We all have different reactions to deceptions and crises. To relegation. Yesterday, while president Tirone enjoyed a bit of beach, respected Brazilian journalist Clóvis Rossi declared he was abandoning Palmeiras – after 60 years, mind you – in favour of his new “mistress”, FC Barcelona.
It didn’t take long for replies to pop up, of which I’ve chosen to duplicate that of Diego Iwata Lima, a reporter at newspaper Diário de S. Paulo and Editor of the Cinestrela.com website. The content has been slightly edited, with Lima’s approval (original Portuguese version here).
— ooo —
I respect the rights of supporters such as journalist Clóvis Rossi. Clóvis is highly regarded among his colleagues and as a professional. But he is no longer a palmeirense. He thinks Palmeiras “got ugly” and was feeling ashamed while “walking beside her on the streets”. Well, had I been nurturing such feelings toward Palmeiras, I would have given up too.
Especially because you can’t be “just a little” palmeirense: if you are one of us, you must know that our team is going to have (more) difficult times (than good times). And that you, for being palmeirense, will love the team, especially when everything is going wrong. This entails a lot of work.
It also won’t pay you back. Palmeiras are not pragmatic at all. Palmeiras supporters can rightly say they do not live by championship titles. But they are still a proud crowd. Sometimes blind, even. Coherence and Palmeiras do not combine for many. OK, for the majority.
But in case you like football well-played, well, there’s always the chance you might see it again in the future, although the likelihood is far greater you’ll see dedication (God permitting) instead of skills. You’ll be cursing most of them players – maybe all – from time to time. Even simultaneously.
But that’s who we are. We like to go to the stadium and get mad. We say we don’t, but we enjoy a good rant. In the 90’s, when everything was perfect, palmeirenses would curse each other, just for the kicks. Eventually, even the heated swimming pool at the club became a target.
What about when winning? Mate, that’s an incredible feeling, especially because it hardly happens these days. For a few hours, days, everything seems better and brighter. Traffic? Who cares: Palmeiras won the championship! Short on cash? Palmeiras, you are my life and nothing else matters! Fans of other team probably feel the same. I wouldn’t know. And will never know.
In a certain way, I almost envy Clóvis Rossi for this. Can you imagine seeing the Palmeiras jersey on the pitch and just zap the control to watch a Barcelona match? That must be such a liberating sensation! How does one deal with those memories, of being a kid, holding hands with one’s father at the stadium? Clóvis, mate, I cannot do it.
To speak the truth, I believe neither can 98% of palmeirenses. Not a single one among the people I know. I have seen palmeirenses pretending to abandon the team, but they always come back. They promise they are no longer fanatics. But they never truly change, they just become better pretenders.
Well, Clóvis, good luck with Barcelona. You must be very excited about the Champions League, La Liga, the Copa del Rey and other championships. Your season is definitely going to be more exciting than mine.
In any case, Palmeiras and I are going to be somewhere between Arapiraca (!) and Rio Grande do Sul. Maybe, even at the New Arena. Feel free to give us a call. And forgive me for any typos; days have been a bit rough as of late. You see, I didn’t sleep very well last night.