28 April 2014: fans of Vigor Lamezia celebrate their salvation after their team defeats Castel Rigone to remain in Serie C.

This past Sunday, May 4th at 15:00, at Stadio San Bartolomeo, Castel Rigone played their last match as a team in the professional division of Lega Pro (soon to become ‘Serie C’ again). They lost 2-0, their seventh setback in a row. They had already been relegated the previous week. I wasn’t there to watch. The eyes and ears of everyone in Perugia were at Stadio Renato Curi, where Perugia played Frosinone in the last game of the season for one of those two teams (the team that prevailed won the league, and was promoted to Serie B). For the other side, it was the start of a tortuous 8-team playoff to determine what other squad will be promoted. Heading into the match, Perugia led Frosinone by one point, and needed only a draw to return to Serie B, where they’ve not been since 2004-05, the (first) year they went bankrupt. The previous Sunday, when Perugia earned a draw in the mud of Salerno (winners of the League Cup), the commune set up a giant screen in Piazza IV Novembre, and the songs and shouts of the fans gathered in the pouring rain could be heard throughout the city as Perugia buried a late penalty to tie the match. The outcome of the Perugia’s season appears in another post. The philosopher-chairman of Castel Rigone, Brunello Cucinelli, is not finished, however, he has a “progetto speciale” in mind (Giornale dell’Umbria, 29 Apr. 2014, p. 36) which he will reveal in 2-3 weeks. I would not be surprised if he doesn’t invest even more deeply in his vision of a new calcio, one in which ideas, form, and comportment are still important than wins or losses. A more striking contrast could not be found than with Jose Mourinho, the incredibly successful yet hard-to-like manager of Chelsea. Continue reading