Geography, history, culture, religion
| TAVITA |
AT first glance, the top football leagues in Euroland seem pretty bleak this week. The EPL’s Manchester United and the Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich are so far ahead that they might think about starting the off-season and heading for Acapulco.
On the personality-conscious, celebrity scale, things also look decidedly flat. It appears that we’re stuck with what we’ve got. Arsène’s going to be hanging around until the end of next year. No one in Serie ‘A’ appears to want Roberto back and La Liga has stated they don’t need Raffa.
This weekend isn’t what Scorecast would describe as a “5-4 on”, “no-miss cracker”. In fact, many a watcher would be tempted to say that it all looks incredibly boring.
My reply? Don’t you believe it! Right across West Europaland, it’s tribal warfare tonight and tomorrow.
Why? There are four of the all-time greats of inter-club football derbies, pulsating gatherings of what are known to derby experts as the Great “4 D’s”….Disdain, Despisal, Disgust and Defamation. To say nothing of the Great “5 F’s”….Frenzy, Ferocity and Foaming Fossilised Fanaticism…and the Big “2 L’s”…Long-established Loathing.
La Liga…. Real Madrid vs. Barcelona in the most-publicised “El Classico”.
Ligue 1… Bastia vs. Ajaccio in the traditional “El Clobbero”.
Serie ‘A’…,Napoli vs. Juve in the equally long-standing “El Whacko”.
And BPL ….Spurs vs. Arsenal in the time-honoured “El Nastio!”
They’re all on this weekend and everywhere you look, there’s geography and history mixed with culture and religion,
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona. The two most highly competitive sides in La Liga!.
Lots of culture. It’s called “clasico” because it’s all about class…. and how both sides reckon the other one hasn’t got any.
Also, plenty of geography. The game is between the two biggest cities in Spain, except that Barcelona says it isn’t in Spain.
How come? Because, according to the Barca fans, it’s in Catalonia, or “Catalunya”, as it should be called if Pope Pedro the MMXLV11st hadn’t done some crooked deal on a wet Wednesday afternoon back in 1297.
Plus, stacks of history. The deal was done with the Emperor Alfonso the 84th, uno Real Old Crooko and hunchbacked ancestor of General Franco’s illegitimate grandma.
And heaps of religion.The game involves sacred articles of faith among the followers of footballism in Madrid and the fanatics from Barcelona known as footballismists.
One lot believe they have won the most La Liga titles ever. The other lot refuse to believe them.
So, they all meet in each other’s cathedrals and crucify the referee.
Bastia vs. Ajaccio. The two most antagonistic teams in the whole of Corsica!
It’s geographical. Bastia says it’s part of Corsica and Ajaccio says…“No way!”
It’s cultural. The match is known as “El Clobbero” after the age-old Corsican pastime of clobbering each other.
It’s very historical.It all started with Napoleon, an unemployed conqueror from Ajaccio, the second city in Corsica. He was looking through his bathroom window with his binoculars, one day several centuries back, and he spotted Josephine, the reigning Mlle. Corsica Several Centuries Back.
“Je fancies elle,” he reckoned and hopped across the island to conquer Bastia, the number one city in Corsica.
“This’ll impress elle,” he futher reckoned.
“Hop off!” the Bastians said in fairly un-cultural Corsican. Then they clobbered him.
It’s also religious…
“What can je do?” Napolean prayed.
“Clobber-les back, mon cher!” said. Josephine.
“Good idea!” Napoleon reckoned and clobbered the Bishop of Bastia.
Napoli vs. Juventus. The two most ferocious competitors in various parts of Italy!
Geography? They are at ferociously opposite ends of Italy.
History? Naples is jealous because Juventus has been the capital of Savoy, Piedmont, Sardinia, Italy, The Automobile Industry and the Alps whilst Napoli has only been capital of the Two Sicilies and both of them disowned it.
Religion? Juventus is jealous because God gave Naples Diego Maradonna and they only got Fabio Capello and Claudio Ranieri.
Culture? Thousands of Juventini migrated to Napoli and persisted in singing “Il sole mio” instead of “O sole mio.”
“That sounds like an insult to our mother tongue,” Neapolitans protest.
“It’s meant to be,” the Juventini chuckle.
Tottenham Hotpurs vs Arsenal. The two most disrespectful enemy outfits in London!
This is the most basic local derby of all. Geography, history, culture and religion. It’s got the lot. They’re all mixed up in a boiling soup of deep-fried hatred.
It all goes back to the early post World War I days. Savage, alien cheats and pimps in red and white shirts came up from the primitive swamps of South London. They invaded the highly sophisticated, incredibly cultured Holy Land of North Londonia.
Tottenham supporters say that they are satanically heathen immigrant land grabbers.
Arsenal supporters say….