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Italian Soccer-Politics

During lunch at the local mensa today, it was explained to me that Lazio, one of the two soccer teams in Rome, may have thrown yesterday's game to Inter Milan, because Rome, the other club in Rome, is vying with Inter for first place, and the rivalry between Lazio and Rome is so intense that Lazio would rather throw a game and allow Milan to take the trophy rather than see their rival ranked #1.

And this was accepted by my Italian companions are non-startling and rather mundane.

My questions:

1) Would American sports fans default to another local team (probably a rival) if their team were knocked out of contention, or would they support "anyone but..."? (The NY Yankees and Dallas Cowboys don't count for this question.)

2) Would American sports fans ever accept Italy's degree of rivalry, whereby games are fixed and significant rival losses are more important than one's own wins?

3) Does this sort of thinking in soccer shed a great deal of light on the rise of Berlusconi and Italian politics?

Categories > Sports

Discussions - 4 Comments

In reply to #3: I don't know but I think it sheds a great deal of light on the sport of soccer . . .

I think this is just bitterness on Roma's part. Lazio is 16th in the league only five points clear of relegation and inter milan just beat barcelona to move into the champion's league final. Inter are playing the best of anyone in Europe and Lazio are a lower teir side. I could not find the highlights of the goals but the match description did not sound like it was a fix, I think there should be more suspicion about the Liverpool vs. Chelsea match where Steven Gerard back passes right to Drogba for the frist goal. Liverpool are tied with Manchester United for most titles all time and their loss of the match kept Chelsea one point ahead of United and probably decided the title.

I don't think fans anywhere can root against their team, but they make take some pleasure in a loss that dooms the chances of a rival. Its like when sometimes people act happy when their team plays bad because they think it will bring about a new coach or different players. Pleasure in this sort of thing is just a consolation prize.

In any rivalry I think its normal for the fans to be suspicious of the other team's effort. At least the Italians could get Berlusconi into a court room, we can't even get our criminal mafia government that far so that they have to weasel out.

there was a legite match fixing scandal four years ago that I just thought of. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Italian_football_scandal

That involved having favorable refs for certain games, not black sox style throwing of games.

A Italian discovered a Genie that would grant three wishes, but only one would befall the person who asked and the other two wishes would be spent giving his enemy the windfall twice over.

The man considered asking for a million euro, then he considered a billion, but no matter the amount of money he could get he always saw his ennemy with twice as much and knowing he could never be happy with the outcome told the genie:

Take my right eye and my left nut.

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