Saturday, March 29, 2014

Clasico Fondue: Ruminations on Barcelona and Real Madrid

photo by Rodrigo Moraesvia PhotoRee

Scott hasn't had to eat much humble pie this season:

Watching Neymar dive last Sunday to win a penalty was hard enough without the shouts of joy that erupted from my Dutch friend.  I had kind of forgotten that John was a Barcelona fan when I accepted his kind invitation to host our family for an El Clasico viewing party, complete with fondue dinner.  The offer was further sweetened when he offered to delay the viewing until after my son’s soccer game, poorly scheduled (by me, no less) for 3pm.  Not that I would have declined the invitation were I better informed as to his fandom (they are really good hosts), but I might have been a little more prepared.  And I definitely would have worn my Real Madrid shirt (although I did have my Real Madrid hat). 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t even make fun of my friend for being a bandwagon Barca fan (like most of them are) because he came by his team honestly.  It seems he followed Johan Cruyff and his fellow Dutch cohorts to the Catalan team and has been a fan ever since.  Damn it. 

No matter which team you support, it was a chaotic day.  Lots of goals made for lots of excitement.  Lots of penalties made for lots of debate.  And lots of mistakes fuel those debates.  Two things are clear in my mind: (1) Ronaldo was fouled outside the area and should not have been awarded a penalty; and (2) Neymar dove and did not deserve a penalty (nor Sergio Ramos the red card) but did deserve a yellow card. I got so worked up that I was trying to rationalize why Iniesta was not really fouled later.  In my defense, he was sure looking for the penalty.

Still, everyone would have to admit that it was an exciting game to watch.  In the end, a draw probably would have been a fair result with both teams scoring two goals from the run of play.  In any case, it will now be a mad dash for the La Liga title.  Suerte, Blancos!

This is farlieonfootie for March 29.

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