Inter Sauron's Army in a single battle. Remember the words of Aragorn, as the armies of Middle Earth marched to their presumed deaths: "A day may come when the courage of men fails... but it is not this day! This day we fight!"

Battles may have been lost, but the war is still ours to win

Maybe we don't win the Scudetto this week, or even the Derby battle. Maybe it will not even be this season. But Milan will never return to glory until the courage of fans is unfailing. This past ten years has certainly taught me that. This entire week is a Derby week. We may have lost the first battle, but our players have two more battles in this week alone. We are still in Europe, unlike Sauron's Army, and we are now only one point away from the top of Serie A. If there were ever a time that Milan needed the complete support of every man, woman, child, hobbit, elf... every single Milan fan in the world, it is now. Don't let this week be the week that the courage of men fails.

Thank you to all those who have read, written guest posts, and supported this blog these past ten years. Through good times and so very many bad times, millions of pageviews later, it is humbling to share our collective love for AC MIlan.

This post inspired by ten years of bleeding and blogging red and black

Our next match is
Europa League Round of 32
Red Star Belgrade vs. AC Milan
Thursday, February 18 • 18:55 CET (12:55 CET)

When the Courage of Men Fails When the Courage of Men Fails Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
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