Monday, April 14, 2014

Tying up loose ends - São Paulo

Ituano celebrating. Credit:

So yesterday I watched Ituano Futebol Club defeat the storied football team Santos in the final of the state championships. Yes, I realize that I don't care about football but I cannot resist a David and Goliath match-up. Santos is the team of Pele and Neymar; Ituano is the team of Esquerdinha (little lefty) and Cabeça (head). Ituano is having one of those "Cinderella story" years that you know would seriously animate any American commentators. 

The game ended in penalties which is my least favorite way to end a match. I know it has to be that way because the players are literally passing out from fatigue and triple overtime just does not work. But I hate it because it usually makes one hero (a goalie) and one villain (the last guy to miss the penalty shot). It is where the "ultimate team sport" falls apart as a team sport. 

In any case, all this Ituano stuff reminded me that I have not chosen my new team yet. If you remember a certain blog post from February (link here), I had lost my favorite team to well, general incompetence (on their part) and I was going to audition some new teams. It was really fun to get a list of Series B, C, D and E teams because it was only then that I realized exactly how many teams there are here in Brazil. According to one source, there are more than 10,000 football teams in Brazil. Huh? Maybe.

I am running out of time to audition. It would be easy to choose Ituano (which had been suggested) now that it is at its pinnacle. I liked the idea of Juventus here in São Paulo except I might have to see a game because they are so close by. Penapolense, suggested by our personal trainer, seemed a good fit except that I cannot pronounce its name. Also 4 de Julho de Piri Piri plays at the same stadium as my vanquished Comercial de Piaui. I could have changed to Comercial de Ribeirão Preto given BH is from there.

So what is a girl to do? Diego Forlan has left the country and the time difference to Japan is just a bit much for me to watch those games. So cheering on a purely aesthetic basis is out as well. Therefore, I would like to announce the following to tie up this loose end as I make my exit from Brazil.

Comercial de Piaui, nunca vou te abandonar. I am never going to abandon Comercial.  In the end, it meets all my criteria (blue shirts, far away so I don't have to see a game, fifth division, doesn't compete with Palmeiras) plus one. They're not even playing!! I don't ever have to see a game! Well, just kidding. Probably they'll figure their way out of the money abyss (no, I am not buying the team) and will be back.

I love it when resolution makes me feel so good.

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