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Dale Dale Boca!

Written on: Thursday March 6th, 2008

A journal entry from: Kevin and Julie's RTW

Location: Buenos Aires 

Author: Julie 


A few days passed since the River Plate game but we didn't do much. We had been on the move so much in the past few months and had finally found a hostel that made us feel at home. We met so many nice people and formed quick, warm friendships with them, which made us feel like we had known each other our whole lives. We spent our days working on the blog, watching TV or sitting around talking with people. It was a wonderful break from the stresses of travel. No asking ourselves"Where are we going? How do we get there? Where are we sleeping? What did he say? How much does that cost? Are we being scammed? Are we lost?". 

We finally decided to do something with our time and see one more soccer game, this time at the Boca Stadium. An international match between the Boca Juniors team and Mexico was scheduled for that night. We booked again with the same company as the last time. It was so well organized the last time that we gladly paid 60$ each for a chance to see a game in the Boca stadium. The team is known in the world as having the most fanatic of fans. We were picked up at 6 PM (along with Christina, a girl staying at our hostel) and were quickly dropped off as near as the stadium as possible. Unfortunately, that still meant we had at least six blocks to walk. Unlike the previous game, the streets were already filled with fans dressed in the team colors, waving flags and banners, singing team songs. We were given a couple of Boca baseball caps by the tour guide for having booked twice with the company. We gladly wore our yellow and blue caps as we tried to blend with the crowd. Our entrance into the stadium was quick with the girls and guys separated into different lines to be frisked for weapons. Once inside we followed the guide to our seating area to discover that 'seating' was a loose definition. Everyone was squeezed in to any available space within the standing-room only crowd. Everyone was standing as high as possible in the stands to be afforded a view of the field below. The fencing separating us was covered head to toe in banners, blocking the view. The crowd was already going crazy with flares going off, a 5 piece band across from us playing cheering songs and everyone in the crowd singing in unison "Dale, Dale Boca!" (Go, Go Boca!). One side of the stadium was a 4-story row of private suites for the richer fans. On the field was a large group of photographers and sports reporters waiting for the start of the game. About 15 minutes before the start of the game, the reporters ran to the middle of the field, facing the private suites. Maradona had arrived to his private suite. The crowd broke out into a cheer welcoming the "Chief" to the stadium. To Boca supporters, he was their soccer god. Once things had settled and the news media had moved off the field, the Boca dance girls came out on the field in skimpy outfits and put on a dance show that was greatly appreciated by the crowd of mostly men. A two storey team flag was unfurled from the third story to cover the home side while the national anthem was played. 

Time for the game to start, the players ran onto the field while their names were announced. Flares were set off and the fans never stopped singing throughout the 90 minute game. The gossip going through the ranks was that there was a 'conductor' on the other side that was controlling the band and therefore what chants were being sung. He had earned the position after having killed a fan of an opposing team. His father before him had also done the same, so it was now family honour to continue having the family pass on the position. It sounded like an urban myth to us but our tour guide was adamant that it was a true story. Crazy! We spent the night, wedged into what little standing space there was learning the chants. Whenever the opposing team came close to scoring, the crowd would whistle with disdain. If Boca had a shooting opportunity everyone would jump and down. There was so much energy in the air and it certainly made up for the slow game we had attended a few days earlier. It was a close match with Boca winning the game 2-1.