The Football Phenomena

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Excitement at the beginning of the match brings some fans to climb to the fence topped with barbed wire
I love football (soccer) when abroad. Last weekend we attended a Boca Juniors football match where the team won their second championship of the year, and it was wild. The noise was incredible, but even more incredible was the #12, the cheering section. They lead the whole stadium in Boca songs, of which their are seemingly thousands! For the entire game hardly a minute passed without the bass drums beating, hands systematically striking the ticker tape filled air, and voices filling the stadium in triumphant song. Even when players are injured and being carted off the field the crowd sang, chanted, and participated in this exotic ritual of maddness that only football can bring about.

Equally impressive as the rhythmic crowd were the vendors who, despite age, managed to weave their way through the seated (or standing) crowds and sell their peanuts, popcorn, hotdogs, and coca cola.
Here I am before the game starts.
They walked on the backs of the seats and seemed to float among the fans.

The match was incredible, and I am thrilled to have gone, not just for the experience of participating in a world wide phenomena, but also because of the understanding the game gave me. Football is anesthetic for the masses. As in the 1978 World Cup in the midst of the dirty war in Argentina the tortured and torturers alike paused from their immediate concerns and rejoiced at Argentina's victory. The game also gave me a sense of the sacred nature of football and football stadiums and I understand the injustice that was holding prisoners in football stadiums in Santiago during the Pinochet junta.      
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Excitement at the beginning of the…
Excitement at the beginning of th…
Here I am before the game starts.
Here I am before the game starts.
Air filled with yellow smoke from …
Air filled with yellow smoke from…