Ramblings on Argieball and other nonsense
Category Archives: 1 AFA
Magellan, though, ah Magellan. As a youth we’d draw our grubby finger across the beautiful, though distorted mess of the Mercater world map. Invariably we’d end up at the Strait of Magellan. We still don’t know why; we’ve yet to venture there. It exercised a sense of wonder on us matched only by the awesome phenomenon that is an eleven o’clock dusk in Dublin. Of course we were schooled in the feats of Magellan, his empirical demonstration, by proxy, of the globe’s theoretically palpable rotundity; his obscene death, riddled with arrows, run through with spears knee-deep in the breakers of his very own Saipan. Only later did we look into Magellan. We learned that he personally ordered that some 1,200 bells, mirrors and trinkets be brought along, notwithstanding the clear space restrictions even with five ships, convinced as he was that whomsoever or whatever they would meet on the journey into the unknown, shiny stuff was bound to go down a storm. So it was that whilst waiting out the winter way down south in San Julián, in the yet unbaptised Argentina, that Magellan’s men managed to capture some simple giants with big feet (‘patagones’). Crude but effective, they distracted the friendly giants before slapping some irons on their legs, in cool civilised fashion. Continue reading
In any case, even if we suppose the superstitious sailors are correct in their suspicions that the admiral and the sea monster are one and the same, it is still true that many a ship has sunk down to the murky depths owing to seamanship so reckless it was tantamount to skuttling the vessel. After all, the paralysis that affected the once awesome battleship River Plate last month was so sublime precisely because even with the rocks dead ahead the mariners seemed determined to maintain their course. No treacherous fog enveloped them, no whirlpools formed suddenly off the bow. The sky was clear Belgrano blue and the ripples on the green sea carpet were no more pronounced than the muscles on a proud stevedore’s physique. With morbid fascination we watched from the shore as they seemed to will themselves below the waves.
Among us there was one who suffered more than most; a man whose forebears sprung from a land with a distinguished seafaring tradition, el Tano Pasman. Oh how he suffered as he watched his once illustrious frigate struggle feebly with some poorly-armed piratas from Córdoba. Sure it was well known that the SS River Plate had traded in their sails for magic beans and had replaced the mast with empty bottles of rhum, but no-one expected such a collapse. The dear mothers of our town had to lead their bonny children away by the hand as the expletives rained from his seething gob like foam from the mouth of the opprobious kracken. Luckily it was filmed for posterity, dear handsome reader, and while we make no claims to novelty we feel it’s worthwhile including it here if not for your edification at least for your titillation. Continue reading
Some say it’s Grondona’s way of pleasing all his constituents: saving the grand and upgrading the lowly in order to secure four more years at the head of the Family. This line is backed up somewhat by the fact that the definitive date for the approval of the scheme was set for October 18th, the day of elections at the AFA. Others, however, insist the measures came down straight from the Casa Rosada. The AFA’s own spokesman, Cherquis Bialo, who on Monday night was dispatched to bring us the news that poor Checho had been stabbed in the back and thrown to the dogs, was of the latter persuasion. He stated quite frankly that the state pays the money for Fútbol para todos and they pay for the best: “If River hadn’t gone down, we wouldn’t be in this mess.” It seems ol’ Cherquis was enjoying his moment in the spotlight a bit too much, however, and had overstepped his remit. His boldness did not go down at all well at AFA headquarters. Today Humbertito Grondona even questioned the (soon-to-be former?) spokesman’s sobriety. One thin-moustachioed committee member holding a tommy-gun was overheard reprimanding him:
I think your brain is going soft with all that comedy you’re playing with that young girl. Never tell anyone outside the Family what you are thinking again.
Nevertheless, help was on the way. Defending the AFA as the sole makey-upper of the plan, Quilmes president and Argieball bigwig José Luis Meiszner complained that people are always asking the AFA to sort out Argieball but when they do try something innovative all they get is bitchiness. Why now? they asked him. Why not now? he replied. Because it subverts the rules! they cried. Meiszner was unperturbed, however. He appealed to the great democracy that is the AFA, failing to mention that the initial plan for the megatournament was approved by the Executive Committee 22-4 following just half an hour of ‘debate’. Ah yes, the delegates present had just ten minutes to consult the proposal. Democracy? More like a shotgun wedding. Four clubs abstained, later citing the lack of time to consider what was certainly a real noodle-scratcher. The rest just said ‘Yes, Godfather.’
Pegamequememgusta chuckled mirthlessly as we listened to Nicolás Russo, the president of Lanús, one of the better-run outfits in recent years, explain on the wireless how he voted yes but that 99% of the clubs were against the plan. Perhaps he hadn’t expected the backlash he saw himself (and the other 86% that voted in favour) engulfed in. Sure ’twas just more japes down at the AFA, like. In any case, he hastened to explain, he had got the impression that don Julio had not had much room for manoeuvre: “He was called into the Casa Rosada and told to implement it immediately.” The Don was but a meek little schoolboy taking dictation from a stern latin master in a swishing soutane. Continue reading