Any Given Sunday: Behind Enemy Lines

Derby day has a special meaning for the supporters of the clubs involved, but when your friend is an avid supporter of your rival club and he invites you over to watch the derby at his house, what can you say?

I guess I could always find a creative excuse like I have come down with Ebola or that my mother is finally having that eye laser surgery and I need to drive her to the appointment. Excuses are easy to come by, but I can’t do that to him because I know it will somehow come back to haunt me.

So I accepted his invitation, I am going to his house to watch the derby. Oh yeah, I almost forgot it is the Lisbon derby, Benfica vs Sporting. He is a huge Sporting fan and I obviously support Benfica, so this should be interesting. I will be watching this game behind enemy lines. Before I leave my house I have to warn my wife, if I am not back in 2 hours call the cops. I am not fearful for my life but I am concerned about how we will handle this match.

I normally like to watch games like these by myself. I hate hearing people commenting the game or giving me their insights on what is happening on the field. If you guys were that damn smart and football savvy you wouldn’t be at bar watching the game, you would be on the field managing a team. I like to be alone, unless I am at the stadium, but if being at the stadium is not an option than home alone is my preference.

My friend is a very nice guy, despite being a Sporting fan, but nobody is perfect. His love for that horrible team is almost sickening. How can someone so nice, civil and cordial be a fan of Sporting? God must have a weird sense of humor.

Watching the match together, at his house, will be strange, perhaps even awkward but I think we can try to remain calm and not show off too much when our teams score. Hold it in, play it cool and not let our emotions come out. It won’t be easy, more so if any of the teams score a goal. Holding that emotion in will be like holding a fart in a crowded elevator, when it finally comes out I am afraid I might even shit myself.

Deep inside we both know, that if Benfica wins, I will walk home with a smile on my face. If Sporting wins he will close his door and walk back to the sofa with a satisfied look on his face. That is what I think bothers me the most about watching the game with a rival, is knowing that as one of us walks away the other has an incredible sense of joy. I just hope as I walk home from behind enemy lines, I am the one smiling.



  1. So how was it afterwards, with the draw?

  2. I was the "nice, civil and cordial" Sporting fan that Mr. Almeida was referring to. I think that we were both very civil with our feelings about the outcome. He cheered for the Benfica goal, and I cheered for the Sporting goal. At the end of it all, we shook hands and still remain good friends :)