Monday, November 10, 2008

Journey to Bolivian

Sometimes I think I am being too harsh on South American soccer in saying that its supremely messed up on so many levels. But, just when I seem to be turning the corner on my virulent prejudice, South America sends me a signal telling me to stay the course. This time it was in the form of a Bolivian soccer match between Aurora and Wilstermann. WilstermannAurora won a titillating 1-0 affair, but the real excitement came near the end of the match. It's not exactly clear what caused everything to go off the rails, but causation is not my concern right now only the effect, which I might is totally awesome.

Aurora and Wilstermann players exchanged punches after a foul of some sort. Amazingly, the referees were quite nonchalant about this, which leads me to believe insanity like this is as commonplace in South America as it is in my Sunday rec league. A couple of red cards were doled out and then it went to hell in a handbasket.

The story is as old as time itself. One of the red carded players wouldn't leave the field and riot police came on to the pitch to escort him off. Happens all the time. He then resisted which of course made the riot police quite happy. Then his level-headed teammates came over to reason with the officers.

The goalkeeper decided to take on the Teddy Roosevelt role by walking softly and carrying a big stick, literally, he carried the cornerflag stick and started beating the riot police. (See above photo, the corner flag is in the bottom corner and some random fan appears to be holding a piece of a small diameter PVC pipe or something.) Some of his teammates decided on the Eric Cantona method of diplomacy with flying kicks to the police. Seriously.

Somehow, in the midst of this Quentin Tarantino drama, a Greek period piece broke out. Wilstermann players were removing their jerseys to fan a prone person on the pitch. In all, this was about as disjointed as a Spike Lee joint.

There is nothing you could tell me about South American soccer that would surprise me. Maybe next week I will get back thinking my prejudices are not based in fact, but I'm sure by Monday I'll have been proven wrong again.

I have found video of the affair but I am not sure how long it will stay up because it has been removed and reposted already. So, maybe the video after the jump will work, maybe it won't. Let's go to the tape...

The first punches are thrown at about 2:30 and then the Benny Hill show starts at about 5:30.


Mike Georger said...

youre watching aurora public access

vale said...

To the writer: this is a poor excuse for an article. Your views on south american soccer are very prejudiced, might say xenophobe. You can not based your opinion of a whole continent on a single match gone bad,even more when it takes place in a country where a civil war is about to explode and where one supposes people are boiling up in frsutration. Besides, just as there are bad practices, there are also good ones; for every game that goes wrong there are a hundred that end without any conflicts, just like anyother place in the world. Please inform yourself better before pasing jugments. A South American.