So, SoMa’s Barça babies are restless after being bested by the Burger Boys. Everybody under the blankie with hot cocoa and a cookie. (You can add a splash of whiskey in mine, Blitzen, thanks. You’ll find the flask in my Christmas stocking. Just remember to put the cigarettes back because I quit last year.)
Now, BFB BFFs, I admit it. I’m the worst kind of hack. I only have something to say when someone else says something, like using the word filósofo as an insult, or blaming a beastly head-butt on a tiff with the missus, or revealing paranoid delusions about seeing icons wherever one goes. But today I’m inspired by all of you. And don’t despair your own sad selves, because Euler will be back with a painfully-honest, technically-impeccable review soon, and we will read him, and experience both illumination and catharsis.
Now, earlier this week Eureka reminded us that there is a longer process than the half (i.e., the match) and that there are processes shorter than the season (i.e., the stretch). Any fraction thereof is a part of a larger whole, and people who are actually running around on the pitch during said match (or at least a damn sight nearer to it than you and me) know this. Fidemus Pepo, and all that.
Yet I, too, felt right bummed out today. (Oh, and Atleti, when the Oracle claims that you are going to roll for EE, she doesn’t mean that you literally fall down and roll around on the pitch. It’s a prediction, not a mandate. Miguel, ¿por queeeeeé?)
And when I feel bummed, I think of one thing. (
Cue cheesy musical tune … No, not that!) I think of Cuenca. (No, not like that!)
That’s right. Cuenca. For those of us who don’t follow the Blaugrana B’s, when we think “Cuenca”, we think, “Who in the #^%$ is that? Some skinny lad with a big Adam’s apple is going to sub on for who at what minute?” But, oh yes, he did.
Actually, now that I’m thinking about Cuenca, I’ll think some more. How about … Bartra? Tello? Muniesa. Oriol! Deulofeu (Say that name 10 times fast. Okay, say that name 10 times fast and drunk. Okay, now say “Montoya” without quoting “The Princess Bride”. Now, quick, get “The Princess Bride” quotes out of your head! See? Now you are totally thinking about something else besides losing to Getafe today and letting Real Madrid walk away with 6 more points and aaarrrggghhh …)
The point is, it doesn’t have to be about the points. It can be, like Eureka says, about process. There are some that are now, like Don’t Drop Points. Then there are some for later, like Okay, Don’t Drop Any More Points.
But there are other processes at work in the Phootball Universe. Think of Mourinho. We’ve all become accustomed to thinking of Mourinho as our favorite nutter. (Poke in the eye! What’s next? Whoopie cushions on the visitor’s bench?) But Mourinho is way beyond all us, spiritually. Do think of him — crouched in some dank, dark dugout far from the Pyrenees, wringing his hands, scheming for the day he’ll return to Spain, to the bowels of the Bernabeu, and win. Win the Clásico. Against the blaugrana. Leading the charge of the Royal Whites. Do you have patience? Because he does. And one day, perhaps one day soon, his patience with process, his loyalty to his desired outcome, his mental and emotional discipline will see him through. And you would be worked up by a work-over by Getafe? That’s a nuggie compared to what Mourinho has endured!
We have processes too, you know. Some people refer to the philosophy, even people who are not super-star strikers in a pout because they were put out. Some refer to a legacy, even when they are not surnamed Dos Santos or Busquets or Alcántara. But the philosophy is not a legacy. It’s not as if Barcelona’s game were some kind of relic, frozen in carbonite upon Cruyff’s retirement, only to be defrosted by Guardiola and kept alive through steady infusions of Xaviniesta and heart-stopping interventions by Messi. That’s short-sighted. That’s myopic. And to appreciate Barcelona, one must seek vision.
The philosophy, the legacy, the style, the tiki to your taka — it’s fluid, it’s process, it’s generational, it’s organic. It ebbs, it flows. It self-generates. Wise veterans give counsel, prodigious sons return to home turf, young buds sprout from La Masia fields. For an American, it’s kind of Thanksgiving-y. Everyone’s tired from traveling, people are out-of-sorts, relationships may even be rocky, but it feels like everyone’s come home. (Put SoMa’s whiskey back in the stocking before she gets too sentimental.)
Now, if you want to sit with your abacus and count points (“Now that’s six for him, and none for me, and we have — click click click — this many ’til the Clásico, at which time we can rack up — click click click –“), well, that’s your prerogative as a blaugranafan, and far be it from me, who can’t count from December first until the tenth with mittens on, to chide you for it. But if you would have peace, if you would have patience, if you would have vision, consider:
La Liga, Week 14
Getafe vs. Barcelona
Coliseum Alfonso Pérez
minute 67: Valera, from the corner.
minute 73: Substitution, Cuenca.
Peace, patience, perseverance.