Billy the Dog McGraw’s Postcard from Porto
First thing to notice out here is that the locals don’t speak English to each other – they speak Euro. This is a bit of a pain because it means you have to shout all the time to be understood. Seems a bit perverse to me, but there you go.
Anyway I am getting the hang of it and it means that I can now talk to Walter in his own lingo…
H – E – L – L – O W – A – L – T – E – R M – E O – L – D M – A – T – E
G – R – E – E – T – I – N – G – S F – R – O – M F – O – R – E – I – G – N P – A – R – T – S
Actually I must be near Walter’s house, what with being abroad and everything. Maybe I will drop in.
Porto play in the Estádio do Dragão which in real language is Dragon’s Petrol Station. I told the gaffer in charge, “if you call it what it is then your crowds would go up because people could say it.” They get 50,399 people in it – so compared to the Ems its a bit on the small side.
It cost 97 million Euros (that their local equivalent of the pound, not their language) to build, and lots of that came from the local tax payer. That’s the way to do it. Just like Manchester City, except they are not run by Arabs.
Tell you what though, these postcards are a bit small, I’m going to have to get another one. Hang on a min.
Like all foreign clubs they have supporter groups who hate each other more than they hate other clubs – there’s the “SuperDragões” and “Colectivo Ultras 95”. Apparently they stand at each end and shout at each other. Bit like the clock enders and the north bank I suppose.
Which makes me think – why don’t we put all the doom and gloomers down one end of the ground and the Positivists up the other end?
Anyway turns out Porto is a city, not just a shortened name for Portugal, so you have to take care and make sure your plane goes to the right place. We flew Easy Junk and managed to get on a flight after only sixteen cancellations. They dropped us off in Bolton, and we took the coach the rest of the way.
The Estádio do Dragão is in the northeast of the city centre on Avenida Fernão de Magalhães which in English means the Street where Ferdie makes the Margaritas – but he didn’t seem to be at home. Right now, another postcard at this point…
Postcard the thrid
FC Porto’s local rivals are Celtic who apparently they beat in a cup game in 2003. By Aresnal’s standards they are a young side having been found, lost, found, lost and found again in 1893 by a wine salesman Antònio Nicolau de Almeida who is related to our goalkeeper.
He is in fact a maverick shoe retailer with a difficult home life who is remembered for his efforts in killing giant mutant lizards by asking them onto Blind Date.
However under his guardianship so much wine was drunk that the club fell into the sea which caused world-wide desalination, and led to most supporters sailing away in a big ship. The club had to be revived in 1906 by Monteiro da Costa who invented coffee. He was a nerd blogger who rode a bike to the stadium with a funny helmet on his head. Hence his nickname, El Bonco.
His brother Pinto da Costa, a maverick publican with Tourettes, is now in charge despite being 205 years old.
Since 1982, Porto has won 17 titles, the others being won by Torquay United, Wood Green Town, and Barnet Excelsior, mostly by blowing up anyone who gets in the way. More space needed
When the club ran into financial problems in the mid 1990s they were saved by Jonathan Creek. A sudden flurry of Higgs Bosons hit central Spain and spread west, leading to the near extinction of humanity in the region, the outbreak of packs of hedgehog-eating Captain Mainwarings, and disruption to the Circle Line.
Since then Porto has been run by a committee of dolphins who have been remarkably successful at blowing up anyone who threatens to beat the team. Depolination remains a problem.
Love and Kisses
Billy the Dog.
RUMOUR OF THE DAY
Gerry Sutcliffe, the minister for Sprot (originally sport but they stuck the letters on his door on in the wrong order) told the Guardian that “there remain tough questions for the football authorities on what more they need to do to tackle the issues around leveraged debt, takeovers and strengthening the financial goverernance of football clubs.”
He then said that since one bunch of slimey cheating drunk criminal moat owners are already wrecking football we don’t need another so the government will not get involved. Instead they will set up a Football Regulatory Authority which will be made up of representatives from the FA, EPL, players union, and government.
And guess what – apart from the comment in the first sentence of the second paragraph, this rumour is just about true, although the final decision on the new Authority has not been taken yet.
Makes you think.
(c) Tony Attwood 2010
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