There are fans and then there’s the kind of behavior that got the Eminem definition of “stan” accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary. Outrageous satire El Fúbol o Yo (My Love or My Passion) is a story about the latter. Pedro (Adrián Suar) is a man whose passionate fútbol fanaticism has reached extreme and alarming heights. His outrageous antics – which include watching matches at all hours of the day – begin to jeopardize his job and family, forcing his wife Veronica (Julieta Díaz) to give him an ultimatum: tone it down, or lose his family for good.
Set in Buenos Aires (naturally), and directed by Marco Carnevale, El Fúbol o Yo‘s is filled with wild moments of irrational fervor. But let’s be honest, we all know a hard core hincha whose fandom has bordered on the insanely inappropriate. Check out some of Pedro’s crazy shenanigans below and judge for yourself – they may just feel familiar.
El Fúbol o Yo had its US premiere at the Miami Film Festival, and will air on HBO Latino in June just in time for the World Cup.
When Literally Nothing Can Stop You From Watching the Game
Sometimes big matches can lead to difficult choices – especially when they conflict with other commitments (work, family, etc.). But for Pedro, there is literally nothing that can stand in the way of watching a game. He finds a TV at the funeral parlor where his deceased mother-in-laws’ service is being held, he fights over the remote control at a lunch with his wife’s family, and he even dangles from a balcony to break into his neighbor’s home when power goes out in his building. His commitment – or compulsion – to catch a match will probably make you feel better about that time you secretly streamed a game on your phone under the table during that work meeting.
When your friends enable your hooligan behavior
We all have that friend who encourages us to double down on the things we know are wrong but feel so right (splurging on those sneakers you can’t afford, having just
one three more drinks, etc.). They’re the friend you always have the most fun/crazy adventures with, but who your partner or family may not approve of. For Pedro, that friend is Luisito (Peto Menahem), a worthy match in soccer obsession. Pedro and Luis’s friendship is a love affair for the ages, that is defined by their support for the same local team and their devotion to all things balompié. Watching their camaraderie unfold will make you want to reconnect with the Luisito in your life.
When you're a jersey hoarder
Teams change jerseys constantly, but a true hincha never gets rid of the old ones – like your Chivas fan tío who refuses to part with the old jerseys that haven’t fit him since the last time Cruz Azul won a title. The history and emotional attachment these jerseys carry is sacred for some fans. During a major confrontation, Veronica brings up the massive amount of colorful jerseys in Pedro’s closet. Of course, he thinks there is an obvious reason behind each of them and their importance within his collection of memorabilia. The cultural significance of fútbol uniforms for Latinos is such that the Mexican national team jersey even made into Pixar’s hit Coco, and it’s worn by one of Miguel’s uncles.
When soccer gets you more riled up than politics or religion
There are certain topics that many will agree are best to avoid in “polite” conversations: politics and religion are high on that list. But for many soccer enthusiasts, talking about the sport can lead to similarly polarizing arguments, and, in the worst of instances, physical aggressions. Pedro’s life is full of these kinds of encounters. Nobody wants to be the one Boca Juniors devotee surrounded by River Plate fans – but for Pedro, fútbol is the source of all conflict in his life.
When Your Fútbol Obsession Runs Your Life
Pedro plans his life around the schedule of the countless leagues and divisions he follows. Holidays, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, and even his career are secondary for him and can only exist if they don’t overlap with any of his games. If the World Cup coincides with an important family event, like the birth of one of his children, la albiceleste comes first. Although the addictive nature of Pedro’s love for fútbol is exaggerated and played for laughs, many of us have been guilty of leaving work early to run over to a bar to catch a game or of showing up late after staying up until 3:00am to watch a defining game live from Asia. Every soccer fan has the potential of becoming Pedro.
Ponder that while you cancel your upcoming summer wedding because Mexico is playing Germany that weekend.