I’m here in Torino, Italy, getting ready for my talk tomorrow at the Nexa Center of the Torino Politecnico on “Thomas Jefferson, The Internet, and Egypt” — the talk will be livestreamed Friday at 0830 EST here, if you’re interested. I’ve been thinking a lot about the events in the Middle East, and what they mean for the Internet and Internet law, but I need some time to get my thoughts together on all that; I hope to be posting a series of essays when I return.
But whatever happens at my talk tomorrow, the highlight of my European trip this week has already occurred. My son Sam and I were privileged to be at the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s stadium, along with 95,000 of our closest friends, on Tuesday night for the extraordinary match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC to decide a spot in the final 8 of the UEFA European Champions League. Suffice it to say that it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced, in or out of a sports arena. Our seats were way down low, and lemme tell you, hearing 95,000 people, from the bottom of the bowl, in FULL VOICE, singing the FC Barcelona anthem, or whistling at the ref, is simply indescribable. The electricity in the place was palpable and almost terrifying. Barcelona’s attack was relentless, wave after wave after wave ... And when the great Lionel Messi scored the first goal at the end of the first half — a goal that the newspapers here in Italy are already calling one of the greatest ever scored* (if you haven’t seen it, check it out here (before UEFA, in its wisdom, orders it taken down from Youtube) — Sam and I (and everyone else in the place) went totally berserk. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen people in that state before, let alone 95,000 of them. Unforgettable indeed. We took this trip because Barcelona, this year, may well be the best team ever assembled anywhere, and we figured we couldn’t possibly let the opportunity pass to see them in person — and boy, was that the right call.
*The headline in today’s Corriere della Sera:
“Il segreto della meraviglia Messi? Giocare alla velocita’ del pensiero. Guardiola in estasi: ‘E il gol piu bello che Leo abbia mai segnato.’”
“The secret of the marvelous Messi? To play at the speed of thought. Guardiola in ecstasy: ‘It was the most beautiful goal that Leo has ever scored.’”