Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Tazón

Yesterday was Superbowl Sunday. Here it is called the Super Tazón. The show aired on ESPN, The Latin American version. The announcers said their viewers watch “desde Tijuana hasta Tierra del Fuego” or “from Tijuana, México to the Southernmost tip of South America.” I am posting this video clip; it is not very well made mind you, but if you turn up the volume you can hear how annoying the Spanish speaking announcers are. I actually shot a better video, of the touchdown the Steelers stole from the Cardinals, and I had trouble uploading it here, hope it plays. The announcers and their "¡Tuuuchdaawwwwwnnnnn!!!!!!" is over the top.

I stopped going to Superbowl parties a long time ago. We won $800 at Dee’s party in 1993. The parties even now are fantastic, and I hate to miss a great party at Maxine’s with multiple TV’s, tons of food and lots of interesting people. When I was in Kona, I played her pools and checked in with her on the phone from time to time during the game from our house, where we watched with just a few select friends. To me the house rules were simple, but some were unable to follow them! You could talk during the game, but you had to shut up for the commercials. The commercials were the best part of some games. Imagine my disappointment watching the game on Mexican ESPN where the sponsors were Ford, GM, Hummer, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Toshiba, Telcel, Telmex Nextel, and Mexicana Airlines, all local commercials. They offered some new and pretty good ads, but it was not the same as the zillion dollar space they sell on US TV for Superbowl Sunday.

Although American Football is barely gaining interest in Latin America, they are aware that the US wants more Latin players, and they are very sports oriented people. I think they played one preseason game in Mexico City, a year or two back, and are working on programming another one for the upcoming season.

On Sundays three channels air different games at Noon, we get one on Fox Sports at 3pm, and the Sunday Night Game on ESPN. Of course we see Monday Night Football but only see Madden and Al or whatever his name is in the background, we hear our high pitched announcer and everything’s in Spanish. Not all football terms translate that well.

Here are a few examples. Let’s look at team names. The SF 49ers are called “los Cuarenta y Nueves”, literally “the forty-nines”. So, you lose the whole gold miners’ reference, and the translation actually makes no sense at all. The Redskins are called “Los Piel Rojos”, simply stating they have red skin. The Browns are the “Cafés”. That could mean coffee shop, cafeteria, a cup of coffee, but it is not really used to describe the color brown. They should be called the Marrones. That doesn’t work. The Packers are the “Empacadores” (referring more to factory workers packing shit up)…..and the Steelers are the “Acereros” which at least means steel workers. The translations that work well are the Gigantes de Nueva York, Los Vaqueros de Dallas, Los Tejanos de Houston, Titanes de Tenesí, los Delfines de Miami, etc.

The end zone is the “Zona de Notación”. Penalties are “Castigos” – literally punishments. The yellow or red flag…..this one kills me…"panuelo" ..HANDKERCHIEF. Handkerchief? In a football game? Paleeeeese. The Quarterback is the “Mariscal del Campo”, which means “Field Marshall”.

This says it all. “Leading by 4 in the 4th quarter, ball on the 4 yard line, fourth down.” “Ganando por cuatro en el cuarto cuarto, el balon en la yarda cuarto, cuarto oportunidad.” And if all goes well, “¡A Notación!” (touchdown)

Football season was especially fun because my family and a few friends play a season long football pool on Yahoo’s Pro Pick’em. Nephew Brian inched out brother Larry, I came in third. We started with 8 players but two were unable to finish. It gives us our own stats to watch each weekend. It is a tradition I am glad maintains interest.

I do love football season but I feel compelled to see all the games, which distracted us from our trips to ruins, cenotes and beaches on our Sundays off. The weather got cool so it was easy to put on sweats and grab an afghan and hang in the hammock for hours. Hope Superbowl turned out well for you, I was in my Steelers T-shirt and colors, and was pleased with the game and the outcome. Thanks again to all the players in the Guerreros team. I felt like we were all sharing time and space with similar interests and it was fun.

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