Futbol, Opiate of the Masses

Costa Rica vs Panama I have a theory that where Socialism failed in Latin America, Soccer succeeded in pacifying the masses. Amazing how people can forget their corrupt and morally bankrupt governments, their imbalanced economies and poverty when it comes to futbol, or Soccer. Soccer is the one activity that has no socio economic issues. If you are a good player, no one cares about your color, your family name or economic status.

People with very little education, economic power or future aspirations, can forget about all their problems for almost the entire year when it is a futbol day… Which seems like every day in Costa Rica. I have a big laugh when I hear Costa Ricans discussing “El Classico,” The Classic… This usually refers to the rivalry between La Liga and Saprisa, two of the dominant (Though not so much the last couple of years) clubs in Costa Rica. I chuckle becuase as a Gringo, my definition of Classic is the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Redskins, Michigan vs. Ohio State or USC vs. Notre Dame. Games that are played once a year and usually mean some kind of championship or other positioning. Two NOW mediocre Teams playing 50 times a year, do not a classic make. LOL!

El Classico

The system works, the poor are pacified, the rich keep making money (Entrances, Snacks, Bevarges, etc), and even Pizza Hut gets in on the money making. And for a few hours they forget about bills, problems and the general state of things. The next day the bills are still do, including the bill for that LCD TV that they could not afford to pay cash for (Especially since El Gallo Mas Gallo’s mark up over the US Retail price is about 100%), by the time they finish paying for that TV, they will have payed 500% of its value, and several new generations will have been introduced. But they don’t care, as long as they can watch their game…

I remember a few years ago when Costa Rica reached the World Cup, and the sitting President declared a national holiday the day of the game, giving all State Workers the day off. Of course private industry did the same thing. I sometimes muse about how much productivity is lost in Latin America due to nonsense like this…. Oh well, next to God, Futbol is the next most important religious experience.

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