Futbol En Colombia

19 Sep

Damian told me his brother got killed over a futbol argument, a knife in the heart.  He said, ´¨family in Colombia is everything.  I work with my brothers, talk to them everyday. you think I´d hate the millionarios, but I still love my team.¨  

His brother was with a friend who was wearing a Millionario scarf and that´s what inspired the attack.

Futbol in Latin America is extreme passion with a dash of blood.  There´s almost no way a North American can comprehend the intense emotions these games inspire.  I am surrounded by grown men, mothers, sisters, fathers, daughters, passionately singing a song about, ¨Putas.¨

The referee is a Puta, their favorite play one too.  Every missed shot, every questionable call causes the crowd to go hoarse with anger.

Even blocks away from the stadium I feel the energy radiating off of it, and I can´t help but become a Millinario too.  Suddenly, I am shouting and clapping and cheering my new club which has just invited me in.

I watch the whole game hoping that the Millinarios will win, and for the first time ever I understand how people can get engulfed in their sport.   

It is not logical.  Tomorrow will be just as good if the Millionarios don´t win, it´s not even thought.  It runs deeper, connecting into our own physical expression that we cannot express because most of us aren´t warriors.

Though, each team has it´s own barra and every barra has a kapo.  At first Damian tries to differenciate barras from gangs, but then he turns to me and confesses, ¨¨they´re really the same.¨¨

The barras sit behind each goal, stand, sing, shout and wave posters the entire game.  They are outfitted entirely in their teams gear and they are the blood behind the sport.

The game goes to penalty kicks and the pretty, young girl in front of me cannot even watch.  Her blue gloves has millionarios written on them, and when the team finally wins her and her boyfriend kiss passionately.

In fact, there is passionate kissing everywhere.  Outside the bathroom, in the street, and people kiss in front of thousands like they´re in a room alone.  

I feel shy when strangers in the stand hug me and kiss me on the cheek.  I know, ¨es normal,¨ but my North American self would rather shake hands.

Outside the stadium there is a firepit surrounded by tables and makeshift stands with meats, potatoes and beer.  Damian and his friends surround a small plastic table and soon it is filled with black pudding, new potatoes and Cerveza Poker.  I struggle to make conversation with the woman sitting across from me.

I want to convey the awe and excitement I felt.  How never once in my whole life have I enjoyed watching a game and yet I enjoyed this one.

Instead I say, ¨everything is new here.  I like it a lot.  I love.¨

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