America Aguilas (or American Eagles, hm) vs. Atlas _________

What an incredible experience . The game was at Estadia Azteca, apparently the 3rd largest stadium in the world after some cricket stadiums someplace they call India. Anyway, even half full it was rowdy and overwhelming. It´s hard to describe the difference between watching professional soccer on TV and seeing their brilliance live, especially since most people have never seen me play on TV. Either way, great game, the home side (America) won 2-1, and Atlas had a whole section of fans to taunt and ridicule (plus the guy right next to me). Over and over throughout the night some genius would start a wave, it would slowly pick up steam, come flying around the corner, the crowd noise would build, and build…then it would be stopped dead in it´s tracks at the Atlas corner. Apparently, the section after them was never able to get their timing right and just skip them.

The Game

The Game

In any case, it gave Aguila fans an excuse to erupt in disbelief and outrage, chanting “putas, putas” and literally shaking their fists in anger at them (reminded me of the early lemon tree Simpsons – “Shake harder, boy!”). And this whole scene took place 20 times. At least.

No cheerleaders, but they still managed to come up with a solid reason to have hot girls in short skirts strut around in front of the crowd of around 90% drunk men.

“All right, listen up. Here´s the problem. Who can we get to carry our Corona signs at the game? C´mon, think people! Yes, you in the back!”

“Lopez, sir. Just a thought, sir, but what if we got some teenage girls, dressed them up like hookers and got them to carry our signs?”

“Hookers, eh? I like the cut of your jib, Juarez. It´s a little out there, but it just might be crazy enough to work. Gonzalez, get me your daughter on the phone!”

There was also another sponsor trying the same tactic, although it came across as even less subtle – Bimbo bread.

America vs Atlas

America vs Atlas

Luckily their t-shirts said Bimbo, too.

Still on the topic of crowds, I have a new theory. I believe the reason “mob mentality” has such a negative connotation is that a crowd generally tends to behave as its lowest common denominator. That’s why a crowd will repeat the same chant, the same wave, the same insult, long after all originality and enthusiasm has been lost. As if the shattered wave phenomenon wasn’t proof enough, early in the 2nd half a very “healthy” girl up in a luxury box somehow got around to flashing the crowd….sort of. The first couple times she faked it, a couple more times she showed her stomach, and once she even showed her bra. Well, let’s just say that 45 minutes later this was still going on, the game was over and the aisles were jammed up because half the crowd was trying to leave and the other half still thought it might happen. Still chanting “Take it off!” (in Spanish) and “Un! Dos! Tres!” (at her urging) only to be disappointed and angered as, once again, she didn’t go through with it.

At the risk of being offensive (a risk I’m usually willing to take) I figured the time had come for them to just storm the balcony and take it off for her. I mean, the poor group of 14 year old boys in front of us not only missed the last two goals but I’d be willing to be they also suffered some permanent neck damage.

The ruins of Teotihuacan. Impressive. But let’s face it, nobody wants to hear about ruins.

In Oaxaca now, moving on to San Cristobal de las Casas tongiht (12 hour overnight bus) – talk to you from there.