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    April 20, 2008

    Futebol and Nélson Rodrigues

    Nelson Rodrigues may have been nearly blind. Nevertheless, he was an artist of words and imagery.  His short articles on futebol were primo. He was antagonized by the left as much as he antagonized them. His was a pact with Globo's owner Roberto Marinho, the most powerful mogul in the media. Nélson's son was prisioner of the dictatorship. His extremist right-wing views, supported Marinho's; they stemmed straight from his anger about his son's situation. His outlet was futebol and his beloved Fluminense F.C.

    I was really young when I'd watch a round table on TV. Nélson would argue to death against José Maria Scassa, a Flamengo fan. Nélson had a speech pattern of pronouncing [th] for [s] but that didn't impede his vitriolic attacks on stuff he made up and had never seen. The genius playwright of modern Brazilian theater created characters who were part of his writing about futebol for newspapers. There was the millionaire couple,for example, she with a cadaver's nostrils, kinda like Jacko, and he enormous, carrying his triple chin. She would ask, "Who is the ball?"

    The question above portrays the abyssal gap between the pornographically wealthy in Brazil, alienated from the most populous passion in the country, futebol, and the people they ignore or expoit absent-mindlessly.

    Today Fluminense and Botafogo will play in a little bit. Botafogo fans are known for their superstitions. The team itself stopped wearing its black and white stripes in favor of all black or all white shirts with the lone star emblem. This match is the oldest in Brazil.  Botafogo hasn't had good luck against Fluminense. I don't watch the matches. I don't think I bring Botafogo good luck. I'll close here with YouTube shows of the respective club anthems of the grandpa match, the first one in Brazil, later on today.

    September 15, 2007

    What Does Botafogo Mean Anyway?


    B12 Solipsism
    to get me to blog during my coffee ritual. The question is on Botafogo. My sources are Mario Filho's book on soccer, Nelson Rodrigues' stories on soccer, and my general knowledge of the noble Britton sport, as the commentators like to refer to footch-boll.

    In the old days of Rio de Janeiro, after the French invasions and after the Portuguese left, parcels of land were distributed to "nobles" who could develop that land. An Italian baron received this parcel and named it after his last name, which sounded like "Botafogo" = "set on fire" (imperative.) The verb is botar, fogo is fire.

    At the beginning of the XX century, Charles Miller, from England, brought a football. The young men of high society fell in love with the sport. Fluminense, Botafogo and Flamengo were among the first to compete. The main sports, which were crew and sailing, became futebol.

    Men of color were not allowed until sometime near the 30s. Then, a factory in the 'burbs, Bangu, and the Portuguese club, Vasco, went professional.

    So, Botafogo is the part of the city between Flamengo and Copacabana. It was the first neighborhood I lived in, with a view to the Sugar Loaf. In 1957 Botafogo was champion. That was th eyear I arrived in Brazil. In 1958 Brazil was champion with several of the players the base of the National Team. In 61-62, 67-68 Botafogo was champion and in 1962 and 1970 Brazil won the Jules Rimet.

    So the full nick for Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas is "O Glorioso Alvinegro da Estrela Solitária" The Glorious B&W of the Lone Star.

    It's no longer what it was but neither is Brazil. Let people mock us and say we are thirteen fans. Botafogo makes me happy, losing or winning, my team reflects my life: ups and downs, black and white moments, guided by its star.Tinamarcelo06
    They say we are a Museum, for we linger in the past. Okay. In Cont. a video of Botafogo F.R. Back to my coffee.

    Continue reading "What Does Botafogo Mean Anyway?" »