Friday, October 22, 2010

Los Packadorés

I’m currently on a plane bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Wi-fi in the sky is a wonderful thing!  This vacation is one I have been looking forward to for a long time to visit my sisters who both live there.  The only downside is I will not be in front of my beloved 42” with Sunday Ticket in HD for the big showdown: Packers vs. Favre at Lambeau, the rematch.  This has me scouring the web for an expat sports bar that I can watch the game at.

This game has me very nervous.  There’s a lot riding on it.  Just as there was a lot riding on the last Packer game I saw with Spanish play-by-play.  We were in Cancun for the NFC Championship game in January 2008.  Brent Farve’s last as a Packer.  I watched the entire affair alone in our hotel room, listening to the announcers’ animated declarations about what “Los Packadorés” had just done and how “Los Gigantes” had just intercepted the ball in overtime to win the game.  I could hear the raucous cheers from the nearby bar uttered by a group of New Jersey pipefitters down there for some union convention.  They basked in the pool the next day with their Giants gear, beer guts and back hair – high-fiving each other between rounds of cervezas, still celebrating their win.  The whole memory still gives me a PTSD flashback.

The Packer Burro
Something about the translation of “Packers” to “Los Packadorés” really bugged the crap out of me.  It sounds like a pack animal – like a burro or something.  I’m sure if the Packers had won, I would have embraced it fully and been running around the resort shouting something cheesey and mildly offensive like, “Olé, vamanos los Packadorés!  Andalé!  Andalé!”  Only humorous to me, this would have earned me numerous dirty looks from my wife – as well as a potential beat-down by the Jersey pipefitters.  But, as it was, they lost.  So “Los Packadorés” has only painful memories for me.

The only solace in having to endure 3 hours of that word again will be the amusement of hearing what the Spanish announcers decide to name the Vikings.  Maybe “Los Vikingos” or “Los Vik-Reys”.  Or perhaps they’ll go with something with a little more flourish, like “Los Vikantes” or “Los Vikadores.”  I wonder how they’ll explain to the Argentine audience that Señor Favre was once a Packadore but now is a Vikadore.  I’ll just tell them that it’s like someone defecting from Boca Juniors to River Plate.  Not cool.

Unfortunately, one of the things I’m discovering in my search for American sports bars in Buenos Aires is that, unlike in Mexico where the NFL has tried to popularize the sport for decades, Argentines don’t seem to give a crap about American football.  My research has only turned up three options for catching the game, none of which appear to be true sports bars.  Here they are, just in case any other Packer fans find themselves in Buenos Aires for a game:

Hopefully, one of these three will show the game.  I figure my chances are better than most weeks, since it's a nationally (though perhaps not internationally) televised game.  Even if it is in Spanish, missing the Packadores vs. Vikadores would kill me.

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