I knew my first Argentine football match here was going to be a great experience when a gang of rowdy football fans came running threw our section before the game shoving people around yelling “SING! DANCE! CHEER!”
That was the only pep-talk we needed. Greco and I waved our hands and lip-synced Velez fight songs the entire game. This was not only a matter of shear excitement and energy, but also, self-defense! A few times during the game some of the hooligans (who balanced on a railing in front of us) would peer up into the crowd and call people out for not cheering. Luckily, we made it through the match undetected, and even got some sweaty man hugs along the way.
Sergio got us tickets in the “popular” section of the Velez stadium. We sat right behind a group of drummers who orchestrated all the chants and Argentine Football songs throughout the match. Pretty much right in the heart of all the chants, weed smoke and chaos. Picture the bleacher seats at Wrigley with a Super Bowl atmosphere filled with guys from county jail singing in unison.
Velez Sarsfield managed to take out River Plate 3-1 in a huge match for the 4th place Velez squad who are fighting for the top spot with only 3 games left. Before the game they were only 6 points behind the first place Newell’s Old Boys in the Apertura 2009.
To give you a small idea of the football in Argentina madness, during the game one of the River Plate players went down as if injured, ha. We weren’t buying it! Fans sitting close to where he went down ran up to the railing and started pelting him with their programs and other debris . Now, I could be wrong, maybe they were just showing him who was going to fill-in for him if he went out, but it was amazing to me that nobody got in trouble. The riot police who were surrounding the field looked up as if to say… “that’s all you got”.
The game ended with us (the home team – Velez) waiting for all the River fans to exit the stadium before we were able to leave. Great day. Great experience. Time to rest my voice, ice the shoulders and look for us on ESPN Deportes!
Checkout all the photos from my first Argentine Football Experience