In a way we are. But it's more of a sports fan spirituality.
As we've said probably 20 times before, we are fans of Sport Club Internacional. It's a soccer team here in Porto Alegre.
There are actually two professional teams here. The other is gremio. (Sorry, I can't bring myself to start them off with a capital letter).
You can't begin to believe the bitter rivalry.......hatred for many people.........between these two teams. I thought I'd seen some rivalries in my day (Yankees-Red Sox; Alabama-Auburn football; Lakers-Celtics) but they all are baby fights in comparison to Inter and gremio.
Let me give you an example: Every time one team scores during a game, fireworks will go off all around the city as well as car honking. But this rivalry is so deep that even when the two teams aren't playing each other, fans will shoot off fireworks when gremio or Inter is scored against in a game. This happens even if the game is in another city other than Porto Alegre. It`s crazy. Some people, like in any sport, are fanatics and they can take it to extremes. There are usually fights during and after games when these two teams play each other. It's kind of wild.
When Inter and gremio play each other it's called a GreNal. For most of this year gremio has been in first place in the Brasilian championship league. Inter, to be honest, has stunk it up. Lately Inter has been playing much better and gremio has struggled a little bit. Sunday night was our last game against them this year. A win for us would make a big move towards qualifying us for the biggest South American tournament next year. A loss by gremio would put them out of first place for the first time in a couple of months.
The game had the feeling of a championship.
Inter won 4-1. That would be our families' other Sunday present. The streets yesterday were filled with people wearing Inter jerseys and we even heard more fireworks going off this morning as the celebration continued.
Below is a video made by Inter so it might be a little biased. It will show what went on an hour before the game, right before the game with the players getting ready to enter the field, the goals scored by Inter and then an interview with our coach later. Feel free to shut it off during the interview (the 7 minute mark), unless of course you speak Portuguese.
I realize this is a long video and some might not care but it will give you Americans a taste of the world's favorite sport. It seems unbelievable to me that a little more than 6 years ago I had never even seen a soccer game, other than our kids' midget league games, and it is now my favorite sport. Maybe this video will only appeal to my dad. We`ve already converted him into an Inter fan.
To give you an idea of the passion for soccer here, this video of Sunday's game has already been watched on YouTube over 39,000 times. We kind of like our soccer here in Brasil. Here it is: