Portugal vs. Brazil: Sharing the Language (of Soccer)
Friday, June 25, 2010
From baby dolls in storefronts to the corner Walgreen’s drug store – you name it and it was covered in a flag this morning in Newark’s Ironbound district.
With a high population of both Portuguese and Brazilian residents, revelers stood shoulder to shoulder in bars and restaurants to watch the game between Portugal and Brazil that ended in a 0-0 draw.
Though the game was riddled with seven yellow cards and 29 fouls, the crowd was surprisingly tame. Fans amicably shared buckets of beer on ice and plastic pints of sangria outdoors at the Portuguese Iberia restaurant, while impromptu dance parties broke out at the Brasilia Grill.
The scene welcomed all kinds of fans, including Nancy Block who had her own reasons for watching the game. “They’re all so handsome and they’ve got great thighs,” she said of the Portuguese team. “Definitely any of those guys can put their shoes under my bed anytime – their boots I mean, they can put their boots there anytime.”
Costumes were nothing to balk at, either – both Portuguese and Brazilian fans went all-out for the game with face (and back) paint, shirts, hats and nail polish to show team spirit. The sound of fog horns and vuvuzelas was inescapable, drowning out the Portuguese and Brazilian music blaring from cars with their windows down.
After the game, fans from both teams flooded the streets, cheering. It didn’t seem like a competition as much as it was a general party. Several people shied away from interviews and ducked out of pictures – they had called in “'fake sick' to work,” as one unidentified fan called it.