As you know, soccer is a big deal in Brazil. A BIG deal. Like, my husband wouldn't buy a certain cellphone because that brand sponsored his team's rival.
And it isn't just my man. Talk to any Brazilian who follows futebol (wait -- are there any that don't?!) and you feel the intensity they have for the game. My last roommate (also Brazilian) warned me one day that if my then-boyfriend-now-husband would ever be asked to choose between me and soccer, he would pick soccer. She was dead serious.
What can I say? Brazilians are passionate about everything. Why would their favorite past time be any different?
And so the battle began...
We invited some friends (also-Brazilian) over for dinner. They came bearing gifts: drinks, cookies, and this lovely cake (which is -- WOW -- our favorite dessert. Lucky for you I have the recipe HERE). But there was one more 'gift' present that night: A Corinthians shirt.
Let's back up 2007. I was in Brazil for the very first time, exploring the country of beauty and love with a hot man by my side, when I was welcomed into the family. It went something like this --
"If any body asks you what the best team is, the answer is ALWAYS São Paulo. Got it?"
"And if anybody asks you the worst team, the answer is ALWAYS Corinthians. São Paulo, good. Corinthians, bad."
"No no no! Not just sure! You have to really mean it! Try it with me."
And so we practiced. It became one of the first conversations I could carry on in Portuguese.
Back to present day... (this is starting to feel a bit like LOST, isn't it?)
This dude walks into our house wearing a Corinthians shirt...
It's a good thing he brought cake.
When the time came to take a picture for proof of our get-together, my husband jumped up, ran into the other room, and came back waving a yellow shirt in his hand. "You cannot take a picture in my house with that shirt on. Here!" In his defense, he did not ask our friend to put a São Paulo shirt on, just show a little Brazilian pride. But the fact remains, a Corinthians shirt was in our house, and he was having none of that.
It took a little coaxing, and some sneakiness, but after several tries we finally got the picture the way it is supposed to be -- no promotion of the "other" team, happy smiles on most faces.
Now, everybody, repeat after me: "São Paulo, GOOD! Corinthians, BAD!"
Alright, you are free to come visit us :)