QWK KCKS: Scum Mess Opoli

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

QWK KCKS is our way of helping you get your day started with a refreshing blast of football culture right in your face.

Scommessopoli

If you, like me, had every intention of paying more attention to Serie A only to be turned off by the news of yet another match-fixing scandal, we should form a club. We’ll serve punch and pie and discuss in small groups how dispiriting it is that Italian football just can’t get out of its own way.

Admittedly, I’ve been saying I’d pay more attention to Serie A for quite some time. I’d catch the odd game here or there, but I hadn’t yet made it a priority. Italian football was mostly filler for when I wasn’t watching one of several other leagues in the regular rotation. Frankly, there’s only so much time available. Italy didn’t merit more of it, for whatever reason.

It wasn’t Calicopoli, though that was surely in the back of my mind. There’s something about Italy’s game that has a maudlin film over it all. It’s vibrant—in certain places, at certain times—but it’s also sometimes dreary. It’s that dreariness that probably kept me from becoming full invested in the past, and now, with a new match-fixing scandal erupting, I’m on the verge of just giving up on ever getting into Serie A. Which is sad.

The much worse thing is the possibility that Italy isn’t the only place these things happen, it’s juts the only place these things happen and subsequently become public knowledge. In some ways, that’s a credit to the Italians. At least they’re trying to root it out.

But there’s the scary part; what if this isn’t just happening in Italy? What if it’s happening in other leagues, whether it be widespread or just a game or two here and there? Does that make everything a lie, all the joy taken out counterfeit? If there is match-fixing happening in other leagues that I care more about, do I really want to know? Or is ignorance bliss in this situation?

And now to the links.

 

PHOTO: BELUGAS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR ABILITY TO HOLD THE BALL. PERFECT NUMBER 9S.

This Beluga whale at the Beijing Aquarium has some skill with the ball. (Getty Images)
 

 

HE WAS NEVER REALLY RETIRED. IT WAS ALL JUST A DREAM. PRETEND IT NEVER HAPPENED.

Paul Scholes signs a contract to play another year for Man United, and we’re all left wondering why he bothered to retire in the first place. // ManUtd.com

 

SEE, I WOULD HAVE GONE WITH ’25 BRAD PITTS’, BUT THAT’S JUST ME.

Manchester United’s commercial director says the club have “25 George Clooneys.” I don’t know what it means, unless he’s saying they all drive a Prius and hate Republicans. // Independent.ie

 

THIS DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS. NOW SCURRY ALONG.

Italian Prime Minster ponders stopping calcio for a few years to clean it up, people go bonkers. “Ponders” is the same as “proposes”, right? // The Footy Blog

 

PHOTO: IS RIBERY’S AUTOGRAPH REALLY WORTH HEAD-TO-TOE POISON IVY? THE ANSWER IS ‘NON.’

Autograph seekers lure Franck Ribery into the bushes to for an autograph at a Les Bleus training session in the north of France. (Reuters)

 

IN OTHER WORDS, HE’S GOING TO CRASH THE PARTY AND TELL STORIES YOU DON’T CARE TO HEAR.

Eric Wynalda is the “crazy uncle” looking to crash the U.S. Open Cup party with his band of California amateurs. // ESPN.com

 

I EXPECTED THE PREPARATIONS TO INVOLVE MORE ACTUAL SAMBAING.

Brazil plays the Unites States in a friendly tonight at FedEx Field near D.C. Here’s a roundup of their pregame preparations, including David Luiz sticking out his tongue. Neymar looks bored. // Futbolita

 

EVERY TIME I SEE HIM, I WANT TO YELL ‘IT’S A TRAP’ BUT DON’T. BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE DUMB.

This is a wonderful tumblr featuring Ireland coach Giovanni Trapaottoni in photos with fetching girls. // thepussyisinthebag

 

PHOTO: FRANCK RIBERY LAUGHS, IN FRENCH, AT YOUR UNSHINY WATCHES.

Here are members of the Germany National Team holding watches they were presented by IWC Schaffhausen during a training session in France. (Getty Images)

 

SOMETIMES WATCHES AREN’T ABOUT TELLING THE TIME AT ALL. ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE RICH.

Check out Franck Ribery’s monster blinged-out timepiece. // The Beautiful Gear

 

NO. MAYBE. I DUNNO. PROBABLY. OK, YES. IS BOWLING A SPORT?

Asking a natural question in light of Scommessopoli: Could match-fixing happen on a wide scale in American sports? // Dan Levy

 

I’M STRUGGLING A BIT WITH ‘SCOMESSOPOLI.’ I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH SYLLABLE TO STRESS.

In my head, it comes out “scum-mess-opoli”, so I think I’ll stick with that. Follow. Like. Ciao.

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