Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bad Start For Roma

Bad start for Totti and the boys. First there was the 5-1 loss at Cagliari. Now to be fair, the season is young, and despite the lopsided score sheet, it counts the same as a hard-fought 1-0 battle.

But then there was the 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Again, it's still early and Bayern is clearly the stiffest competition Roma will face in the group.

However, if we remember last year, Roma started horribly, yet picked up their game to finish oh-so-close to the top spot in Italy. In hindsight, if it hadn't had been for that bad start, and all other results remained the same, they would have handily won.

Now it's easy to look back and speculate, hindsight is always 20/20, but maybe, just maybe, could we learn from the mistakes of last year and not take two months to get our game going?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Berlusconi Making Friends in All the Wrong Places

Well Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's whack-job dictator is back in Rome and Silvio is all smiles (again). For those unaware, Gaddafi has a history for outlandish actions and statements, like last year when he paid hundreds of young Italian women to come for a night out in Rome, only to sit them down and preach the Koran. In fact, in 2007 he said he wants to ''save European women.'' Then there was when he called for the dismantling of Switzerland, issuing a jihad against the country because his son was arrested there.

Well, he's not done, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn't seem to mind. Just the other day he went for round two with the young Italian women in another paid preach-fest, as well as called for Europe to convert to Islam. Then, he asked for five billion euros a year to keep Europe from ''turning black'' as a result of African immigration. You can't make this stuff up (hence all the links).

What's fishy though is that this all seems to be a side-show, during which serious ties are being strengthened between Italy and Libya. Italian firms are taking an increasing role in building up Libyan infrastructure, while Libya is investing heavily in Unicredit, one of Italy's biggest banks.

Given Italy's economic (La Repubblica reports that one in four young Italians is unemployed) and political instability, I'm not so sure that buddying up with guys like Gaddafi is sound politics.