Gotta love mi raza, it’s been raining all week and most of the day, and when I say raining, I do not mean ‘chispas’, it’s been raining and they are all out ‘en friega’ now at the Oakland Coliseum enjoying the Mexico vs. Uruguay soccer match … having just driven thru there, the freeway is an absolute mess with a couple of the main exits closed off. It’s amazing how ‘la aficion’ the futbol fans will support their team rain or shine.
Having worked in Spanish Radio Events for many years has afforded me the opportunity to see so many of these games. Not really my thing on a personal level; but on a business level — you can never work too many soccer games as it puts your station or business in front of not hundreds, thousands, of fans. I’ve coordinated half-time activities and have been able to see my crew work it right on the field, I have taken excited winners to meet their favorite soccer stars, I’ve been stuck in traffic on the way in/out of a game, I’ve worked many a ‘futbol fiesta’ type event before the start of the game, tailgating Mexicano style is unlike anything I’ve ever seen! You can see and smell the carne asada tacos at almost every turn, there are usually a few tamborazos bandas de viento — banda with horns and drums — making the party happen throughout the parking lots from early on, everyone is decked out in green, white, and red. And it’s not just the guys, it’s entire familias enhancing the party atmosphere with their private celebrations! I have felt the chills when the Mexican National Anthem is played in the stadium standing amongst a sea of Mexicanos and let’s not forget the rush of excitement and deafening cheers when each player of the Mexican National Team is announced…today’s game has to have been absolute madness with breakout Mexican star ‘El Chicharito’ making 2 goals so far.
I think one memory that stands out from being at one of these games was when I got stuck when security stopped foot traffic to let the Mexican National Team back into the stadium after halftime. The screams and shouts to the players was exciting and almost deafening! Fans yelling everything from ‘we love you’ to ‘chinga tu madre’ to the players! And it wasn’t all men doing the yelling, there were senoras ya grandes right in these guys faces as well! Pretty awesome!
No matter who wins or loses at today’s game (it will probably be Mexico :), it’s a cultural experience that everyone should see live at least once in their lifetime…even it you are not a fan of futbol, and you are a fan of cultura, you will so have a blast!
Futbol may have never been the great American pastime as other sports but, trust me, with the new Census 2010 population numbers, this could very well change! Love this pic that a friend just sent to me and, oh so happy, that I’m far enough away from Oakland to not be stuck in the traffic after the game!