Friday, October 4, 2013

The Aftermath of My First Festival

The Aftermath of My First Festival

    Music has always been apart of my life. To be honest, I don’t know many people who can say it hasn’t. From hearing and singing kid songs when we are little, to knowing word for word the songs of our favorite cartoons ( I still know all the words to Animaniacs ), to the songs that help us grow as teens to adults and then grow simply as adults. Some songs hold more meaning then others and some music genres hold the key to our emotions like a faucet. And as far as my emotions and music taste go, they range all over the place. And as it is now known today, EDM is my current state of mind.

    Growing up in a big city, NYC, music of all kinds is easy to come by. Rock to Rap to the electric scene can be found on every corner, at almost every club growing up, and at even at a young age, I would be able to see and hear these types of music live. These all hold a special place in my heart and this past weekend, it was all brought to a head and exploded all over a 500 acre farm in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. To say I had a great time is an understatement and I believe it needs some more understanding and clarification. TomorrowWorld is the first of its kind here in the US. The inaugural festival birthed from the 9 year running Belgium hit, TomorrowLand. It’s decision to come to the US was not much of a surprise, as the money that would be made here may top a lot of festivals, but the way in which they went about it was a surprise. A 21 plus event of this size was unheard of and left the festival with some lofty expectations they may not fill. Did they fill these? Excuse me while I laugh for a second or two, but I digress.

    The event was set, the stage was set and with no lineup other then then hopes and dreams of the European example left us year after year, tickets would be sold and I will be in front of my computer buying tickets the second, and I mean second they go on sale. Would I be the only one? No. Will they sell out as quickly as TomorrowLand? No. Do I care? No! For in my mind, this will be the best festival the US has ever seen and I will have the time of my life. What a perfect way to set myself up for failure if I say so myself. But as this festival has been able to do all year since its announcement in coming to the states, it has lived up to its hype.

    SHM or better known as Swedish House Mafia have ruled the airwaves for a number of years, just recently went on their farewell tour this past year and simply destroyed every concert venue they played. With their breaking up, that means the possibility of three separate great sets at any major festival that would be lucky enough to grab them. It happened at TomorrowLand, but would it happen here in the states? Nope it wouldn’t, as Steve Angello would be holding his second Size in the Park, two day event. What would this mean to me? Being as he is one of my favorite DJ’s at the moment, not to mention that his two day event would be held in Central Park NYC, where I live. And strike one hits the event in my books. Let’s hope it ends there and it just about did. There were numerous DJ’s in which I wanted to see, from Dirty South to Avicii, that would not be spinning the event, but with the Main Stage loaded with names I wanted to see and the smaller staged names I have been hearing about for months and years, how could I possibly complain?

    From the months before to the days and hours leading up to the long drive down to Georgia, over 15 hours to be exact, the nervousness set in. Sweaty palms, constant conversations with friends about why they are stupid for not coming, these days would be like walking the green mile. A final walk where everything as you once knew it, is now over and a new life will set in. What is this new life and what does it hold for me. Am I ready for it? How much will I change as a person? Is this a good change and will it be for the better? And last but not least, am I ready for what is about to come my way and hit me square in the face? That answer to the last one, No, No I wasn’t ready.

    At the start of this article I talked about the importance of music to an individual. I spoke about how it can change lives, build emotions and each person has different meanings to different songs and genres of music. Let’s discuss how this all came about and brought together around 40,000 people each day and how it all meant to me in what is now to be known as “The Greatest Weekend of my Life”.

    To a newbie in the festival scene, there are many questions that are asked, but one thing is always a must, to have fun! Then to each person, the “fun” part must be broken down. Well, there is the music, and TomorrowWorld had it by the shit ton, but we will get into that later. Then there are the people, the ones you will be calling neighbor for the next couple of days. But to me, these neighbors quickly became friends, and friend I am sure I will not lose anytime soon. Very few things will bring people closer together then having to camp it out, wait for showers and bathrooms and deal with the stench that is a port-o-potty. In my situation, it actually started in a small town right outside of Rome, Italy where my family is from. Never in my wildest dream did I believe I would not only meet someone from this town, but it would happen to be the first person I talked to other then the people I drove down with. My friendship group at TW just grew by three. Then enters in probably the most unlikely of characters, an Aussie who will enter the story a little bit later as there is more to him then simply his back ground. Add one more to the group. Two more quiet kids from Minnesota with the canopy set up perfectly to people watch the boardwalk, well add two more friends to the mix. And last but not least, probably the four chillest and down to earth people I have met in a long time, all the way from Alabama. All of this, on the first day, of my first festival ,in my first camping area, all next to my tent, ready for the weekend to commence, so o boy did it commence.

    The people aspect of the event is now in the books. A big check mark can now be added and the next phase can begin. What brought these people here and what is bringing us so close. Music... Good. Fucking. Music. And here is where we started at the start of this article. What does music mean to me, to them and how has it made this festival one to remember. EDM has always had a place in my heart, as the club scene has been there for as long as I could remember. Certain songs and certain types of EDM are stronger with me then other. For example, Hard style and the Q Stage was not my place to be, but with the full respect given to it and its fans, I could understand their love for it. Most of the people I wanted to see were on the main stage at TomorrowWorld. From Tiesto to Quintino, to W&W to Hardwell, my walking was short, my dancing and jumping were often, and then sweating nonstop. But who was to see it with me. I had an agenda, I had people I wanted to see and that was that. Well to my surprise, a lot of people wanted to see it as well. Every set I saw I was met by a friend. Every set I was at raging hard, there were hundreds of others doing the same. Every set  I saw was better then the next and I did not want it to end. But what made this music heaven a reality, was not only the music, but sharing in it with my new friends from the camp site. “Tell me your favorite set of the day”. “what do you plan on seeing tomorrow?” “Pass the hookah”. These were the questions and comments heard most at the site and would strike conversations about ones lives back at home, what the day was like and what our pasts were like. Well one thing I never really shared about my past is the thought that would cross my mind the whole weekend and come crashing down at the end.

    All of my blabbering, all of my rhetoric about music and what it means to me and others all came together with the final act to this musical play. With three major acts spinning on the last day to close out the festival, in my mind there was only one place I wanted to be, Armin van Buuren at the main stage. Who would I go with, well I didn’t care I was going. The king of Trance, DJ Mags #1 DJ four years running and it doesn’t look like its going to stop this year either. But will I be going alone? Nope. Everyone wanted to go. All of our group. And by the last day our group was 15 deep. A group of people brought together for the music, stayed together for the laughs and conversations and felt the music in togetherness as a family. But what happened next I did not expect. Not me by any means necessary. The group tried to meet up before to watch the final set, but for some reason, it didn’t work out. We were scattered all over the place. But did that stop us from meeting? No, we randomly all ran into each other. All 15 of us! How lucky are we? As the music played, we would all look at each other and comment how epic the set was, and it was. The closer to the end the words “best DJ in the world” would come out of our mouth a lot. Yet, to me, it was the music speaking. The music was hitting my soul, making me feel a certain way. I would think back to everything that was going on the past couple of days, the people I met, the music I would hear, the “family” I would find and the emotions would set in. But where would these emotions bring me?

    I said as a joke before we left for the festival that I would cry during Armin’s set because I would miss everything after it would be over. Never in my right mind did I think it would happen. As he came on the announce it was his last song it started to set in, it was ending. Soon enough I would leave my new friends I can now call family. I would have to get back to the real life and go back to what I once knew which is not where I wanted to be. Then it happened. That voice. That song. Is this real life, I thought to myself. Out comes the first tear. As I struggle to wrap my brain around the unlikely events that are occurring at this moment it hit me again. Tear number two. Now my brain is fighting the emotions, fighting the tears all while trying to enjoy my time here with the people I am enjoying it with, listening to the music I have been waiting for all weekend. Yes, the music, and there is goes again, tear number three. At this point the build up was coming and the bass was going to drop. I looked into the sky, pointed to the heavens, closed my eyes and embraced what would happen next. The feeling that took over me was not of my own, but of my guardian angel, one of the most talented people I have met in my life. My brother Jason Brian. The artiest. The musician. The ladies man. My best friend. Where did this come from? Why all of a sudden. What brought all this about and one simple word will answer this all and will explain my joy, my sadness and my elated state of mind that brought this festival to its knees. Nirvana. My brothers favorite band, favorite songs to sing, mimic and imitate. That sound, those lyrics and everything that embodies it means more to me then one can ever imagine.

    Talking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, everything about TomorrowWorld reminds me of him. From the friends made with no prejudice, to the overall love of music, to the conversations with the ladies would have been totally his cup of tea. This was his event in my mind once that song sang out those speakers. The last song of an amazing set. The last voice to hear from the best DJ in the world at arguably the best festival in the states ever. it all came to a head. It all made sense to me. Someone was looking down on me wanting me to have fun. I mean for fucks sake I lost my phone the first day, which means I had to enjoy the music and not try to record it. I had to meet people and not just want to take pictures. I had to have normal conversations with real people there then text people at home. The music moved me. The artistry of the stages moved me. The people moved me. All attributes of my brother. Jason Brain Farino.

    Armin played me like a book. Lifted me up and strung me along for the ride of a lifetime and helped me to understand it all. When asked today what was the best set of the weekend, there is no other answer then AVB. The music is what brought me here, but everything else is what made it the best weekend of my life. I will never forget the people. I will never forget the stages. I will never forget the walks and the conversations. I will never forget the feeling I got each time the bass dropped. I will never forget the beautiful ladies roaming around each day making any man smile. But most of all, I will never forget my new family. The music brought us together and it will keep us together for many years to come, I will be sure of it.

    What does music mean to me? It means everything. It brought joy, helped me meet new and interesting people. Help bring an Aussie to the states and a member of my new “family”. It helped bring to life laughter and love for one another only seen in certain times and places. It brought my brother back to me when I probably needed him the most.

    10-13-2001 is the day my older brother, my best friend passed away from a drug overdose. The half sleeved tattoo on my right arm is for him and only once was I asked about it. Yet the thought of him never left the whole weekend and he came alive at the end. He brought me to music, helped me to understand it and to love everything, not just one kind. He helped me to appreciate art and the skill it take to complete anything form of art, from paintings to sculpture to music. And he helped me to better myself in the end, to want more and to become more. He was always the best, played the best and had the best looking girls around him at all times. He was my hero and Armin strung me along for the ride of my lifetime. Thank you to TomorrowWorld for making this happen for me. Thank you to the DJ’s for doing it all justice. Thank you to the people for the laughs, and thank you to my new family for making it all worth it.

    Knowing my story, knowing my brother you are probably wondering what is he thinking, saying right now about me and what happened this past weekend. Well I can tell you this, he is looking at Kurt Cobian, pointing at me and saying, “See that guy right there, yea that guy sparkle, thats my brother and I am proud”. And as I’m sure Kurt would reply, “ Isn’t glitter the herpes of the arts and crafts world?      
 Cliff Hanger Much?

Monday, May 7, 2012

This was written a couple of months ago, but I decided to post it now. Hope you enjoy it.

The Glue of Udine

    This has been a curious past couple of years for the team based out of the city Udine. Udinese has been known as the enigma of the Serie A and has had fans questioning where the team is heading. From flirting the top of the table and barely missing a European spot in consecutive years from 07’-09’ to shooting down to 15 in the league in 10’. Yet something happened in the 15th placed year that would change the club for the better moving on and his name is Francesco Guidolin.
    The man who put together and built a 3-5-2 team that would struggle at the start of his tenure, would in later years prove to have made the right choice, with the right squad, in the right league. While Udinese was dropping down the league table, Guidolin was coaching Parma who would end the season at a surprising 8th. This was all the Udine giants would need to see as they made their dash for the coach. His first year at the helm ended rough, but the second had them jump up to fourth and into Champions League qualifications for only the second time in the teams history. What a great accomplishment this is for the coach and the team. Taking a step back and looking at the teams that they had to beat in order to place fourth, is great as well. From Roma, to Juventus to the surging Napoli as well, this turned out to be a historic achievement for both coach and squad. Yet it wasn’t until this year that we would see the true wonder of the 10’-11’ Panchina d’Oro award winning coach of the year.
    A quick look of this years squad compared to last years fourth place squad, you will notice some major differences. Two of the changes stand out above the rest and with these two changes, you would expect a team like Udinese to fold, crumble and drop out of contention. These changes came because of two major powerhouses in Europe, Napoli and Barcelona. The things that made Udinese great to watch and a force to reckon with, was their midfield paired up with two of the top forwards in the Serie A. Everyone knows one of them, as he is still on the team and still scoring goals at an alarming rate, Antonio Di Natale. The other forward, a young man from Chile born eleven years after his teammate, Alexis Sanchez. This combo was putting on a show in every match that they played and Udinese was even dubbed the Barcelona of Italy. Well, with that type of reputation, it was only a matter of time before the real Barca caught wind and the eye of Sanchez, who would move to the Spanish giant in the summer.
    The midfield had the same look as the forwards, with the Switzerland International Gokhan Inler, who was moved to Serie A giants Juventus, playing alongside Kwadwo Asamoah from Ghana. This tandem, alongside the strike force of Sanchez and Toto (Di Natale), proved to be wonders in the past, but worrisome for the future. With Champions League on the horizon and two of the teams major star players gone, how would, not only the team, but the coach carry on and hold their own. Little did we all know what would happen from here on out.
    The start of the Sere A campaign for Udinese started out as good as they have hoped for. Conceding only one goal the first seven games in league play was a huge boost for the team, while the same time in Europe, they were having a much harder time getting adjusted to their new team and lack of attack up front. In their Champions League qualifiers, they were knocked out in a home and home against Arsenal with a 3-1 aggregate score and being pushed to the Europa League to try to fight for European glory there. Yet as they were shutting out the likes of Cagliari, Atalanta and Fiorentina, they were giving up goals by the bunches in Europe. In the first six matches, they conceded nine goals, most of which was topped off with a 4-0 win at the hands of Atletico Madrid. This seemed to have been the dagger in the Udine side that would end not only their chance of European trophies, but also, their chance to get back to the Champions League the following year.
    Two star players gone, hopes slowly fading away and fans worrying for the worst, somehow, this team stayed even keeled. They were held together by glue that would hold them steady enough to stay amongst the top of the Italian League tables and stay relevant just long enough in Europe to make their move. And to this writers surprise, their move was made at the worst of times. Toto Di Natale was the Leagues top goal scorer for the past couple of years and was making his approach to the same position again until he went down with injury in February, the worst time for the team. They we in a tie with PAOK Salonika of Greece in the Europa League after a very disappointing 0-0 results in Udine, Italy. With this result, they had to fly to Greece and hope for either a win or at least a 1-1 tie to move on, but without Italy’s best striker, things looked shaky. Yet this glue that was doing a masterful job of holding the team together so far would seem to prevail again. With players stepping up to the task like defenders Danilo from Brazil as well as Maurizio Domizzi of Italy and the resurgence of Antonio Floro Flores, Udinese left Greece with a 3-0 win and a spot in the next round.

    This group epitomized the meaning of a team, held together by a strong glue that has them currently in third in the Serie A standing. Held by a glue that has them only conceding seven goals when playing home, second to only the league leaders Milan. Held together by a glue that has eleven different players scoring goals. Held together by a glue that has a 34 year old playing like he is in his mid twenties and scoring goals in bunches and leading the league in goals once again. This glue is something out of this world, a substance the likes of Inter and Fiorentina would love to have. The only problem is that this glue is not for sale. You will not find it in any store nor will you find it at any other club. This glue is set on a goal and that goal is European greatness. Whether the glue is enough to achieve this goal or not is yet to be seen, but the ride is sure worth the price of admission. Francesco Guidolin is the glue of Udine and if things settle in properly, Udinese and Guildolin will be stuck together for years to come.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Date is February 29, 2012

    Today is either Fat Tuesday or ash Wednesday, depending on what part of the Earth you live on or what day you are reading this. To many Italian-Americans, this could mean a number of things. It could mean that Tuesday night is a great night to go out and get really drunk and lose all your inhibitions. To some, it might mean time to figure out what one thing you will give up for Lent so people may think you really care about this religious time of year. Others take the religious parts very serious and make their plans to go to church on Wednesday to receive their ashes in the shape of a cross on their forehead. And to be totally honest, the are many who just don’t really care and take it as any other day. A simple two day span in the month of February in a leap year. Yes, 2012 is a leap year. Happens every four years and really doesn’t hold much meaning other then the fact it is an extra day of work to some. So what’s the big deal about that day? Why should the 2012 leap year be circled on all Italian-Americans calendars? And the real question, why are their so many IA’a (Italian-American’s) who do not even know what that day is?!

    Growing up an IA here in New York City can only really be explained with one word, GREAT! Other then actually being raised in Italy itself, I could not think of any other city the NYC in which to be raised. The history that this city has with IA’s is astounding and very rich. From generation to generation, recipes, languages, personalities, looks and even some swagger has been passed down from our ancestors  to the people you see walking the streets today. From Belmont to Bensonhurst, to Howard Beach to Bay Ridge and Mulberry Street Little Italy all the way to the original Little Italy Arthur Avenue, IA’s are everywhere. From cafes to restaurants to deli’s to butchers to that little shop that sells the huge $40 Sunday pasta bowls our stamp is all over the city. We are raised by a family, taught to love family and turn our close friends into family. Hold your friends and family tight, but you enemies tighter. The influence goes on and on and many great things have come out of this city from IA’s yet one thing truly lacks and February 29 is proof of that.

    IA’s are all over the sports world of the U.S. mostly in baseball and football, but ask any person born in Italy, American football and baseball will not be the sport they either want to watch or play growing up. Soccer as we know it here is the main sport in Italy and one in which they are one of the best in the world at playing. So why is this sport not loved by the IA’s who love the Italian culture as much as they claim? When the home country of Italy takes on another country with it’s national team, it is a big deal, even if there isn’t much up for grabs. An international friendly means just as much to a fan of the sport as a cup game, for something as simple as bragging rights. The sport loved by more people around the world, yet means very little to the people of this country. And I know many of you reading this right now are saying the complete opposite. You are thinking, “Yes I do like soccer and it means a lot to me so how can you say that?” Well let me say this to you in response, February 29, 2012.

    2:30 p.m. ET, February 29th, where will you be? Well I know where I will be. Macbook on lap, fingers tapping away as I watch the game I love, played by the country I love against the country I was raised in. Yes. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the Italian national team, the 8th ranked team in the world will be playing a friendly match in Genoa, Italy against the 31st ranked team in the world, the United States of America. When these two teams meet in this sport, it brings nations together. Will it mean as much to you as it does to me? Well if you didn’t even know they were playing, I doubt that.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

These Colors Don’t Run!

Cesena 1-3 AC Milan
29’ Muntari (M)
31’ Emanuelson (M)
54’ Robinho (M)
65’ Pudil (C)

Following the destruction of Arsenal in the Champions League this past week, Sunday’s league match with Cesena would be a true test for the Rossoneri who were playing without their star striker Ibrahimovic due to suspension. with many people on the squad hurt, Milan were forced to put in many of the new faces acquired this past January transfer market. Maxi Lopez was in the stating 11 in place for Ibra and Mesbah was inserted into the left back position. The one unlikely of starters was the transfer midfielder Sulley Muntari who came over from city rival Inter. A once hated player from the Milan faithful, many actually still did, was given the starting roll after Kevin-Price Boateng was injured in the CL match with the gunners. How would the old Inter player fair on his new team. Will he start dishing out yellow card fouls as he has done in the past. Well it didn’t take us long to figure this out.

Right from the start, Muntari seemed to have the right footing. Coming right from the African Cup of Nations tournament, he seemed to be fit enough, smart enough, and in the right place at the right time throughout the match. First shot of the match, goes to Muntari. First real scoring chance of the match, goes to Muntari. First Milan yellow card, goes to Muntari. To be totally honest, when the play was replayed on my T.V, it was actually a foul by the Cesena defender Comotto. From precision passing, to a high pase runner, to a very opportunistic goal, this was by far a stellar game by the Ghana international. He even lead the match with the most correct passes at 63. Go back three days and tell the fans that Sulley Muntari would score the first goal and be a huge deciding factor in the 3-1 victory of Cesena and no one would believe you. Well it is time to start believing!

It is impossible to tell the true worth of a transfer move within one game, but looking at Maxi Lopez, Sulley Muntari, Djamel Mesbah and Stephan El Shaarawy’s first games with the Rossoneri, this gives us hope for not only now, but the future as well. Forza Milan!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Italians In Europe

With the knock out stages starting today for the highly anticipated champions league, there are many questions swirling around every team with many fans worried. From England, to Spain, to France, everyone has their questions and concerns, but none more then the Italians. With the recent success of other nations and the lack of success from Italy, calico is really being put to the test this year in Europe. How will we fair? Is Italian soccer really inferior to the other nations and major clubs? Can we earn back that coveted fourth CL spot?

With huge games in the upcoming weeks, we will soon find out the answers to these questions and more. Over the years, Italian soccer has been able to provide the world with great teams as well as great matches in Europe. Inter being the latest club to win the coveted cup a few years back., it is a little hard to believe that the country is in the spot that it is. Well believe it or not, they are. Over the years Italy has been able to get numerous teams into the champions league but have always been cut short on a roller coaster ride. They will go for a stretch of years as dominant clubs in the tournament, even winning them a couple of times, i.e. 2010, ‘07, ‘03. They even made the final in ’05 only to lose it to Liverpool in one of the most dramatic games in the tournaments history. But take away the wins and the teams that made it that far, where does that leave the other clubs? This question is one that has come back to haunt the country as of today.

Italy was able to have the top four teams in the Sere A go on to the CL and compete. Due to the fact teams like A.C. Milan have not been able to get past the first knock out stage in recent years as well as other Italian clubs not even making past the group stages, that fourth coveted European spot was taken away and now given to Germany. The constant poor play has caused this to happen and in a time of the game where all but one Italian team do not own their own stadium, hence have a much smaller advantage in money that can be spent on the club, lose out on millions that could be earned for Italian clubs. And even while being faced this year, it could soon be washed away due to the play this year in Europe by Italy’s finest.

Inter Milan, Napoli, A.C. Milan and Udinese were the four teams that made it into Europe, but Udinese were knocked out before making it to the group stage. This had a lot of the fans scared for the future of Italian soccer and with the group stage drawing, it didn’t get any better. Napoli was placed into the group of death with England’s Manchester City, Germany’s Bayern Munich and Spain’s Villarreal. Yet even with the deck stacked against them, they make it through with the German’s. As well as Napoli, both Milan teams have made it through, but only Inter having won the group. This lead to the current state of the CL and the hope of millions.

Between all the countries that are left in the CL, Italy is the only one with three teams left. Everyone has less and to the naked eye, this is a huge advantage but this is a very important round. What they can do from here on out is what really matters. Can an injury riddled Milan beat a slumping Arsenal? Can Internazionale beat a team from France, a country that in the past have given Italian teams problems? And can the slumping Napoli take advantage of a Chelsea team on the decline? Each game has their own back story and all just as important as the next. Where will Italy stand by the middle of March? One can only hope that they are actually still standing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The highs of 2010 for A.C. Milan

2010 was a year to forget for all Milan fans. Well, A.C. Milan fans that is. We played horrible in the Champions League, Shit the bed in the Serie A and craped out of the Copa Italia. We had no major signings for a chunk of the year and looked like garbage at the beginning of the new season. Our coach quit on us, our new coach looked like he couldn’t get the best out of our start Brazilian, and the old guard were starting to show their age. Gattuso and Pirlo looked like they did in the World Cup; Seedorf looked, well like himself and all of our new signings are playing the worst. We are giving up goals left and right and scoring none. This is going to be a long year I thought. What else can go wrong? We needed life, we needed a sign, and the team needs some heart. And then it happened.

The 6 foot 5 inch monster was transferred to Milan. And it wasn’t Inter. How in the world did A.C. Milan get the beast known as Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Well who cares. It was all up to the powers that be and he now wears the Red and Black. And boy does he look good in those colors. He is a monster and scores goals in this league that hasn’t been seen in a long time. He was unstoppable with Inter, played well in Barca, but we have high hopes for him here. Just think about it, Ibra, Pato (if he can just stay healthy) and Dinho on the same field at the same time? O boy this will be a team to watch. But the transfer window is almost over and I wonder what else we will do.

What worried me is how will Massimiliano Allegri be able to handle this team and Ibra’s locker room antics. Well here is an idea, let’s get another potential problem child. So we did and here came in ROBINHO. This is one player, being an Italy national fan, I could not stand. He is a cry baby, show off and causes problems when making more money then anyone. But as a Milan fan, o boy was I happy. He is flashy, draws attention and the thought of him, Pato and Ibra together has me smiling like a little girl. This is going to lead to greatness and I cannot wait. And after all of this, reality starts to hit me. Where have all the Italians gone on the number one Italian team?

Goalies, Defense and midfielders are Italians, but we have no strikers. Where are all the great Italian strikers? Well Juventus has a couple, Roma received one of my favorites in Marco Borriello and Totti. And we cannot over look the great (past two years in league play anyway) striker in Udine based striker Antonio Di Natale who has been leading the league in scoring. But not use, Milan have none. Well we do have Filippo Inzaghi, but he is done for the season and is on the bench most of the time. So I will consider him not on team at this moment. So what does this mean for the striking ability of these Italian giants. Well nothing really, just that there are no Italian greats. For now!

A.C. Milan December 29, 2010

December 29,2010 is a day that will be a day of infamy forever to all A.C. Milan supporters. If there was ever a way to just slap us in the face, our city rivals have figured it out. As if winning everything last year, and I do mean everything, wasn’t enough, they had to go and do this. How could they? How could he? Why? What was he thinking? What is Adriano Galliani thinking? Well let me tell you what I am thinking.

Leonardo was a A.C. Milan legend not only as a player, but as a figure head for the team, what they were, what they are, and what they were to become. He came up through the ranks not only as a player, but also as a coach. He was THE Brazilian that was Milan. And the real Milan, not that other blue and black team. He wore the red and black proud and transcended everything that was Italian football even though he was Brazilian. You couldn’t ask for a better person in your organization at the time. He was loyal to the very end. He help all the young and old Brazilians get acclimated to the different weather and different atmosphere that is Italy. While Brazilians go to England and hate it, they come to Milan and love it. Whether it is the party life, the woman or simply the football, they end up loving it here. Was it like that before Leo? Sure. Will it be like that after Leo as well? Of course. But let’s not short change his impact over time. Leo is Milan. The only thing is this time around he is Inter Milan this time.

On December 29, 2010, Leonardo had his first press conference as the new head coach to his former bitter city rivals Inter Milan. What a blow to the A.C. Milan community. What a traitor he has become. He went from a beloved member of the rossoneri and become a villain in a weeks time. What are we to do? How can he do that? O my, he better not win anything! Well today is January 19, 2011 and let’s see where he is at this point.

Inter is not in first, well that is a plus. But they haven’t lost or even tied a game under him. OK, well that isn’t good. Some of their players are still not playing up to par, like Snyder, which is a plus. But others like Et’o are starting to play stellar. Players are still getting hurt and are still hurt, like Cesar. Then there is Milito who is getting healthier and playing better and better as the games go. Well it is OK. We are A. C. Milan and we are in first place. We are six points on them and we can do this. Wait, we have 1 game on them and we still have the two derby’s?? O man here we go all over again.

Inter have been playing with a spark, let’s just hope this spark will not last. A.C. needs to be the water that shuts down Inter and we better do it fast. If not, it’s going to be a long year!