la Copa Mundial
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 9 of 11 › view all entries
The world cup is the greatest sporting event on the planet. My first world cup that I can remember was in 1994. We were on vacation in Hilton Head, South Carolina and I spent more time watching the matches than at the beach. It was really the first time I had become captivated by the game with a worldly perspective. Up until that point I could only tell you the names of the other clubs in my recreation league. That year the United States played host and were hardly ready to play. By all means, they put on a great show but at the time the team was notorious for all the wrong reasons. What I do remember though is Carlos Valderramas´ hair. The wonder from down under, Colombia being south of the equator, only towered among his peers due to his afro. It was a sight that still gives me goose bumps to this day. There I was thinking to myself that if a man like that can play soccer then surely anyone can. It did not matter that the team was almost as bad as the United States, much to my bittersweet disappointment. However, what caught my eye was first his looks and then how he looked at the game. He smiled. Always, there was a Garfield the cat, mischievous, took a cookie out of the jar when mom was not looking grin on his face. People that enjoy playing the game always put on the best show. It was the simple realization on this at a young age that eventually turned me into a Brasil fan. Joga bonito or play beautiful is the essence of the game. Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Kaka, Robinho, Jairzinho, Socrates, Pele and countless others all had the swagger. It was not necessarily being cocky but more so being confident enough to not ever hold back. Having the belief that you can always beat your opponent is essential to enjoying the game. However, only when the balance between reckless abandonment and caution is found does joga bonito come forth. Futbol was never meant to be kickball but the Chelsea´s and nearly every Italian Serie A team have started playing chess with their players. Where is the lost art of the counter attack? Look no further than Brasil. No one that plays Brasil can empty their head of the though, ´it is not a question of if Brasil will score against us, but how many goals will they score?´ The reputation of Brasil is that the freeflowing style of play never stops. Always pushing forward at the highly publicized expense of the defense, you could not ask for more. Brasil, in a sense are then like little kids on the schoolyard playground. Playing the game not for the score or for points in the standings, but for the joy of playing the game itself.
Before two days ago, the closest that I had ever come to seeing an opera was missing the Phantom of the Opera at the Fox Theatre. My parents had tickets, but due to a previous engagement I was unable to make the show. I knew the score, having played in high level orchestras most of my musical career. However, an Opera is a different kind of music. How would the orchestra compliment the drama and dance of the performers? It was a tense buildup until the night of the show. We had the opportunity to tour the facility in Buenos Aires a week before and knew that it was phenomenal. Nothing else could describe the majesty and architectual wonders of the building. Going inside is like reading one of those pop-up books for the first time, what you are seeing is almost uncomprehensible. I have been to the Fox Theatre before to see other musical performances and seen other theatrical performance halls around the United States, but nothing comes close to this. Albe, the Sydney Opera house looks nice on paper. Anyways, it was similar to piecing a puzzle together in my mind. I knew going into the music would sound like, what sort of environment the stage would create but did not know how everything else would compliment what I already knew. The title of the opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, does not reveal much of the story unless you speak italian. Unfortunately, I did not have chance to read the email sent out to our group about the plot of the story as well. Therefore, I was completely open and ready to devote my undivided attention to the awaiting show. The curtains draw back and the music begins... suddenly the singers appear and a thunderoud sound fills the opera house. What a surprise, the accoustics were incredible. While on the seventh floor of the theatre we might as well have been on the first row. It was remarkable how well you were able to hear everything, all the time. Throughout the course of the opera I realized something though, I was still listening the music I knew all the long becuase the projected words were in spanish.