Saturday, June 21

Game Time

It is no surprise that I am mostly among Argentinians and Brazilians, handily the Brazilians are cheering for the Iranians and some go so far as to wear vaguely Middle Eastern items of clothing.

In contrast I am sat next to an Argentina fan who is dressed as the Pope.

The game is a cracker. (Yes Americans, a goalless game can be entertaining). And when in the 91st minute Messi jinks onto his left and curls in a winning goal the blue half of the stadium goes ... as the Pope would say ... fucking mental.

The pontiff himself is now on the shoulders of a maniacal set of fans. The Brazilians are honorably shaking hands with their bitter rivals, and the few Iranians have that "So near, yet so far" look on their faces.

During the game and with Iran defending with 2 banks of 4, I candidly offer to my Argentinian neighbor, "Ocho rojos y estacionar el autobús." He nods. Because the language of football is universal.

Much like language, stadium food is also universal. At half-time I'm hoping for Feijoada and a Brahma. Instead my choices are Cheeseburger or Hot Dog, and a Budweiser in a commemorative cup.

My post-game exit is slowed down by a flag that covers about a quarter of the stadium. You cannot take water into the stadium but somebody managed to bring in a flag the size of 4 tennis courts?

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