The general feeling was, Mexico had to beat Uruguay in order to advance and for their pride. World Cup fervor was in full-throttle after the unexpected win over France last week and the crowds were heading to La Minerva—a round-about the size of Big Ben, however instead of a clock in the middle, it has a huge statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, arts and war. Several bars ring the perimeter and a gigantic screen, compliments of Corona, shows important soccer matches to spectators gathered in the closed off streets.
Street sellers have traded in the bright rainbow colored dusters and mops for the more patriotic items of the day-- giant flags, mini flags for you car, sombreros, jerseys, jerseys and more jerseys.
It was actually not a super exciting game, but that did not stop the yelling and the screaming and the jumping. Nor did it deter the drinking on the street at 9am. The good thing about the third world is that lots of people get to make their own hours!
I do not remember specifically, but this picture was either taken when Chicharito (Little Pea - a Guadalajara native who at just 22 signed a 10 million Euro deal with Manchester United) almost scored in the second half, or when the Corona hoochies got in a cat fight with the Jose Cuervo mamacitas.
I was warned by friends to run like the wind if it looked like Mexico was going to lose. However, this guy made me feel pretty safe, so I stuck it out. There may have been more riot police in attendence than there were fans.
With the final seconds ticking away on the clock, AAANNNNnnddd….OOOOOWWWWW…. Uruguay wins 1-0!!!! So why was everyone so happy!? I had no idea, but I kept snapping away, and trying to position myself in the middle of traffic to photograph the mob of fans who were flooding the streets in delirium. I keep thinking, “WOW! Mexicans are so awesome! They lost and they are still celebrating!” My faith in all humanity was restored in that traffic charging moment.
As it turns out, there was reason to celebrate. France had lost to South Africa to complete their drama implosion, and although it wasn’t pretty, Mexico is advancing to the next round. VIVA MEXICO! We’ll be in Montana and something tells me the enthusiasm level for the Mexico-Argentina game will reach that of a dentist office. Regardless, this little cowboy is psyched