Running the risk of getting some hate from my fellow countrymen and women, I have to post this one.
Those of you who have been following me for a while know I love me some football and particularly international championships.
This Euro2012 I have missed pretty much all the games and there were two reasons for that:
1) The fact it was being held in a couple of countries where football and racism were going hand-in-hand and this competition was a chance to address that despicable behaviour, though no one did;
2) Portugal is going through a terrible moment with a government that suspended democracy and the constitution, and I felt the Euro2012 was being used by the media (mostly controlled by the political parties in power at the moment) to distract people from the serious blackmail, corruption and traffic of influences allegations made against some low-life minister (who did indeed use tax-payers money to procure the services of intelligence officers to obtain information about a journalists and threaten to go public with it if she kept trying to expose him). Nothing happened to this minister, btw…
So, racism and xenophobia make me sick and corrupt neo-liberals with autocratic desires make me sick.
So I made a point of not watching this Euro2012. Until this morning that is (morning for me mind you). I woke up and did what I always do, checked the news online. Somehow I came across a live feed of the game Portugal x Spain, which I didn’t even recall was on. Whoever was writing that live feed made it sound like a really good game and, oh I love me some good football! So I had to go watch.
Of course, once I started watching the game wasn’t that good. They kept throwing themselves on the floor and look like they were in absolute agony only to get up the second later and keep playing as if nothing happened (possibly because nothing did happen!).
In any case, I was supporting both teams. Which can be tricky when you are emotionally involved in a football game. On one hand, there’s my country’s team. How can you not support you national team? They were playing well too, so that made it easier!
On the other hand, I really do like the Spanish team and fully support them. I must be one of those few Portuguese who still is aware of their Spanish roots no matter how old or dissolved they are.
This attitude made me feel differently from previous times I watched Portugal play such high level competitions. I didn’t feel angry or upset. I had a smile on my face the whole time and, in the end, though I was hoping Portugal did win, I was still happy.
Before the last penalty (they went to penalties for those of you who don’t know), Portugal had just missed so it became evident that Spain could score and win. At that point, my mind really calmed down. And I suddenly became very aware of my heart still racing. I had been oblivious to that fact until then. But there it was, the full effect of football watching anxiety!
As I saw Spain score the penalty I was very aware of my body and mind. I truly enjoyed that moment of mindfulness. It felt great! And perhaps because of that, I am still wearing a smile on my face and will go on to support Spain in the final 🙂
Congratulaciones hermanos! Fue un buen partido! Te veo en la final!