Birds on the Brain

Source: Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro

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Legislature in Buenos Aires
Legislature in Buenos Aires.
© Unknown.
 
ONE GREAT STEP FORWARD FOR THE RETURN TO BOEDO IN THE LEGISLATURE IN BUENOS AIRES. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE CUERVOS OF THE WORLD - AND THANKS FOR THE GREAT EFFORT HEADED IN RECENT YEARS BY THE THREE WISE MEN, ADOLFO RES, DANIEL PESO AND MARCELO CULOTTA.

From London, 16 November, 2012
From London, 16 November, 2012.
© Ruben from Alicante.
 
There's still a long way to go. We have to respect the people who live and work where our beloved Gasómetro was and we cannot be sure that in the end, Carrefour will want to sell us its property on Avenida La Plata, but the dream of The Return can no longer be considered an impossible folly or a childish whim as so many people termed it before. This has flesh and bones. As the Turkish proverb says, "Patience is the key to paradise." WE ARE GOING TO RETURN.

Bordagaray
Bordagaray.
© Unknown.
 
I loved Bordegaray´s goal against Unión, and even more the pass by Stracqualursi. His imitating Cristiano Ronaldo´s cockiness, not so much. He should just celebrate, but personally I prefer the little dances he used to do, like the one he had with Papu Gómez against Boca in 2009, or the one from the match against Huracán in 2010 when he left the Quemero [tr. note: Huracán´s nickname] goalkeeper flat on the ground. On the other hand, we have to admit that Borde has given us moments of happiness, and I understand that a born goal-scorer like him feels that he needs to reinvent himself from time to time. Our defense didn´t play well in Santa Fe, and the managing of the ball in midfield was frequently quite lazy. Even Buffarini, who usually gets along well with his teammates and protects the ball well, was a bit careless against the Tatengues [tr. note: Unión´s nickname]. In the many goals against All Boys, San Lorenzo had played very well. And even against Quilme, in spite of the tie in a match they should have won, they played much better as a team. I don´t know what happened, but there didn´t seem to be much of a connection or fluidity among our players against Unión. Let´s hope they can play harmoniously again, as they did last weekend against those guys from Floresta [tr. note: neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, home of the All Boys team.] I´m sure they can.

Istanbul
Istanbul.
© Viggo Mortensen.
 
I had the great fortune of working in Istanbul for the last three weeks, and I´ve learned that the Cuervos and the Black Eagles resemble each other a lot. Besides being an impressive city, with around 17 million inhabitants and a historical and sociocultural tradition that is difficult to take in because it´s so rich, beautiful and dramatic, they also have Besiktas J.K. (Besiktas Jimnastik Kulübü), founded in 1903. I went to see three matches in this club´s stadium - a cup match and two league ones. Two victories followed by an agonizing tie against one of their great rivals, the Bursaspor. The Besiktas (it's pronounced "Beshiktash"), from what I saw, keep pushing forward and are real fighters, which is their traditional style, according to what some supporters of the Black Eagles ("Kara Kartal") explained to me. The fans got angry when, with an advantage on the scoreboard against Bursaspor, the coach ordered the team to back off a bit to protect their lead. I agree with those supporters that atypical tactic cost Besiktas the victory. Their supporters are very like our own, with a lot of endurance and famous for being the most passionate and clever in the Turkish league. They sing non-stop. They greet each other with "Kara Kartal Oley!" ("Hurray for the Black Eagles!"). Like the 1968 CASLA champions, the 1991-92 Besiktas were the first team to be undefeated champions of their country's first division. They play a long tournament in Turkey, like other European countries. When the management realized I was going to the games, they invited me to see their museum and walk the pitch. They also gave me a team shirt, signed by the current players.

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© BJK TV.
In the Besiktas Museum.

6s171112.jpg
© Viggo Mortensen.
With my friend Baran, who infected me with the Besiktas, and who's now a Cuervo too.

Besiktas neighborhood
Besiktas neighborhood.
© Viggo Mortensen.
 
Another thing that as a Cuervo I liked a lot was that the streets in the Besiktas neighborhood were filled with blue and red banners.

Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar.
© Viggo Mortensen.
 
Even the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, which dates from the 15th century and has some 60 streets and more than 4,000 shops, has our colors throughout its interior.

I told the story of the founding of CASLA by Father Lorenzo Massa, the significance of the Gasómetro and of the Return to Boedo to the club members. I explained to them that San Lorenzo, like the Besiktas, is very much a neighborhood club. I gave the management a '68 San Lorenzo pennant and a Return [to Boedo] shirt like the one I have on in the photos. The idea of making Besiktas and CASLA sister teams came up. We'll see if that interests our management at some point, and if we can organize a friendly match between our clubs. The Besiktas guys thought it was a nice idea. Several Black Eagle supporters, on learning a little about San Lorenzo's history and the hoped-for Return, asked if they could send money from Turkey. Of course you can, I told them, and I gave them the information about the square meters that they can buy if they want.

9s171112.jpg
© BJK/CASLA.
 
One other bit of information about the CASLA/Besiktas connection was that several members of our film crew made themselves lovely San Lorenzo shirts for the last day of filming. It's clear that the Turks have very good taste:

New <i>Cuervos</i> in Istanbul
New Cuervos in Istanbul.
© Unknown.
 
I also went to see a Galatasaray match in their huge new stadium, and although it's one of the biggest teams in that country, from what I saw, their supporters are not as passionate as the Besiktas. It must be because they are accustomed to winning. It's a club more or less equivalent to River Plate in its history, stadium and the size of its fan base. I went to see that game, a match of the Champions League against the Romanian club, CFR Cluj, with seven English people from our film crew. It rained all afternoon and the pitch was a huge puddle. It was a terrible match, but the atmosphere in the stadium was good. The English put on the red and yellow shirts of that team, but I told them that I was already a Besiktas sympathizer and couldn't dress like them. I didn't put on the Besiktas shirt either. I went with a Cuervo shirt so that the "Lions" won't try to beat me up for being a "Black Eagle."

Watching Galatasaray
Watching Galatasaray.
© Gorkem Geylani.
 
Two weeks later, I took those 7 English people and some more of the crew to see the Besiktas and then, impressed by the unstoppable passion of the locals, they changed teams.

The shirts and
The shirts and "FEDA" scarves - that means "sacrif....
© Hurriyet.
 
Going to Ataturk airport in Istanbul, I saw a friend flying for several minutes alongside our cab. That solitary escort seemed to me a very good sign for the future that all Cuervos will share. To fly, we have to have birds on the brain.

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© Viggo Mortensen.
Kara Karga Oley! - "¡Olé Cuervo Negro!"
Last edited: 4 December 2012 19:44:17
© Viggo Mortensen/Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro.