Fury in the Fog - Part 1
(An historic account of il derby, Mazzola vs Rivera, and the passion of Calcio, from the eyes of an American teenage Inter fan living in Milan in the early 1970's...)
Many American teenagers associate November with the leaves falling off the trees, with the family getting together for Thanksgiving, with going to football games wrapped in blankets with mugs of hot cider to keep one warm.
Not for me. But I didn't miss out on *anything*. Not that I don't like leaves changing colours and the wonderful Thanksgiving feast and family get-together.
But I was in Milan, Italy as an American teenager.
I thought of November as foggy mist around the Duomo, as buying a farcito tost in the subway tabaccheria – con carciofi (with artichoke) if you please - so you could not only enjoy a tasty sandwich, but warm your hands as well! November was riding the Metropolitana (simply known as the "Metro") to school and to locations around the city. It was the sparks shooting off the electric tram lines at night, it was the hot chestnut vendors in the Piazza Cordusio. There was even an organ grinder man with a real monkey -- something I never thought I would see in real life! "Novembre" was all this and more....
.....but most of all, November was football.
And football in Milan is a crown jewel of the city. Along with the great opera center, La Scala, along with one of the world's fashion centers located on the Via Montenapoleone, along with the constant thrumming of business deals of the "borsa", the stock exchange. Along with the towering presence of the ornate gothic cathedral called simply "Il Duomo", the symbol of the city.
Football was part and parcel of Milanese life. It was discussed everywhere at anytime by virtually everybody. You could hear it being talked about anywhere. But my favourite place to open up a copy of the Guerin Sportivo or to argue with a friend on the latest Italian National team controversy was the Galleria. THE Galleria folks, not some fake southern California yuppie spinoff.
It stands next to the Duomo, a stately elegance of ornate glass, tile and lights called the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuale, an enclosed promenade that may have been the world's first indoor shopping mall, and is certainly still its most wonderful. Nothing beats talking about football, or art, or politics, or just plain people watching in the Galleria.*
I guess you can tell that I liked Milano - not pretty like a Como or Orvieto or even Roma, it was not glamorous unless you are 'fashionable', but definitely a very livable city and one that never lacks for goings-on.
Football in November in Milan was me playing the game for the American School of Milan. For playing (and sometimes even winning) games as a defender and then as a keeper. But really November to me was being a fan of Internazionale of Milano, the "nerazzurri."
Continued at: http://www.footballspeak.com/post/20...og-Part-1.aspx
Its written by a good friend of mine, excellent writer... I have convinced him to submit more features at www.footballspeak.com, some old ones and some new...