Thursday, 20 May 2010

Futebol Fever

I am married to the only Brazilian man in the history of the whole entire planet who isn't the least bit interested in either playing, watching, talking or reading about football. From my point of view, well, maybe there is a God after all. However, I can't help feeling that we might be short-changing our children of some essential part of their cultural education.

The awkward questions have already started: "What am I mummy?", "Well, let's see Darling", I reply, thinking that I know he's at an alternative school but surely they wait until they can do their ABCs before grappling with existentialist philosophy. "You are three. You are a lover of mashed potatoes. You are...", "Am I Botafogense like Luka?", "No you certainly are not!".

The family is traditionally Flamengista, which means we should supposedly support Flamengo, the ones with the black and red striped "goal clothes" or "ball outfits'" as my clueless son says.

He desperately wants some of his own. Last week, the whole school was asked to come to school in their team strips to celebrate the visit of two trophies from important Brazilian championships - the Guanabara and Rio Cups won by Botafogo and Regatas respectively. There was much fanfare including TV Globo cameras and reporters. My poor son was there in his OshKosh shorts and signature blue polo, thrilled to bits that the Piston Cup was at school. (For those that don't have small boys, that's the name of the trophy from his favourite Disney Cars movie)

When it comes to the World Cup though, you can't help but get sucked in, and the excitement is already kicking off. The bright green, yellow and blue bunting has just gone up on the street beside our building, the first step in an elaborate street decorating ritual for World Cup street parties. The shops are beginning to sell noise making paraphernalia and silly hats, and companies are already informing staff of official World Cup skiving policies.

For my husband that means on days that Brazil is playing a match he can either arrive after the match (if it's in the morning) or go home an hour before it starts (if it is in the afternoon). Suddenly, he's interested in football after all.

Yesterday even I relented and bought my children Brazil football t-shirts, barely resisting the urge to throw a patriotic g-strings bikini for myself into the shopping basket. My son is delighted! (husband not so!)

Ironically, I just saw that Luka's mum (remember, the Botafogense kid from school) wrote one of her hilarious blog posts this weekend (see Rachel's Rants): Luka walked the Botafogo team onto the pitch on Sunday. For that family too, there is a God!


  1. i think i'm married to the only german not interested....but we, too, are getting a bit of the fever. i've been told the whole city stops during the brazil matches- silence at the beginning, no buses running, schools close- exciting alright!

  2. we'll turn him, you'll see ;)

  3. I think your husband and my husband could be friends because I've got a Brazilian who ALSO has no interest in soccer. Hmmmm and I thought I was the only one!

  4. It seems I have Brazilian husband #3 who is not interested in futebol. He loves sailing, though.