The Ultras of Bologna

The Serie A Ultras guide is back. All these articles are being published on my colleague Richard Hall’s fantastic website The Gentleman Ultra (an absolute must for Calcio fans) and they are also being featured as part of Richard’s alternative Serie A club guide on the Guardian Sport Network.

Also if you haven’t already, follow myself – @LH_Ramon25 and Richard – @Gentleman_Ultra on twitter.

Having already posted Atalanta here is Bologna – hope you enjoy.




A guide to the Ultra groups in Serie A: BOLOGNA

City: Bologna

Key Ultra Groups: Forever Ultras, Mods, Molle Cariche, Via Genova, Vecchia Guardia, Freak Boys, Supporters, Beata Gioventù, Bologna 1982

Other Ultra/Other Groups: S.G.P 1999, U.R.B Girls, Deragliati, Narab Group, Socmel, Capotatti, 051, Fuedo, Lungimiranti, Infoiati, Brigata 1992, All the Bancon, Le Rane, Pascutti Group, Colonna Romana, Freak Tonici Imola, Noi di Bologna 1997, Official Smokers, Gruppo Croci, Turist Group.

The match is Roma vs. Bologna during the season of 2002/03. The Roma fans have choreographed a special display to welcome their rivals from Emilia Romagna – BOLOGNESE AMICO DELLA QUESTURASPIA SPIA SPIA (the Curva Sud is littered with these placards) – BOLOGNA FAN FRIEND OF THE POLICE: SPY SPY SPY. Of course the Bolognesi have their view of the Romanisti. “SE IL MONDO FOSSE UNA TORTA DI MERDA VOI SARESTE LA FETTA PIÙ GRANDE!” – IF THE WORLD WAS A CAKE OF SHIT YOU WOULD BE THE BIGGEST SLICE!

Believe it or not Roma and Bologna used to be Gemellati (twinned). Friendly ties existed between two Ultra groups, The Mods of Bologna and The Boys of Roma. This was a friendship forged by Calcio as well as politics with both groups holding far-right ideologies. In the 1995/96 season Bologna were on the brink of promotion to Serie A. The Mods decided to invite their Roman allies to their decisive game against Chievo. Bologna won, but the joyous atmosphere was about to turn sour. Some of the Bologna and Roma Ultras took advantage of the chaotic celebrations and launched a racist attack on a group of North-African drug dealers. One man was allegedly stabbed. It is thought that to save their own skin a number of Bologna Ultras gave the police the names of the Roman perpetrators who were consequently arrested. The Bologna fans reputation was besmirched. For the Romanisti the Bolognesi were no longer friends but the worst type of enemies– Infami, a term used in the criminal world for police informers.

It beggars belief that since the birth of Forever Ultras Bologna (URB) in 1974 the club has spawned 29 Ultra groups (that I know of). It has at times been a story of factional infighting, a swirling morass of competing cliques vying for pre-eminence on the Curva Bulgarelli or Curva Nord. Both URB and the Mods (founded in 1982) have been two of the Rossoblu’s more famous groups. Occupying central positions of the Curva Bulgarelli (a sign of influence) they have been friendly neighbours, choreographing impressive match day spectacles. This does not mean they have always seen eye to eye.

Following the racially aggravated assault URB condemned the Mods and all involved. This coupled with pre-existent political divisions made the relationship a fragile one. Despite the Mods and their extant sub-groups Molle Cariche (Loaded Springs) and Via Genova(Genoa Road) holding right-wing inclinations, Bologna’s Ultras are traditionally associated with leftist politics. This is historical. During the post war years the city of Bologna became a stronghold for the Italian Communist Party. Groups like URB and Freak Boys, the latter whose symbol is a marijuana leaf and motto is “ovunque fattanza” – always stoned became affiliated with the left. Indeed the URB emblem of two crossed hammers has strong resemblance to that of Westham Utd, though one of their leaders states it symbolizes the left and the workers fight. It is also worth noting that there is a heavy smoking and drinking culture in the Curva, especially among some of the Bologna Ultras.

A scrupulous explanation of all the groups that remain would be laborious. Nevertheless it is worth mentioning other Ultras who have been prominent on the Curva. These include Supporters (apolitical and formed in 1979), Bologna 1982, Vecchia Guardia (Old Guard) formed in 2001 whose philosophy upholds the Ultra values of the older generation and the recently formed Beata Gioventù (carefree youth) who replaced the Mods after they disbanded in 2012Bologna also has a women only Ultras group known as URB Girls. The various groups, factions and alliances can be perplexing however this phenomenon reflects wider Italian culture. Much like Bolognas’ Ultras, political parties in Italy form and disband, quarrel and mould friendships with dizzying frequency and rapidity. It is simply a way of living.

This is not to say the Ultras of Bologna are not unified when fighting a common cause and they have at times been known to showcase their more violent tendencies. In 2005 following their Serie A relegation play-off defeat to Romagna rivals Parma, Bologna Ultras hurled metal bars and weights at police while they smashed through security barriers and tried to invade the pitch. The Curva Bulgarelli is also united in the fight against Calcio Moderno (the corruption of Il Calcio by corporate interests) and against Calciopoli (the scandal which involved the rigging of games by selecting favourable referees in 2006 which implicated many of Italy’s big clubs).

An incident involving clashes between Bologna and Fiorentina Ultras in 1989 saw a 14 year old Bologna fan suffer 3rd degree burns after Viola Ultras launched a petrol bomb onto a train full of Bolognesi. This combined with the geographical proximity of the two makes Fiorentina public enemy number one. Roma, Modena, Parma and many others don’t lag far behind. Bologna Ultras are said to have ties with Ravenna and German club Vfl Bochum which are thought to be political.

Bologna is renowned for its medieval architecture, ancient university and fine cuisine. On match days the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara only adds to the flavour with the Curva Bulgarelli awash with red and blue accompanied by the colourful effects of various pyrotechnics reminiscent of the red rooftops of Bologna.

Thinking of visiting Bologna? Check out travel expert Max Barnard’s guide to the top 10 places to visit in Italy.


Can Seedorf Prove the Doubters Wrong in More Ways Than One?


It was a striking image. A pointed finger and a clenched fist, Clarence Seedorf and Mario Balotelli kindling a spark that AC Milan fans will hope is just the beginning of an enduring flame.

It was not the effusive eruption of relief one might have expected following Balotelli’s 82nd minute winner against Hellas Verona but then again that wouldn’t be Seedorf’s style, nor the volatile Italian’s. It was a gesture of solidarity. A moment of mutual appreciation that portrayed respect between two men who might just hold the key to each others success. Yet with all the recent speculation surrounding the Dutchman’s lack of coaching experience and his suitability for the job, his appointment arguably raises a more pertinent issue. Seedorf is the first black coach to take the helm at AC Milan. But does this appointment signify a step forward for Italian football?

Seedorf is nicknamed Il Professore (The Professor) and it is an epithet he thoroughly deserves. In addition to a decorated playing career (which includes three Champion’s League winners medals with three different teams), he is fluent in five languages and has proved himself to be an accomplished pundit and entrepreneur. As Gabriele Marcotti points out, he is simply not like other footballers and to repeat his words verbatim “you’re left with one of the cleverest men in the game right now.” In a recent press conference the former Champions League winner alluded to the connotations of his appointment beyond football.

“Of course racism still exists in the World but once again AC Milan has shown itself to be an innovative, brave and forward-looking club.”

Seedorf will be battling on many fronts. He has to negotiate an intransigent hierarchy who continue to pull in competing directions, appease a combustible set of Ultras who are currently staging their own coup and mold a group of players who collectively are a shadow of the Milan Seedorf used to know. This would be enough to unsettle the most phlegmatic of personalities but more importantly, the Professor will have to carve his own path and identity. For he confronts a history which offers little in the way of reassurance.

Photo from telegraphRacism has often reared its ugly head in Italian football, Mario BalotelliKevin Prince BoatengSamuel Eto’o are a few of the star names who have had to endure such taunts. But what Seedorf confronts is something completely different. Not overt racism but the unspoken, possibly unconscious attitudes some still hold in positions of power.

In 1991, the Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades said:
“The black players at this club lend the side a lot of skill and flair, but you also need white players in there to balance things up and give the team some brains and some commonsense”

This quote epitomises attitudes of yesteryear, ones which are no longer held by the majority. But this does not mean their vestiges have simply disappeared.

While the number of black players have steadily risen in Italy’s top flight, their presence in head coaching roles is virtually non-existent. The numbers speak for themselves. Many articles suggest Seedorf is the second black coach in Serie A history, citing Brazilian born Jarbas Faustinho Cané as the first after he took the reins at Napoli from 1994-1995. However some (myself included) would perceive Seedorf as the third.

Born in Rome after his mother had moved to Italy from Somalia, Fabio Liverani was the first black player to represent Italy during a friendly against South Africa in 2001. Having played for a number of Serie A clubs including Perugia, Lazio, Fiorentina and Palermo he experienced racial discrimination first hand. This did not stymie his ambition.

Liverani was once quoted as saying “I want to be the Carlton Myers of football.” Myers was an Italian basketball player of Afro-British descent and a symbol of ethnic diversity in Italy after he became the country’s first black Olympic flag bearer in 2000. It is safe to say Liverani became an equally iconic figure and 12-years after becoming the first black player to represent Italy, he took charge of the head coaching role at Genoa. Thus without getting embroiled in classifications of race, not acknowledging him as one of the only three black coaches in Serie A history would be doing him a grave disservice.

Liverani genoa www.republica.it

Liverani was sacked by Genoa after amassing 4 points in 6 league games.

Unfortunately for Liverani his tenure at Genoa was short-lived and after just six games in charge of the Rossoblu he was sacked in September 2013. Although the former Lazio midfielder only managed one league win at the Genovese club, six games is hardly enough time to judge a man’s credentials. Genoa president Enrico Preziosi is not renowned for his patient demeanor however some might question whether another man would have been jettisoned after such a brief spell.

Former England international John Barnes has suggested that black managers are given less slack and a shorter time period in which to succeed as a head coach.

In Clarke Carlisle’s BBC documentary ‘Is Football Racist?’ Barnes is asked ‘Do you believe that a white manager would have to wait so long for his next appointment? (a question in relation to Barnes’s eight year wait for another managerial job after he was sacked by Celtic back in 2000).’ This was his response.

“Well first of all I think that white managers are given longer when you get a job, longer to fail…Its almost as if they don’t really believe in you in the first place…and then when you’re not successful straight away its like, well that’s what we thought anyway.”

Indeed the landscape for black coaches looks no greener in England, nor in any of Europe’s top leagues for that matter. Just recently Paul Ince was sacked after less than a year in charge of Blackpool leaving only two black managers across the English football leagues.

It would be banal to attribute this to simple racism and as the issue is of such complexity, it goes well beyond the remit of this article. Listening to Radio 4 just this morning a similar question was broached when Gary Beadle (an English black actor) was asked if racism is holding back black, Asian and other minorities from a career in the arts?

His response articulates the issues as well as any explanation I could give.

“I wouldn’t call it racism… I’d say its institutionalised attitudes that just hold people back , whether its their gender or cultural background, it’s a problem that we seem to suffer from.”

Seedorf in the spotlight during his first game against Verona. (Photo from the Telegraph)

Seedorf in the spotlight during his first game against Verona. (Photo from the Telegraph)

So returning to football, it’s not that Seedorf is confronting direct racism, although it will be interesting to observe whether he suffers racial abuse from the stands even as a coach. He is confronting a range of expectations, whether they be the white hegemony expecting him to fail, or quite possibly produce a miracle, or black people hoping he can become a successful trailblazer for those aspiring to coach in the future. Quite simply he is not just managing a European giant he is managing millions of projections across the world.

Having addressed the question of whether Seedorf was ready to take charge at AC Milan, Gabriele Marcotti concluded his ESPN piece perfectly

“Is he ready? Heck, like he says, he was born ready. If he fails, it won’t be because he’s not ready. It will be because he’s not a good coach”

He is spot on, Seedorf should be judged solely on his performance at AC Milan, not on his suitability, not on his previous and/or lack of experience and certainly not because he is black. And that’s when it dawned on me. Seedorf’s race should at no point come into the equation. It shouldn’t be comment worthy. So am I contradicting my argument by writing this very article? Perhaps, however the day we feel no need to say “he is only the ‘second’ or ‘third’ black coach in Serie A history” and I feel no need to share my musings, will be the day real progress has been made.

Take Paul Ince for example. His record suggests he was dismissed simply because he is not quite good enough however the fact there remains a shortage of black coaches leads people to suggest otherwise.

So to answer the original question of whether Seedorf’s appointment constitutes a step forward for Italian football? Yes, its a step forward for football in general. Because when the next black manager is appointed perhaps we won’t feel the need to point out that he is the umpteenth black coach in that league.

We can only hope that Seedorf exceeds all expectations as he will not only restore AC Milan’s fortunes, but like all great professors he will also re-write history.


“Nothing Against the State”: European Football and Fascism

I was slightly perplexed when I heard Nicholas Anelka had been lambasted by the French Sports Minister, Valerie Fourneyron, for what at first sight, appeared nothing more than an inconspicuous goal celebration. ‘La quenelle’ – a reverse Nazi salute?  Even Arsenal’s French manager, the studied and renowned Arsène Wenger, expressed his bewilderment:

“Nobody knows in France what it means. Some make it an anti-system movement; some make it an anti-Semitic movement. I think personally I don’t know, I have never seen this movement.”

After scoring the first of his two goals in West Brom’s 3-3 draw with West Ham back in December the French striker, who it must be said is no stranger to controversy (just ask Raymond Domenech), celebrated with what has been described as a pseudo-Nazi salute with anti-Semitic connotations.


Anelka and his comedian friend Dieudonné – the quenelle (Photo from http://www.spi0n.com/)

Quenelle’ – loosely translated as a spice dumpling in French is the word used to describe Anelka’s gesture. Its appearance strongly resembles a downward facing Nazi Salute, with the non-saluting arm placed upon the other to symbolize it being held down, as a regular Nazi salute is of course not acceptable. Patented by the French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala (who goes by Dieudonné), Anelka’s actions prompted widespread condemnation from both political and sporting circles.

Anelka responded to this furore by claiming that the celebration was “just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné” and that he is “neither a racist nor an anti-semite”. Dieudonné asserts the quenelle is anti-establishment rather than anti-Semitic. But this is a man who has been fined on a number of occasions for inciting racial hatred and whose humour consists of saying “When I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: ‘Gas chambers … too bad [they no longer exist].”

With the FA investigating his controversial gesture, Anelka could face a lengthy ban of 5-10 games. The former French international has pledged not to repeat this action, yet whether his plea of blissful ignorance holds any weight is another question. The fact he dedicated the celebration to Dieudonné, a man who openly voices some deplorable views, makes it hard to sympathise with Anelka. At a time when anti-Semitism in football has found voice in whispers, the FA must act swiftly to make an example of this particular incident.

Stan Collymore, ex-professional and now football pundit responded to the incident, saying he didn’t believe politics should mix with sport and that footballers should leave such issues to the politicians. Maybe but we must remember footballers are voting people just like the rest of us and as long as they are not voicing, tweeting , gesturing, or communicating views which disseminate political extremism and/or messages that incite racial hatred then I believe they have a right to a political opinion. However that is neither here nor there. My main point is, as Sid Lowe explores in his book Fear and Loathing in La Liga “Like it or not, sport and politics do mix, no match is so infused with politics as the Clasico”.

Political expressions during El Clasico are common place.

Political expressions during El Clasico are common place.

Indeed the history of this fixture highlights the purpose of this article. The political backdrop to El Clasico owes much to the Spanish Civil War and the Fascist dictator General Francisco Franco’s oppression of Catalonia. For the Catalan people, Real Madrid, a team based in the Spanish capital, became something of a standard bearer for the Franco regime. It was a regime which the majority in Catalonia virulently opposed and was a continuation of the regions ongoing struggle for autonomy. Franco ruthlessly manipulated the passion of Spain’s bitterly divided football supporters and made the sport an arm of his Fascist policy. Consequently FC Barcelona became a symbol of Catalan defiance. This is just one example in which fascism is interwoven in football’s history.

So without getting bogged down in the minutiae of the Anelka saga I would like to raise a wider issue. The quenelle incident is just the latest chapter in an ongoing narrative which has seen far right, fascist sentiments take hold within European football.

Football and its Fascist past.

“It’s only a game but behind the image of football lies a history of coercion, corruption and manipulation by the three most powerful fascists of the 20th century.”

This is one of the opening statements in the BBC’s documentary Football and Fascism. Benito Mussolini, General Franco and Adolf Hitler all exploited the popular culture of football for the benefit of their regimes. Mussolini used Italy’s triumph in the 1934 World Cup (hosted by the Italians) as an opportunity to gain International prestige and mold a national identity for Fascist Italy while under Hitler, the Nazi’s intimidated, threatened and murdered footballers who refused to bend to their will.

Italian team line up for the 1934 World Cup saluting Benito Mussolini.

Italian team line up for the 1934 World Cup – Fascist salutes.

On the face of it the nature of a sport like football to an oligarchy like Fascism is quite obvious. It is a sport which teaches values of discipline, adherence to rules, cohesion as well as stalwart passion for one’s team. International sporting success can also be extrapolated to wider contexts such as asserting and showcasing a nation’s superiority and dominance, something which was a leitmotif in all three of the aforementioned Fascist regimes. Nonetheless with the extinction of these dictators and their totalitarian states one might think Fascism’s place in football died with them – not quite.

Benito Mussolini or Il Duce as he was known said “Fascism is a religion. The twentieth century will be known in history as the century of Fascism.” Unfortunately it would appear such ideologies have managed to inexorably slither into the 21st century too.

Football Supporters and Fascism

For a while now it has been well documented that some sets of supporters across the Europe harbour fascist views.

Back in 2012 a group of Zenit St Petersburg fans called for non-white and gay players to be excluded from their team (Photo from the Telegraph).

Back in 2012 a group of Zenit St Petersburg fans called for non-white and gay players to be excluded from their team (Photo from the Telegraph).

Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Spain and Holland are just a number of countries among many others which have seen incidents of racism and utterances of fascism plague their football. Extreme cases have even seen hard core fan groups like those at Zenit St Petersburg openly voice their displeasure at seeing non-whites play for their club.

In England the situation has vastly improved and gone are the days where far right parties like the National Front held sway in the terraces and monkey chants were regularly hurled at black and ethnic players. However even British football, which did so much to nullify the hooliganism and racism which bedevilled the game in the 1970’s and 80’s, has seen right-wing views appear through those cracks left unsealed.

Granted the gas chamber hissing noises directed at Tottenham and monkey gestures directed at players might not be full-blown fascist salutes but they open up a Pandora’s box of all those atrocities and iniquitous values that millions died fighting against. An equally worrying facet of this, is the manifestation of Fascist sentiments among football players themselves.

Footballers and Fascism.

In the aftermath of Croatia’s World Cup play-off victory against Iceland back in November 2013 in Zagreb, Croatian defender Josep Simunic picked up a microphone to address the jubilant crowd.  “For the homeland” Simunic shouts.  “READY” the crowd responds. Simunic was subsequently hit with a 10 match ban after being found guilty of chanting a pro-Nazi slogan. The war call is a vestige of a slogan used by Ustashas, the pro-Nazi Croatian regime that ruled the state during the Second World War. The same chant has been coupled with the Nazi salute by Croatian fans in the past. FIFA have set a precedent by banning the Australian born Croatian who will miss the World Cup as a result.

Giorgos Katidis 'celebrates'  his goal with Nazi salute. (Photo from Reuters).

Giorgos Katidis ‘celebrates’ his goal with a Nazi salute. (Photo from Reuters).

However this is not an isolated incident. In March last year Greek footballer Giorgos Katidis was banned for life from playing for the national team after his goal celebration was accompanied by a Nazi salute. The AEK Athens player took to twitter to say “I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant”. Yet in a country which has seen the birth of the neo-fascist political party Golden Dawn, who I might add received 7% of the popular vote during the 2012 national Greek elections, it is hard to believe Katidis was completely naive to the meaning of his salute.

Of course Paolo Di Canio’s infamous Roman salute to the fans of S.S Lazio (their more extreme groups professing to hold far right sentiments) following their triumph in the Rome derby in 2005 provides more fuel to the burning fire. The salute harks back to the hegemony of Mussolini and Di Canio himself has admitted to being intrigued by Italy’s far right history and once stated “I’m a fascist not a racist”.

It is a fascination shared among other Italian footballers. In the book Football, Fascism and Fandom (Gary Armstrong and Alberto Testa) a number of prominent Italian players are mentioned in connection with far-right politics. These include AC Milan’s Christian Abbiati, revealed in 2008 as an associate of the Milan based neo-Fascist gathering Black Heart, and Fabio Cannavaro who once held aloft an Italian flag bearing a fascist symbol while playing in Madrid as well as others have been tarred with this brush.

Football and Fascism: why the re-emergence?

What has caused this ignominious spread of fascist sentiments in football? One must remember that football has always been known as the people’s game. It is the most popular sport in the world and plays a modern-day role akin to that of the Roman gladiatorial games, bread and circuses, assuaging discontent and occupying the masses. Football is a microcosm of society, and the stadiums have become a place where public opinion or more recently grumbles of disaffection have become more profound.

The worst recession the world has experienced since the 1930’s has given rise to extremist politics and it is the far right which has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. Mass unemployment, wretched living conditions and widespread immigration has allowed parties that once trod with caution to regurgitate the trite old prejudices of ‘race’ and ‘national identity’.

Notably far right parties such as the French National Front, The Danish People’s Party and the Flemish Vlaams Belang, among others are increasingly gaining popular support. While they remain careful not to align themselves with openly neo-Fascist parties such as Golden Dawn and Hungary’s Jobbik, Europe is veering dangerously towards an environment which saw Fascism take hold in the 1930’s. Although it is unacceptable to espouse such views in day-to-day society, football remains a ready vehicle for extreme ideologies to mobilise support.

Unfortunately this tars the image of a game we hold dear. FIFA and other governing bodies must do their utmost to quash these overt displays and although football has made an example of players like Simunic and Katidis, we must ask ourselves is this enough to deter such expressions from re-occurring.

With Nicholas Anelka currently under investigation for his quenelle gesture it will be interesting to discover what the FA feels is appropriate retribution. It may seem severe but a draconian crackdown is in order, by taking the attitude of its just and ‘few’ and its only ‘ a game’ we slip into the dangerous trap of letting history repeat itself. After all it was football which proved integral to the regimes of some of Fascism’s most infamous dictators.


Beyond the Field of Play Returns

Photo from www.bbc.co.uk

Photo from www.bbc.co.uk

The 6th of January, a bank holiday for many across Europe celebrating Epiphany while at the same being a day which evokes a certain poignancy as it marks the official end of the Christmas festivities.

This is just a short and sweet post which first and foremost heralds an end to my own indulgent season and a return to focusing on all the cultural nuances that the world of football brings. Not that we have been deprived of the beautiful game recently. In England we are fortunate to have the munificent gift of double the helping of football during the festive period and I have to agree with Barney Ronay and his message in the following article – Christmas: a time for football, television and arguments about meat, that Christmas without football would be shoddy to say the least.

That said I also wanted to take this opportunity to point you in the direction of the weekly Ultras guide I am currently working on. As you may have noticed over the last few weeks I have started on a quest which will take me from A-Z of Serie A.

However this is not your run of the mill club guide which trawls through the generic team nicknames, coaches, players, and stadium’s. No myself and Richard Hall are embarking on a journey into the cryptic world of Italy’s Ultras with the aim of shedding some light on one of Calcio’s most beguiling and contentious features.

In this country we often associate the word ‘Ultras’ with ‘hooligans’. It is understandable given the history of football related violence in Britain, especially during the ’70’s and ’80’s where the terraces and streets became battlegrounds. Stories like Filippo Raciti’s and the recent escapades of the Ultras from Nocerina produce a gut reaction – ‘mindless football thugs’. Don’t get me wrong this is not without justification and all too often the dark side of the Ultras is exposed for all to see. However to view them as one homogeneous mass of hooligans would be myopic and there in lies one of the reasons behind our desire to partake in this Ultra journey.

You can find your weekly dosage of the Ultras on Richards website – The Gentleman Ultra which has recently earned a deserved spot on the Guardian Sports Network. I have also created a page which you can find at the top of my blog labelled – Guide to the Ultras of Serie A containing the links to the pieces I have completed so far.

My latest article is on the Ultras of Fiorentina, a group who epitomise what I find most fascinating about the powers of football, powers which combine the volatile passion of the sport with various political and historical connotations. Be sure to check it out and I will be back on here soon with a new feature for you all to mull over.