Sunday, 10 June 2012

Dois Mil e Doze

 Nick Hornby summed the syndrome up memorably in Fever Pitch:-

"I was going to say 1980 was a torpid, blank, directionless year for me but that would be wrong; it was 79/80 that was these things. Football fans talk like that: our years, our units of time, run from August to May (June and July don't really happen, especially in years which end with an odd number and therefore contain no World Cup or European Championship)."

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a football fan but I do enjoy my summer international football competitions and I share Hornby's pain in odd years. Portuguese TV has a habit of emphasising the year when referring to international competitions, so this summer of EURO2012 is very much Dois Mil e Doze where last summer was plain old 2011.

Portugal has had the misfortune to end up in the Group not so much of Death as Total Annihilation With Your Remains Being Vapourised And Projected Into A Parallel Space Time Continuum. How unlucky is it to be ranked tenth in the world and still be the lowest in your Group (the others being Germany (3), Holland (4) and Denmark (9))?

In the opening Group B matches this evening, Denmark beat Holland 1-0 while Germany beat Portugal 1-0 but with Portugal having had some bad luck and not having been a pushover by any means.

Meanwhile, jammy Ingerland (6) have landed up with France (14), Sweden (17) and Ukraine (not even on the list I printed off) in the Group of "Ought To Be A Breeze To Qualify From But Good Chance They'll Screw It Up Royally Leading To Tabloids Screaming For Woy's Blood, Terry Never Playing For Ingerland Again, Should Have Taken Ferdinand, Told You So".

For the avoidance of doubt (as we lawyers say when in fact we're adding to it massively), I hope Ingerland do screw it up royally in the group phase (like France in Dois Mil e Dez) but if they do get through, then I will support them after Portugal have gone out. (Ideally, I'd like to see France fail to go through as well although that might be too much to hope for again.)

Scotland, I need hardly add, failed to qualify for EURO2012, having buggered up some challenging matches against Liechtenstein and the Faeroe Islands in the Group of Having a Tickly Throat in the qualifiers. It'll be different in the future, though - Uncle Alex says if we become independent, we'll qualify in Dois Mil e Catorze and triumph in Dois Mil e Seize.



Kathie said...

I was in the Azores for most of Dois Mil e Quatro -- hosted at several venues on the mainland, and with the Azorean Pauleta still a star on the roster -- and it was really fun to go to the local bar/café to watch the matches with the "tipos." Portugal doubtless benefited from home-cooking that year, losing only twice to Greece (albeit crucially in the final match). Still and all, great fun!

I was also in the Azores for the start of Dois Mil e Dois, when the US upset Portugal in the first round. Long story short, I was passing through Lajes Airport near the end of the game at the time -- was watching on a small TV there with a group of the locals -- and wound up being interviewed by a reporter from TV1, since I was the only USA fan there (although I'd kept my partisanship discreet)!

Marisa said...

ehehehhe, that was a funny and interesting caracterization of the groups. (sixteen-dezasseis)

Kathie said...

Neil & Carol, Do many of the folks in FG go to their "local" to watch the matches, especially when Portugal plays, or do they all stay home to watch? If the former, it might make for a fun blog-post.

Boa tarde, Marisa! BTW, "dezesseis" in Brazil -- has that spelling been incorporated into the latest orthographic reforms, along with ação, ótimo, contato, bilingue, etc.?

Suze said...

The big fish lives in another world doesn't he? I suppose he's going to tell us that the trams will be running by 2020 (Dois Mil et Vinte) as well?

Marisa said...

Hi Kathie, dezasseis is portuguese....... ;) dezesseis is another "Dialect".

Kathie said...

Better watch out, Marisa -- Brazilian Portuguese is spreading your way :-)))) Why, just look at the latest orthographic reforms: contato, direção, ótimo, etc.

Kathie said...

WHEW, that was a real nail-biter!!!

Since I couldn't watch the game on TV here, I followed it "live" online:

Did you watch at home, or in a café/bar with the locals?

Neil King said...

Watched at home Kathie. I don't think there's much of a tradition of congregating in bars to watch football in FG. Those who happen to be in will, of course, watch but I don't think people make a point of going for the occasion. (But as I wasn't there to witness, I may be talking nonsense.)

Torres' first goal against Ireland this afternoon - Ronaldo should watch and learn!

Kathie said...

I did my watching in Angra do Heroísmo, which some consider the festa town of the Azores (anything for a party or a holiday!). On the bright side, you still have another chance on Sunday -- and maybe even one or more times after that, if Portugal makes it to the knock-out rounds.

BTW, re team-seeds for championship tournaments: Instead of drawing the flight assignments randomly, here in the US for basketball they would assign the initial seeding thusly:
Flight A: #1, 8, 9, 16
Flight B: #2, 7, 10, 15
Flight C: #3, 6, 11, 14
Flight D: #4, 5, 12, 13

Marisa said...

Kathie I write, with quite difficulty, according to the so called Acordo Ortográfico, but only at my job, personnaly I write, and always will, PORTUGUESE, and not brazilian or portuguese from Moçambique or Angola....., and you may not know, but that thing, the so called Acordo Ortográfico, might die one of this days, it's awful, and the execPtions are the worse.

Kathie said...

Yay, team!!! Did you watch with the "tipos" down at your local café/bar? Now if only Portugal could play that well in EVERY game...

The Guardian's live-blogger concludes: "Holland were a bunch of talented strangers, while an effervescent Portugal were so much more than the sum of their parts. To be fair, they also had Cristiano Ronaldo in unstoppable form. He answered his critics with two fine goals to cap a fantastic display and if he continues in this form, Portugal have no reason to fear anyone."