Monday, 7 February 2011


The familiar helpless sinking feeling experienced while watching football has grown so familiar now that anything else feels almost unimaginable. Late United goals to break not so stout City hearts in Manchester clássicos are as inevitable as death and taxes, as are Santa Cruz second half collapses against Sport, Nautico or previously unheard of Serie D opposition from the dustbowls of Ceará.

Which is why, after this, for tricolores today feels as miraculous as 8/5/45, 9/11/89, whatever day it was when Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star (a Tuesday if memory serves), or this, while for Sport fans it probably feels more like 10/9/2001.

Trying to talk about the game seems rather redundant, given that it was a game of football like any other – 22 men chasing a ball around a pitch, a referee and two little flags, two goals (Thiago Cunha and Renatinho), and 46,000 people baying from the stands. The after effects are perhaps more telling – Santa back on top of the Campeonato Pernambuco, 7,000 unhumbles skulking out of the ground with their tails between their legs as three quarters of the stadium bellowed O Arruda é meu, quem manda aqui sou eu, and Sport coach Geninho resigning after the game.

And while toasting victory in downtown Recife after the game, the bar bursting into a few verses of tri, tricolor, tri tri tri tricolor, smiles and hugs and pats on the back all around. Woo-hoo, as they say in these parts.

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