Friday, 4 July 2008


A quick note to say that it has been decided by those responsible for this site, (namely myself), that some space will be devoted over the coming months to recording the travails of the previously glorious, and now sadly moribund, Santa Cruz Football Club of Recife in their attempts to escape from the outer reaches of Brazilian football, or Serie C of the Campeonato Brasileiro, perhaps the worlds most quixotic football competition (involving as it does several hundred rounds, each featuring groups of four teams, the top two teams of which proceed to the next round, the bottom two falling into the abyss). For those not in the know, which means probably everyone reading this, Santa Cruz are a very very big football club, perhaps the biggest in the Brazilian Northeast, though supporters of Bahia would disagree. (The opinion of supporters of Sport, also of Recife, can and should be discounted). Now however, Santa are doomed to play in the third division, are in danger of having their enormous, decaying stadium closed for the very good reason of it being a death trap, and are over R$50 million in debt. The team recently finished in the Second Division of the Pernambuco State Championship, which is an achievement similar to Real Madrid finishing eighth or ninth in a City of Madrid only tournament (though Santa are resoundingly not Real Madrid). Despite this, a billowing throng of 40,000 can be expected at each home game and I have sworn to attend every match this year, which could be as few as six should Santa not escape the first phase (a feat which would doom them to the fourth division in 2009). Many adventures promise to arise from this quest, which will be followed in the company of Santa’s infamous hardcore supporters group, the Inferno Coral, who have already been mentioned on these pages. The first chapter begins on Sunday, when around 4000 tricolores will decamp to Campina Grande in Paraiba to see Santa play (and most probably lose to) Campinense. Subsequent epic journeys will ensue, to the states of Sergipe and Maceio and Natal and God Only Knows Where Else. Tragedy, comedy, boredom and ultraviolence are guaranteed, and I can hardly wait, for I am foolishly cursed with the belief that there is as much beauty and sadness and truth and emotion involved in the futility of being part of a large community of people whose hopes and dreams are pinned to the glorious failures of a very bad team football team as there is in all of literature…

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read your blog after seeing your comment to my niece, Shayna. Like your writing style very much, aside from punctuation errors :-).
Anyway, I wish you some peace and calm and hope you find a publisher.
Maida, Hawthorn Woods, Illinois

James Young said...

thank you very much! but punctuation errors - surely not (ha ha). can we agree to call it creative punctuation....

thanks again!