“Kingi you wanker
You asshole, I hate you heaps
Please die soon, in pain.”
– Ricky Baker
In the film ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, Ricky Baker’s social worker encouraged him to work through his emotional issues by writing about his problems in haiku form. Given that I am currently coming to terms with a terrible tragedy in my life, I thought I would give Ricky’s technique a try to see if it would do anything to help me overcome my grief. Here’s what I came up with:
Why did you do that, you dick?
Why, why, why, why, why?
Maybe I’m not ready to process my feelings in this way quite yet…
The five stages of grief are purported to be denial, depression, anger, bargaining and acceptance. I seem to be oscillating back and forth through them all. Yesterday I thought that all the memes taking the piss out of Zaza’s dance were quite funny and strangely cheering (denial). Today they are making me cry (depression) and I want to throttle the next person who tags me into one (anger). I’ve tried marking them all as spam and asking Facebook to remove them (bargaining), but they wrote back telling me to stop wasting their time or they’ll delete my account. I suppose I’d better do as they say (acceptance).
How long will it take me to get over this? Who knows. I’m still not over Italy’s penalty shootout loss to Brazil in the final of USA ’94, so I’m guessing it’s going to take a while. One thing I’m quite sure of, though, is in about seven point five billion years when the sun has become a red dwarf and engulfed the planet earth, somewhere in amongst the fire and molten ooze will be the still very much alive grudge I have with Simone Zaza.
I don’t normally hold grudges with players who miss penalties that cost Italy our place in major tournaments. Roberto Baggio missed one in 1994 – I love the man dearly. Roma legends Luigi Di Biagio and Marco Delvecchio have both done it too and you’ll never hear a bad word pass my lips about either of them. Because the fact is neither of them tried to play stupid mind games with one of the best if not the best goalkeeper in the world. Graziano Pellè’s case was bad enough but at least he had the mitigating circumstance of having played 120 minutes of football first…
Zaza was subbed on with thirty seconds left in extra time with one job and one job only – to slot a bloody penalty. His antics not only cost us the game, and our place in the tournament, but they cost us something far more precious to all humankind than either of those things – the most important thing in the history of football – our ability to lord it over the Germans.
Some have blamed Conte for subbing Zaza on too late and not giving him the chance to get a feel for the game before it was time for the shootout, and they might have a point.
But, for me, if he’d taken his penalty like a professional footballer should and missed – I’d be pissed off but I would have forgiven him pretty quickly. If he’d behaved like a dick and slotted – then he would have looked like a legend, we’d be in the semi-finals and I’d be sharing memes about how awesome he is all over social media. But he behaved like a dick, missed, and it cost us the tournament – so basically I think he should be up before the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.
Zaza’s partner has taken to social media in the last few days to blast some of the people criticising her man:
“YOU ARE TOTALLY IGNORANT. Obviously in your life you’ve never made a mistake, obviously you would have scored that goal from the comfort of your couch?”
Maybe not, but I bet you I at least would have hit the bloody target!!
Having said that, I wouldn’t go quite as far as Pellè’s partner, who was captured on Italian TV immediately after his miss saying:
“I knew it… he’s an asshole.”
One might suggest that she tries writing a haiku…
A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/