If I had been impregnated on the day I started this blog, I would probably be feeling labors pains right about now.
Here it is almost nine months, and I have read almost every imaginable topic on Mexican blogs -- with an obvious exception: sports.
There have been a few references. John of Viva Veracruz will make a passing comment about an NFL game or the Olympics. Paul and Nancy of Countdown to Mexico mentioned one reason for moving to Mazatlán was to enjoy the local baseball team. And I have seen scattered references to local football games and bullfights.
What has been missing is a full-throated discussion of Mexico's passion: football. That silence was broken the other day by Gary of The Mexile when he posted a nice farewell to Cuauhtemoc Blanco. And that post got me to thinking. I know next to nothing about the Mexican football league structure, playoff mechanism, or even the nearest professional team to Melaque. So I put it to the only person who I knew who had an interest in football -- Gary.
Here is what he had to say:
A good place to keep up with the details is terra.com.mx which is in Spanish, but you can always use Google to translate. Mexican football is a very different set up to back in England. For a start, they have two seasons in a year, Apertura and Clausura, instead of one. They play each team once per team instead of twice, and at the end of the league, the top 8 teams go into La Liguilla. That's a play off competition similar to what happen in American Football. The winner of that tournament are the champs.
Thing is, the 8 top teams are not necessarily the ones that finished in the top 8 places. The teams are all split into three groups which are never mentioned through the season, until the end. The top two teams of each group qualify for the play offs, and then there are extra play offs to determine the final two to make the proper play offs. So it's possible to finish third in the league table but, if the two teams above are in your group, not make the play offs! Ridiculous if you ask me!
I imagine Guadalajara will host the teams nearest you. The city has two, but Chivas are the famous ones. They've won more championships than any other team, are famous for playing only Mexican players. They are the most supported team in the country. Even here in Mexico City Chivas fans are the most numerous I think.
Pretty thorough advice if you ask me. Of course, if you ask me, I will simply parrot what Gary said.
Now, I have something more to research before I head south. Hmmm. Maybe this one will keep until I get across the border. Goalies wait longer than impaitient contractors.
Paul and Nancy -- How are the hometown Mudvilleans doing?