• It’s just a game. Really.
  • Celebrate every goal, but don’t keep score.
  • Do not, under any circumstance, spit on the field.
  • While you may live the rest of your life glued to your cellphone, you will leave it on the sidelines. If Claudia Schiffer is calling, you will let it ring.
  • If a player is of lighter persuasion than others, it is permissible to call him “blanca,” “crema,” or “gringa” (taking care to use only the feminine permutation).
  • If a player is perhaps not as rail-thin as the others, it is permissible to call him “gorda” (taking care to use only the feminine permutation).
  • It is advisable to take a header early on in the game, even if it seems unnecessary, so as to eliminate “timida” from the catalog of nicknames.
  • If a player botches a play, he may be heckled once. If a player whiffs the ball, he may be heckled until he lies in his grave.
  • Check your Catholic sensibilities at the gate. Within 10 minutes there will be no saint, apostle, or prophet left un-cursed.
  • Useful vocabulary:
    • dela (short for adelante) – forward
    • tra (short for detras) – backwards
    • yera (complete bastardization of izquierda) – left
    • recho (short for derecho) – right
    • boray (guarani word) – unprintable
    • japirona (guarani word) – unprintable
    • puta (madre, hijo de, a la gran, or all by itself) – unprintable
    • pinche – unprintable
    • chinga – unprintable
    • carajo – unprintable
    • hora – time’s up, we’ve got to go home
  • If you see something sharp on the field, stop and pick it up – even in the middle of a play.
  • Boca are gods.
  • If somebody falls down, stop the play and help them up. If there is an accidental handball, play on. Just because you can belt it down the field in one kick doesn’t mean you do. Play in the spirit of the game, not by letter of the law – it’s just more fun that way.
  • Never fight. It was probably an accident.
  • Laugh when you score. Laugh when they score. Laugh when you fall. Laugh when they fall. Laugh when a ball goes through somebody’s legs, even if they are your own. Shake hands frequently.
    • It’s just a game. Really.

Andrew Kindman

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