Unprofessional Foul


June 28, 2011

**Updated** The Great Viola Glasses Caper

When Inter Milan failed to land some of its early targets in the search for a new manager, many eyes turned to Fiorentina’s Serbian gaffer, Sinisa Mihajlovic.

There were even whispers in the Italian press that an agreement between the Nerazzurri and Mihajlovic (who played for multiple Serie A sides, including Inter) had already been reached. A date for the announcement was even reported by several outlets.

But throughout the whole process, Mihajlovic reaffirmed his desire to stay with La Viola. He admitted there had been contact with the Milanese giants but stopped short of saying how close he was to signing, claiming yet again his total focus was on Fiorentina.

Unofficial police sketch of the alleged thief.

And what does such dedication to a club get you in football these days?

It gets your favorite pair of sunglasses stolen.

It seems that during a press conference for Fiorentina’s media outlet on Thursday, called for the purpose of yet again reiterating that the Serbian will still be at the helm next season, some culprit pilfered the manager’s expensive sunglasses (Italian) which the club also describe as having “affective value”.

The club announced the theft on their official website today (Italian), and the notice throws another added wrinkle into the story.

Fiorentina claims to have video evidence of the theft, and is offering il ladro the chance to return the glasses anonymously before making the contents of the videotape public.

This is seriously the exact strategy we used to do at the youth center where I worked when something got stolen. Make a big fuss about announcing the theft, be sure whoever has sticky fingers hears that they will be found out, threaten consequences, and then graciously offer the option to return whatever it was (hat, pokemon card, sunglasses with sentimental value, etc.) without penalty.

Without fail, the item in question was on my desk by the end of the afternoon every single time.

Whether or not Fiorentina can pull off the same results remains to be seen. And while this does seem like much to do about nothing, the support Mihajlovic is getting from the club here could be seen as a testament to the “honesty and fairness” he sees in La Viola which he cites as key reasons for his staying put.

They’d do well to keep him happy as well as he deserves great credit for righting a floundering, injury-riddled campaign to achieve a respectable 9th place finish in Serie A this term.

La Viola will hope to spring back up into the European places during the upcoming season, a task that will no doubt be more challenging if their manager has the sun in his eyes.


It worked!

Corriere dello Sport reports that Mihajlovic’s precious shades have been returned.

True to their word, the club have not released the name of the thief, though it’s unclear whether whoever returned them was actually the one with the sticky fingers.

So, “crisis” averted.

Man, I cannot wait for the season to start again.

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  1. BG

    Who the heck attaches “affective value” to a pair of sunglasses? If instead of getting stolen, he had accidentally sat on them at the pressco, would he burst into tears?

  2. Somebody get Robert Langdon on the phone!

  3. MP

    So the USWNT are playing North Korea right now. My Gamecast only lists 6 of our 11 players – the other five spots have numbers but no names. Please tell me that my browser is f-cking this up and not ESPN. Please.

  4. @MP, you know it is ESPN, you can’t even watch espn360 right now cause its down for some reason, but U.S. won 2-0 thank god

  5. MP

    I forgot when kickoff was scheduled for, so at 2:15 I believed Gamecast when it said that it was still the 49th minute. After about 15 minutes I realized something was seriously wrong haha.

  6. Tno

    If he finds them in his jacket pocket do you think he would anonymously return them so bs doesn’t look like an idiot?

  7. Orr

    @TNO – That’s another very common thing I found working with kids. They say “someone stole me _______ ” and within 5 minutes I’d find it somewhere. But in this case the club says they have whoever it was on tape.

  8. They say “someone stole me _______”
    You work with Cockney street urchins, do you?

  9. No, just street urchins with poor grammar skills.

  10. Ryan

    Huh. Surprised to hear the 49th minute thing happened to someone else. I figured it was just my phone.

  11. @Ryan: There was a brief announcement on the ESPN frontpage about an outage.

    To Our Users
    Due to technical issues, some users saw incomplete or outdated information today on ESPN.com, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile. We value your interest in ESPN, and apologize for any inconvenience.”

  12. Tno

    Why is a Brewers outfielder tagged in this article?

  13. bergkampesdios

    Tno – because he wears his sunglasses at night.

  14. I guess Fiorentina will have a journo in its pocket for some time now.

  15. David

    Wasn’t Chief Inspector Cluseau available? Sunglasses?? Maybe if they were prescription but otherwise give me a friggin’ break.

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