Episode 14: Boca’s revival, River Plate’s liquid football, & the world’s tightest league?

In the fourteenth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan are once again back on the fernet (after an alcohol-free episode 13), whilst Seba is dry as ever. We discuss the two giants of Argentine football; Boca Juniors, who had another Riquelme-inspired win, and River Plate, who scored an absolutely fantastic goal which their latest wunderkid was at the heart of. We also take in the rest of Argentina’s ‘Big Five’, and Seba gives us some historical context on why they’re called that. We also look at how just six points separate the leaders from the team in sixteenth, halfway through the season. As well as warning us why you should never venture to Boca’s stadium without a massively overpriced tour guide, Mystic Dan is back with his predictions – place bets on four of these results this weekend, we just can’t tell you which four – and Zombie, once again, is chasing his own tail. One day we’ll get that on a videocast for you all.

As usual, read below the ‘Continue reading’ line for Mystic Dan’s predictions. And if you’d like to subscribe to iTunes and haven’t done so yet, you can do so right here.

Mystic Dan’s ninth round predictions
Estudiantes vs San Lorenzo
Independiente vs Godoy Cruz
Colón vs Olimpo
Arsenal vs Quilmes
Huracán vs Racing
River vs Banfield
Argentinos vs Gimnasia
Tigre vs All Boys
Vélez vs Newell’s
Lanús vs Boca

As ever, the teams in bold are the ones Dan thinks are going to win.

5 thoughts on “Episode 14: Boca’s revival, River Plate’s liquid football, & the world’s tightest league?

  1. Hola,
    Hey, it’s great to discover this podcast!
    Just wanted to comment, though, on your discussion about the difficulty of getting into a Boca Juniors game. Though I am currently in NYC, I own an apartment in San Telmo and am a Boca Juniors fan. I have had no real problems getting legitimate tickets in the past simply by lining up at the Casa Amarilla box office when they go on sale to the public a day or two before the game, or sometimes the day of the game. I was last in Buenos Aires from Sept. ’09 to July ’10, and went to several games at La Bombonera this way, including a few “clasicos” and the game in December ’09 when Banfield finished champions. I did the same in 2003, when I went to my first game there.
    Of course, I had to monitor the Boca Juniors website to find out exactly what day and time the tickets were going on sale. I also had the advantage of living nearby, so I just walked over to the stadium from my apartment. And I was buying the more expensive “plateas” tickets, not tickets for the “popular” section. I often saw crowds lining up for “popular” tickets, and for the most part, they were eventually told that there weren’t any “popular” tickets being sold. But the Boca Juniors website usually mentioned that beforehand.
    So, maybe you are only talking about the inavailability of the “popular” tickets. But when it comes to buying the “plateas,” it’s misleading to say that, for a tourist, you can only get them through a tour or hotel. At least as of last year. I haven’t checked the “entrada” section of the Boca Jrs website much recently. You have to check it often the days leading up to a game.
    The plateas are not always outrageously expensive, either. I always sat in Sector D, next to La Doce. Not the same experience as being in the popular section, of course, but still a lot of fun, and I got to watch the game closely, too.
    Superclasicos are a different story. I went to my first one at La Bombonera last March, and I bought them on MercadoLibre. I spent a lot, risked losing the dough, but it all worked out and was totally worth it!
    Anyway, I’m not recommending a tourist trot out to the Casa Amarilla box office thinking it’s a piece of cake to get Boca tickets when they are supposed to go on sale (according to the website). I’ve done it a bunch of times, so I am fairly comfortable doing it. But if you don’t want to go on a tour, speak decent Castellano, and do your homework beforehand, it’s worth checking into.

    I look forward to listening to more of your podcast …
    By the way, if there are any Boca Juniors fans reading this in New York, go to the Boca Juniors Steakhouse in Queens … it’s the greatest!


    1. Hi Kevin,

      Sam here. I found your comment interesting, not least because I’ve checked the ‘entradas’ section of the Boca website a lot of times and never found anything on there about opening times of the ticket office… which is precisely why we were all mentioning how hard it is to get hold of a legitimate ticket. And no, we weren’t just talking about the popular

  2. Sam,

    I don’t know, I used to do it all the time. Of course, I used to check the website like crazy, and it was at times a little frustrating and unpredictable. Sometimes the notice went up the night before. But it was how I bought tickets for almost every game I’ve been to. I did it a few times during Clausura ’10, so it was still possible as of then. You’re sometimes only allowed to buy two tickets per person, especially for a clasico. So when my brother and his girlfriend visited me in December ’09 and wanted to go to a game, we just both lined up …

    Anyway, I even think I saw on the website this year, a few games back, where they listed some ticket-selling times. I’m coming to BsAs in November for a couple weeks, and it’s how I plan to buy tickets again.

    Anyway, I still look at the website a lot, and if I happen to see that “entradas” announcement again, I’ll let you know for the hell of it, and you can give it a shot.

    Just don’t try it for the Superclasico on May 15th, of course, because they don’t sell any tickets for that. When I paid almost US$400 two tickets on MercadoLibre for the one I went to last year, I actually just paid for the use of an “abono” card on a socio.

    It was funny, we met the guy near the stadium, he gave me the atm-like card (with his and his girlfriend’s name on it) and said to give it back to him when he got inside, unless he ended up with the populares, in which case I’d give it back to him after the game. We slid the card like, worked fine, and waited for him as he and his friend tried to talk the turnstile guard into letting him in. I think he was telling him he lost his card. He couldn’t get in, so I just called his cell and told him I’d meet him after the game. We went to our seats — 5th row, near the corner in front of La Doce! — and about twenty minutes later, the guy and his friend showed up and stood behind us! He talked some guard into letting them in.

    It turned out to be the Superclasico that got rained out, and he left me with the card for the rest of the week until after the re-scheduled Thursday game! Buen tipo, he lived outside the city, so I just met him a few days later in San Telmo and gave him back his abono card.

    Anyway, it was a weird experience, but it worked … and Boca won on two goals from El Chileno Medel, so I was cool with it!

    Dale Bo,

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