Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Passion

It's raining but that's not stopping anyone in Rio today. The banners on the street are soaking wet, huge sheets striped thickly red and black, hanging from windows and light posts. The corner bars are packed to capacity, all necks craned towards the 15 inch television in the corner. Gunshots and fireworks intermittently explode, together with men's outraged or joyous voices in a chorus that echoes throughout the city.

Today is Sunday. God's day...and futebol's. Soccer. And today is THE match of the year between the black and white Botafogo team, and the exuberantly popular red and black of Flamengo.

Passion in Rio de Janeiro is best described in terms of soccer, because I'm not sure that men here even love their beer as much as they love their soccer team. The only thing that gets a man more worked up to tears or fists? His mother.

I am without a television, but I don't need one to know how the game is going. I just stick my head out the window. The neighbor across the street hangs out the window at every Flamengo goal, waving his shirt like a flag and joining in the deafening roar. Every opposition goal? Sounds like Armageddon has come.

Me? I'm immune to the passion. The passion, that is, of Botafogo, Vasco, Fluminense, and all those other disillusioned teams. SOU FLAMENGUISTA! ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Granny Smith said...

Brasil is the second country of my heart. Although I have not lived there for many years, but I remember well the futebol madness. We lived in Sao Jose dos Campos when Brasil was playing for the world cup - talk about jubilation! You should have seen and heard the city when Brasil won!

My niece just returned from Brasil last week after a half year doing archaeological research, and she is visiting this weekend. I'll have to show her your blog. I'm sure she will relate!

You write very vividly. Good post!

Rachel said...

I was in the mall during the end of the game, and I forgot that there was a game until people started screaming in the food court and running to the one restaurant with a TV.

I so agree about the football-beer-mother thing.

Anonymous said...

sure know about the men-love-their-futbol thing, but in my household and all homes with brasilians i know, there is certainly no lack of WOMEN-love-their-futebol too!!!!

--jenna said...

Elena: Women here are equally passionate, though just not quite as loud. Sometimes.

Granny Smith: Please feel free to pass along my blog...I love having new readers! I can't imagine being in Brasil during a winning world cup...that must have been incredible.

Rachel: I was actually taking a nap...but when Flamengo made that second goal, oh...the roar this city managed to produce!

Disclaimer: I sometimes exaggerate. A friend, who is NOT a Flamengo fan, took it upon himself to point out that this was not THE game of the year. But it being February, I think I can safely say that this was THE game of the year...up until now, anyways!

rebecca said...

take any spanish country and you will find futbol's an obsession! my husband is spanish descent, when futbol is on, i am non-existent. such is life with a spanish man.....

tumblewords said...

Passion. For sure. Football, soccer, baseball - sports stir men's passion to the zenith. Nice post!