Football Game

The fan

Once a week, the fan runs away from home and attends the stadium.

Flags flicker, rattles sound, rockets, drums, rain snakes and paper cut; the city disappears, the routine is forgotten, there is only the temple. In this sacred space, the only religion that does not have atheists exibe their divinities. Although the fan can contemplate the miracle, more comfortably, on the TV screen, he prefers to undertake the pilgrimage to this place where he can see his angels in flesh and blood, fighting a duel against the demons of the day.

Here, the fan shakes the handkerchief, swallows, glup, swallows poison, eats the cap, whispers prayers and curses and suddenly breaks his throat in an ovation and jumps like a flea hugging the stranger who shouts the goal at his side. While the pagan mass lasts, the fan is many. With thousands of devotees he shares the certainty that we are the best, all the referees are sold, all the rivals are cheaters.

Rarely does the fan say: «Today my club plays». Rather it says: “Today we play.” Well knows this player number twelve that it is he who blows the winds of fervor that push the ball when she falls asleep, as the other eleven players know that playing without fans is like dancing without music.

When the match concludes, the fan, who has not moved from the rostrum, celebrates his victory; what a blow we made them, what a beating we gave them, or their defeat cries; We were once again swindled, thief judge. And then the sun goes away and the fan goes away. The shadows fall on the stadium that empties. In the cement stands, here and there burn some fires of fleeting fire, while the lights and voices are extinguished. The stadium is left alone and also the fan returns to his solitude, I who has been us: the fan moves away, disperses, loses, and Sunday is melancholic as an Ash Wednesday after the death of the carnival.

Eduardo Galeano