Sampdoria 0-0 Roma in the Coppa Italia as I write, the first leg of the quarter-finals. It is, you will doubtless be more than thrilled to learn, Roma's 300th ever game in the Italian Cup. Never let it be said that I am less than informative and instructional. Mexes has been sent off for picking up 2 yellow cards in just 18 minutes - shouldn't he get some sort of special prize? or at least a dispensation seeing as one was merely for kicking Cassano, a wholly legitimate and human impulse, and, indeed, almost a duty incumbent upon any loyal giallorosso. Cassano looks very good, though... and Delvecchio was also looking lively til he came off though he considerately chose not to score from the excellent chance he had in the first half.
There are no romanisti there tonight - or at least there shouldn't be - since the Prefect of Genova has determined that for security reasons the away section would be closed. After the stabbings on Sunday it's scarcely a surprise. As to whether there will be any sanctions from the football authorities, as opposed to the political ones, remains to be seen. I almost don't know what to say about this (I know, you're amazed aren't you...) because I've said it all so often before. I saw nothing, of course, since it all took place about 2 hours before kick-off. Consensus on ultras' message boards is 'typical cowardice from the Roma ultras, as soon as it looked like they were losing [the brawl] a capo yelled "blades out" and they started knifing people as it was all they could do.' While the niceties of the hooligan code of conduct are, happily, beyond me, I am given to understand that this is a jolly poor show. Fuckwits.
Taddei on for Giuly, who has valiantly tried to cheer Vucinic up for missing a total sitter by doing so himself. I trust you're enjoying my live commentary. Perhaps I could get a job doing it for the Guardian. This half Samp are really making their extra man count a lot more.... oh feck... speak of the devil... they score. Bugger me what a great goal - Ziegler colelcts the ball out on the left and wellies it from about 20 metres out, boom. Spalletti puts his head on one side a bit like a sparrow and looks disappointed, like a parent who finds their trust in their teenage offspring has been sadly misplaced.
In more wooty news, my first week's classes are over. My first class went ok rather than brilliantly, but today's was a lot better: I had too much material rather than not quite enough and after initial silence, we managed to get quite a good class discussion going on the primary sources I had printed out. Students expressed opinions! and disagreed! and supported their arguments! yay.
and also WOOO Mirko Vucinic! grande Mirko!! he makes up for earlier with a lovely goal, great ball in from Mancini (I think), good run, avoiding a last-ditch challenge and popping it neatly in the far corner, with the goalie totally beaten. 1-1! and 70 minutes gone. I do hope you're not bored by this, but I am desperate to avoid eating despite being starving hungry, since my mate will be over at half-eight for us to go out for pizza, so watching the game in your (wholly imaginary since non-contemporaneous) company is keeping me from snacking.
Cassano and Tonetto are trying to have a scrap. Panucci, as captain, drags Tonetto away with some vigour while the ref cards the ugly fuckface, sorry, Cassano. ouch, the reply looks quite nasty. Mancini hauls Cassano off - they are apparently still best mates, though you'd not guess from Antonio's efforts to throw off the Brazilian's restraint and charge after the (still shouting) Tonetto.
Anyway, today we talked about nationalism, liberalism, imperialism and the inter-relations between them. We looked at how liberalism changed its objectives over time, and at attitudes to small nationalities such as Catalans, Bretons, the Welsh etc - Mazzini & Mill both agreed that these "minor" peoples had no right to a nation of their own. Aquilani comes off - he's got terribly attractive over the last year or so. Is it wrong of me to say that?
Cassano off too and shakes hands with Spalletti. He's been very excited about this second chance to play Roma, not so much at the Marassi as at our place, after the so hilarious episode when he was suspended for the league match in December. I don't know quite what he thinks is going to happen next week, but I can assure him he's not going to get a warm welcome from the fans. Really. Anyway, we discussed whether nationalism was intrinsically expansionist, how liberalism & nationalism interrelated, the Marxist view of imperialism and what liberals might or might not have felt about empire. Vucinic off now too, only 5 minutes left. My class is very small, which is great, since it makes it less daunting and encourages student chattiness, I think. Ah, final whistle, it ends 1-1 and Roma is nicely set up for the return leg next week.
and I am more or less on top of my preparations. Next Monday's lecture & hand-out are written, and next Wednesday's lecture is 2/3 done. Only 13 more weeks to go!