Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Chivas, Mexico´s soccer gods

Guadalajara has three professional soccer teams, the best known of which is the Chivas, the female goats. I don´t know why they´re not the Chivos (the billygoats) except that the word Chivas has connotations of extravagant behavior in certain expressions. A bit of a backstory is certainly there, but I haven´t seen it yet. It´s probably something involved like why Georgetown is the Hoyas (a Greek exclamation).

Friday night we went to see the mighty Chivas play their crosstown rivals, the hapless Tecos (Chivas are in red stripes, photo of the match above is from the site The Chivas are supposed to be like the Yankees of Mexican football. Six of their players were recently named to the Mexican national team for World Cup and international play. Supposedly they´re as good as any of the European teams.

The game with the Tecos (technology boys), was an entertaining, hard-played match. Although it was on the Tecos home turf, the crowd of some 40,000 was lopsidedly Chivas fans in their team shirts, which have the name of their principal sponsor, Bimbo, a baked goods company, on the front.

We got an education in how to rag the opposing team. Every time the Teco goalie made a goal kick, the Chivas fans shouted, “PUto-oooo.“ Which is like saying, You wimp (actually worse). They also freely used the words cabrón (English equivalent refers to an orifice) and pendejo (needs help from Viagra) to describe either the opposing team or their own player when he made a bad play. And they urged players to do something unspeakable to their mothers (chingar), as any inebriated sporting fan might.

Both teams had four or five great chances to score and blew them because of a bad finish or missed cross. The Tecos played more than half the game a man down after an ejection for dirty play. Still the Chivas couldn´t take advantage, and the Tecos scored the game´s only goal on a little chip shot that caught the Chivas goalie a little too far out. It just cleared the goalie´s desperate leaping attempt.

Lots of beer was sold in the stands. Chivas fans threw smokebombs and batteries at the Tecos goalie, who held up the game at one point to complain to the ref, who told the guy to get back in his goal.

The stadium, built in the early ´70s, has cement bench seats, very narrow aisles and terrible circulation patterns. The lights didn´t come on for the 8 p.m. game until the sun was down and dusk threatened visibility. We bought two general admission tickets at face value from a scalper, $25 each. Don´t look for an usher. There were actually lots of families with kids in the stands.

News update: A few days after this game, Barcelona, one of Europe´s best teams, thrashed the Chivas, 5-2, in a friendly (exhibition) played in Chicago. The Chivas are now at the bottom of their league table.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:28 PM

    arriva las chivas del guadalara i bien arriba tepatillan jalisco