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Friday, March 24, 2006

Special: A Brush With the Pros

Just imagine it: There TDH was, suffering at 4:45 am in the check-in line at Buenos Aires's Ezeiza airport for a quick flight to Sao Paulo. But out of the corner of TDH's eye, there they were, two bearded guys standing next to an enormous stack of what looked like laundry bags - and wearing Palmeiras polo shirts.

Now, TDH thought, fair enough, Palmeiras played Rosario Central earlier in the night and they're sending the support staff home, but surely the team itself won't have to take the redeye. How wrong TDH was! In the departure lounge, one after the other, in filed the rest of the staff and the entire team, all wearing the same polo shirts. Even Washington, shaven-headed scorer of two fantastic goals, trundled in towards the end.

And then the most surreal thing happened. The televisions in the lounge were showing ESPN Latin America's SportsCenter... and, after a bit of Atleti-Sevilla, the whole team watched their own highlights! They slapped Washington on the back as his goals came on, and were silent when Rosario tied the match, which ended 2-2. Then they all filed onto the plane - the old graybeards into business and the players into economy.

TDH sat across from Emerson Leao, the coach and former Brazil keeper. At the other end, TDH stood next to one of said graybeards as he fondly held the arm of the Palmeiras keeper, Sergio, on the bus to the terminal. A thrill for TDH, all the way.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

so, tdh - flying business with the greybeards these days?

you weren't tempted to chat with one of the players to get TDHs first ever interview?

given the notorious violence of the brazilian league, were there any cheers after the Atleti red cards?

1:23 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Yeah, using my frequent flyer miles to good effect. Well, to be completely honest, I didn't relish the idea of interviewing a bunch of guys who looked to be about 14 in a combination of Spanish (if I was lucky) and broken Portuguese. And again, to be completely honest, I didn't twig it was Emerson Leao until afterwards.

On the inflight entertainment they had FIFA's best World Cup moments. Borgetti's amazing over-the-back header against Italy in 2002 placed second in the "best headers of all time" category to a fairly usual Pele score. But for me, Borgetti's was the best without question.

You pose a good question about El Bofo. I'll have to watch the rest of Chivas's matches carefully....

12:56 AM  

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