On Saints and Soccer

For just about everybody in this country who cares about about universal happiness,  this edition’s final of the annual King’s Cup tournament is unbeatable mainly because of the two teams there: Real Madrid and Bercelona.  You of little knowledge on the subject might think that is a common occurrence, but I can tell you that it has never happened since I have been here.    Just one of those quirks of Spanish soccer.  Plus Barcelona being currently the best team in the world, and one of the finest sides in the history of the game (it pains me to admit this I can assure you) will be squaring up against a mighty Real Madrid squad which, under normal circumstances, would be rolling its way to a title.  But circumstances are different and, what’s more, Madrid took a thrashing in their previous meeting 5-0 in Barcelona in Madrid, a humbling experience for its charismatic coach José Mourinho.

            The fact the final is set for Holy Wednesday (April 20th) the evening before a national holiday should have been well received by the general public…in general, but that was not the case for some of the most traditional Christian brotherhoods throughout the country.  In Seville, the association of brotherhoods has gone as far as to request the date be changed.  They wish to appeal to the government and even the king himself.  The reason is not that they feel that the sporting event is inappropriate for the solemn time of year, but that its members will miss the game, because instead of drinking glasses of beer and munching on olives they will have to haul around two-tonned images of the passion of Christ.  Some things are just too sacred to be passed by.

         The restaurants and bar associations have also joined the complaint as they fear they will suffer incalculable losses as a result of the lack of clientele, but they have a tendency to always gripe about those things.  They did that when when the Saturday night games were moved to prime time, when the new tobacco law was put into effect, but to the people keep going to the bars.   Amen!

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