Thursday, 19 April 2007

You don't win prizes for coming second...

no, wait, you do! Whatever happens in the Final of the Coppa Italia (e speriamo bene) we have at least won something this season already. Oh yes. Catersport, the hugely popular radio show on Rai2, set up a prize in January this year to reward those who finally managed to beat Inter: Batti i Bauscia (Beat the Interisti - Bauscia is a Milanese dialect word meaning braggart, boaster, used sometimes by outside to refer to the Milanese in general, but more widely to refer to Interisti. Of whom, to the best of my knowledge, I have no regular readers. So I can be as rude as I like about them with impunity.)

Anyway listeners rang in to offer prizes, which the radio station will help deliver to the hq of the club which finally beats Inter this season. Oh wait! That'd be.... Roma! THREE ONE TAKE THAT YOU SCABBY AND PREVIOUSLY UNBEATEN FUCKERS. Er. I mean. A well deserved and carefully constructed away victory showing our players back to their normal selves, with Inter's team not really displaying the form or class which has rightly won them this championship. And with his 87th minute freekickTotti scored his 21st of the season (well, you might claim it was Figo's since it took such a monumental deflection) so is well on course for capocannoniere.

So what have the lads won? Well, first we all collectively won the pleasure of Inter not finally mathematically winning the Scudetto last night and thus celebrating in our faces. They'll do it against Siena at the weekend, I daresay. But at least we won't be there.

More tangibly, the team have won:
- 30 silk screen prints by Beppe Farina
- 11 pairs of snakeskin sandals in worth 180 euro each
- 11 bottles of Barbera d'Asti
- 11 boxes of oranges
- 11 kilos of pignolata (a typical Messina dessert flavoured with Bergamot/lemon or chocolate)
- 140 quintals of top quality plaster
- delivery of the plaster to the HQ of the club
- 11 ricotta souffl├ęs (presumably to be prepared specially, rather than last January)
- 13 shiatsu treatments
- 11 salami from Randazzo in Sicily, with pistacchios from Bronte (a place near Catania famous for the quality of its pistachios)
- 1 painting by the artist Lanfranchi
- 1 weekend in an agriturismo in Monferrato in Piedmont
- 1 sculpture of a head mounted on a plinth
- 1 CD with specially composed original soundtrack for each player
- 1 week-end of naturopathic treatments
- 1 pair of sausages, 1 pair of soppressate (a kind of salami from Calabria) and 1 'nduja (another kind of Calabrese salami) per person
- 12 ski lessons
- 1 kg. of icecream for every squad member
- 1 life size candy floss model of the world cup. Really.
- 1 typical whole ham from Norcia "LUI" and a whole matured wild boar ham
- 25% discount on materials for building a high-tech villa
- vouchers for 200 coffees and a 1 bottle of whisky
- 50 kg. of prized pink Mezzago asparagus (one of the only DOC vegetables)
- 20 pairs of sunglasses
- 12 snakeskin belts
- 5 books per head for the starting 11
- 2 rolls of waterproof asphalt (roofing material) per player

How great is this. As has been pointed out to me there's a slightly generation game feeling to the whole thing. Personally I'm happy with the 3 points, but any spare oranges, souffl├ęs or sandals will be gratefully received. This kind of thing is profoundly Italian - especially the very food-heavy nature of the prizes. You can clearly see that this is ordinary shopkeepers, builders, farmers offering up part of their livelihoods; but also composers, sculptors and silkscreen printers, and ski instructors and shiatsu therapists. As a social cross-section of people (well, anti-Interisti) keen to get involved it's pretty interesting. It seems terribly, hilariously local - no-one gave Arsenal 3 kilos of cheddar and a dozen pies when they beat Man U this season, did they. But this is one of the things I love about Italy in general and Italian football in particular: the glitz and glamour coexist happily with the idea that winning an entire ham is a major incentive in life for anyone.


TrentToffee said...

Fantastic !! I love it :0) What a wonderful idea. Damn those clever Italian broadcasters for thinking of it first.

Alas, I don't see it working over here. Can you imagine it on R5-live ? Spooney : "And whats your gift to Man U ?". Caller : "Well that Ferdinand c*nt is going to kop a knuckle-duster between the eyes". What works in Italy would simply be lost elsewhere.

Best keep Mancini away from the ice-cream and candy-floss though. He's fatter than me (and slower) :0)

Lovely post.


Spangly Princess said...

Mancini isn't fat! or slow! Tsk. go away and watch the goal against Lyon 50 times and sit on the stairs until bedtime.

martinobhoy said...

What a fantastic idea.

Although if they did it in Scotland it would allow us Celtic fans to wallow in our paranoia and say "see they are all against us!"

TrentToffee said...

2 rolls of roofing asphalt per player...

:oD :oD :oD

stop it ! my throat hurts, my stomache hurts, I'm all cried out :oD :oD :oD

I'm not coming back here for at least a week :oD :oD :oD...

de vertalerin said...

It reminds me of Richard Virenque winning his weight in cheese in a Savoyard village where a TdF stage ended one year. They had a big balance, and he sat on one side while they piled cheeses in the other. And our own Herring once won a ham in a Marchigiano road race, which was great for his team mates but pretty useless to his vegetarian self.

Albert Herring said...

It was a share in a lamb, not a ham. And a lonza (not the leggera sort) and a couple of salamis on my own account, which went down well with neighbours and colleagues, and all manner of bottles of wine and odds and sods. And very tacky Big Cups, of course. With amateur bike races, they often just used to pile up all the prizes they'd scabbed off local tradesmen on a table and then the winner would get first pick, second place next, and so on. If the field was small, sometimes you got to go round twice. I've actually seen it done for races in the UK as well, although a lot of the prizes were bike stuff rather than general produce; it was a while back though, when my mum was racing.

punk said...

ieri ero in un locale a vedere la partita
ero talmente contento che ho praticamente lasciato perdere le prove che dovevano essere iniziate alle 17 ma non era nemmeno cominciata!:)

Pat said...

Inter can only win the scudetto this weekend if Roma lose. I think.

Anonymous said...

Inter just suck don't they?
I mean, seriously. They're so average. They just suck.
- AR