What Would Buddy Do?
Yup, sogniamo
Posted on December 10th, 2008 at 10:26 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Extremely long-time readers might recall some references to the wholly excellent A Season With Verona by Tim Parks.  It’s the journal of an English ex-pat novelist spending a season following a mid-table (which is generous) Italian soccer team.

It’s my favorite sports book, in that I think it does both a great job of probing what motivates us to be fans as well as explores the very real differences between the experiences of the fans and the actual folks playing the games.  Definitely worth reading (even if you don’t care about soccer), makes a great gift, etc.

Anyway, one of my favorite passages is Parks’ description of a banner hung by fans in the stadium early in the season that reads “Facci sognare,” or “Make us dream,” which pretty much sums up this whole experience of being a fan.  That is, we know our team only has a 1/32 chance of winning the Super Bowl (if that), but we don’t really care.  What we want to do is buy into the dream of winning, and enjoy that dream as long as we can, even if we end up disappointed.

Well, that’s where we are now.  After some serious mid-November crapulence, the Eagles are back in the hunt.  We’re doing a great job of convincing ourselves that this maddeningly inconsistent team will suddenly find its form, win its final three games (including two against division opponents to whom the Eagles have already lost, as if a five-game winning streak is no big deal, especially for said maddeningly inconsistent team), and sneak into the playoffs.

I don’t mean to go too Negadelphian on this, as I’m pretty bought in myself.  The odds of all this happening are about 35 percent.  The bigger point is that we have reason to dream (at least until they lose).  And none of us can be disappointed by that (it sure beats arguing about Donovan McNabb’s future).


Comments so far:

Link Here | December 10, 2008,

Those odds are fairly favorable though. Looking at the other WC contenders, TB is at 52.2%, Atlanta at 37.7%, and Dallas is at 14.9%. So the Birds chances are only 2% less than those of the team they need to catch. There’s genuine hope at this point.

Though it’ll all be dashed against the rocks if the Birds lay an egg on Monday night which is what we’re all quietly afraid of.

Comment by Jason H

Link Here | December 10, 2008,

Have you ever read “The miracle of Castel de Sangro?”

Comment by JasonB |

Link Here | December 10, 2008,


I thought Castel Del Sangro was okay. The setup in Castel Del Sangro (outsider looking in, and then passing judgment) ultimately isn’t as appealing, though obviously it’s a fun read. I also tried to overlook the author’s repeated slights in re: that particular region in Italy (where my peeps happen to be from).

Trust me on A Season With Verona. Worth it.

(Happy to provide more notes on soccer books. I’ve read “a lot” of them.)

Comment by Cheesesteak Hoagie |

Link Here | December 10, 2008,

Love this post. You know, despite all of the negativity that is attributed to Philly fans, it has always just been a front - at our core, we are helplessly hopeful. If we actually didn’t think our teams could win, and actually didn’t expect them to, would we really get that upset when they did? Nah, we’d just brush it off and say, “told ya so.” But we take it hard, because we watch with that small glimmer of hope that says, “you know, maybe we can do it.” At least I do. And that hope, and passion, makes the whole experience that much more fun and worthwhile.

Comment by The Pattison Pundit |

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