Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A conversation with Team Socceroo's Hector Zaghi

A conversation with Team Socceroo’s Hector Zaghi while watching the Nomads-Green Archers match at UMak.

Hector (sidling up to me): I hate that team (points to my Boca Juniors shirt).

Rick: Haha. I guess you root for River Plate (Boca’s arch enemy).

Hector: No (shakes his head vociferously). I’m a Corinthians fan.

Rick: Oh, yeah. I forgot that you’re Brazilian. I’m a huge fan of Juan Roman Riquelme (pointing to my Boca shirt). Two places I'd love to watch before I die -- Anfield and the Bombonera.

Hector: I like Riquelme too. Very good football player. I like him when he wears an Argentina shirt but not Boca. (I laugh).

Rick: Too bad Riquelme didn’t do well with Barcelona. Maradona?

Hector: Again a very good footballer. But no. Not Boca. Only for Argentina.

Rick: As for Brazil, I root for Santos.

Hector: I hate Santos.

Rick: Is there any team that you like at all outside Corinthians? (I laugh harder).

Hector: Sure. But you just said the two teams I do not like.

Rick: So you don’t like Neymar?

Hector: Only for Brazil but not for Santos.

Rick: Hahaha. I understand. But you know, I like England but I don’t root for Wayne Rooney (the damned United). Isn’t that weird?

Hector: (his turn to laugh). Yes, it is weird. Football can be weird too. 

What's in a football shirt? My fave football club of all time is Liverpool but here are the other clubs I root for: Schalke 04 (Bundesliga), Lyon (Ligue 1), Juventus (Serie A), Ajax Amsterdam (Eredivisie), Real Madrid (La Liga), Boca Juniors (Primera Division), New York Red Bulls (MLS), Santos (Campeonato Paulista), Benfica (Primiera Liga).

Growing up, I watched a lot of Brazil football. And these Brazilian one-named wonders have made me become fans of certain clubs. I was such a huge Juninho fan that I began to root for Lyon. I have vacillated back and forth between Real Madrid and Barcelona (the former had Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo while the latter had Rivaldo and Ronaldinho). The tip in the balance has been the great Zizou (Zinedine Zidane) and Mesut Ozil although I love Xavi Hernandez' game. Perhaps the only club I have not really swung allegiances is Liverpool. I once liked Bayern Munich because they had Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller, then players like Karl Heinz-Rummenigge and Lothar Mattheus. Then they brought in Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. Currently, they have one of my fave players in Franck Ribery. So why Schalke 04? Well, I still do like and watch Bayern Munich. But Schalke has Raul. As for the French Ligue 1, I loved watching Paris St. Germain but when Juninho came over to Lyon, I followed the free kick specialist. Speaking of free kick specialists, there's Roberto Carlos as well.

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