DCU: Got Emilio?
A few Luciano Emilio notes from the closing moments of yesterday's 3-1 win at RFK Stadium.
First off, his goal celebration. Silly me, I've always thought he was pointing at someone in the crowd when he raises both arms toward the top of RFK Stadium. "God," he corrected me.
Next, his joining of the Barra Brava for that post-game shirt exchange. The precise moment when the exchange was agreed upon is perhaps open to debate; Emilio said it was before the game, but he sure seemed to be exchanging words with some folks on the sidelines during the closing minutes, following his goal.
Regardless, there he was after the game, taking off his shirt and swapping it for a Barra Brava "12," then posing for lots of photos taken by camera people who weren't trapped many rows up among the beer flingers.
It was a day of interesting jersey choices--among other highlights I saw wearers of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Nana Kaffour and Tampa Bay-vintage Doug Williams in the lower bowl--but Emilio's selection of the Barra 12 shirt nevertheless stood out. Between giving comical post-game interviews (see below) and slightly less comical post-game interviews, I asked him how this came to pass. He said this, in English:
"The guy Gabriel asked me before game, 'We can change t-shirt, I have jersey of Barra Brava, I'd like to change with you after game?' For me, it's ok. We need the friendly relationship with Barra, with the fans. I think this is important for the club, for me. We work together, we stay together, players and fans. It's my first time, but it's important."
Indeed, the hand-off went to Barra leader Gabriel Galeano, an Argentine who crossed major nationalistic lines to swap jerseys with a Brazilian. Gabriel said he would add it to his collection of football memorabilia.
"We have in the basement all the shertz from around the world," he said in very lightly accented English.
"Speak English man," said Barra founder and political correctness maven Oscar Zambrana.
I also asked Emilio what'd he do with the Barra jersey and he looked at me like I was daffy. "Keep it," he said. Fair enough.
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