FOOTBALL AND FATHERLAND: THE CRISIS... Alabarces / Rodríguez     
previous Notes
1. Far we are of supposing that the only result of the Argentinean public school was the imposition of this hegemonic story. The public school was also a wonderful agent of the modernization process due to the quick literacy reached by the popular classes and to the social mobility that it has generated. Even more, a good portion of the success of the mhytological foundation of the nationality among these sectors lays on the high prestige that the school has acquired among them.
2. Lugones and Rojas are the main intellectual figures of the Argentinean nationalism at the 20s.
3. The idea of a creole style, which merges different tactical elements with individual original practices, is related to the foundation of certain mythical places like the potrero, and of popular figures like the pibe (Archetti, 1997). But certain evidence points out that this imaginary construction worked widely among the new urban society: already in 1919, the first number of the children magazine Billiken showed in its cover page the figure of "The champion of the season", the image of a disheveled boy with soccer gear and the prints of a rude battle --a pibe--; exactly the opposite image from the "official" one, that of a neat, obedient and scholar boy, which was hegemonic in those years (and onwards). In a larvate way, the alternative images to the discourses of the leading classes circulated through the media, even in a contradictory way: the publishing company of Billiken, which also publishes El Gráfico, belongs to the most conservative and catholic sectors of the Argentinean society. Cfr. Varela, 1994a.
4. We used the categories proposed by Ortiz, 1985.
5. The peronist government intervened practically on the whole media system, by changing the ownership of radio-electric media and some graphic media towards the State. The peronism also established a state-private coexistent regimentation in some graphic media where it had men of straw. To go further see Mastrini, G. and Abregú, M., 1990; Rivera, 1985; Noguer, 1985; Ciria, 1983; Sirvén, 1984; Plotkin, 1994; Varela, 1994b.
6. Are we here in front of the operation which Renan mentioned regarding to the rol of forgetfulness on the formation of nation's processes? The shared amnesia, for this author, is indispensable for the formation of a collective imaginary of nation (Gellner, 1993).
7. The State policies of the period must be enrolled on the main frame of the State intervention on welfare which was aimed to operate in several dimensions: health, education, women promotion, social welfare, distribution of cultural goods, etc.
8. We are refering here to the organization of the "Campeonatos Infatiles Evita" (infantile championships), for children population, and the "Torneos Juveniles Juan Perón" (youth tournaments), which embraced the adolescence bulk, competitions that reached the whole nation and that were complemented by the action of the social clubs of the secondary students Union (Unión de Estudiantes Secundarios) and the confederations of the universitary and technical branch associated to it (Senén González, 1996).
9. In one hand, on the base of the merger of two organisms, the CADCOA was created to being in charge both of the promotion of national sport activities and the agency of the awarding of subsidies for those who contested representing the country. On the other hand, it was promulgated the Sport Law (Nš 20.655) which, nevertheless, wasn't sanctioned until 1974 and it has not begun to be ruled before November 1989 (Galmarini, 1992).
10. The soccer case is peculiar because in this period the number of direct spectators has considerably raised: "On the 1946-1950 quinquennial an average of 12.755 tickets were sold each match; meanwhile the 1951-1955 one registered an average of 12.685 tickets. If we take annual values, 1954, with 15.056 spectators by match, has established the top record of a decade in which the attendance average has never been less than 10.000" (Scher, A. and Palomino, H., 1988: 79). (Our translation).
11. During the 1945-1955 decade, Argentina lived an era that it can be considered as a "sport party": on the local side, the realization of the first Panamerican Games, in 1951, hosted in Buenos Aires, where Argentina got 153 medals: 66 golden ones, 50 of silver and 37 of bronze. On the international side, it can be pointed out: the first victory against England in 1953; the triumph in 1950 of the argentinean team in the World Basquet Championship; the South American Football Championships in 1946 and 1947; the golden medal gotten by Delfo Cabrera in the London Olympics in 1948; the victory of Domingo Marimón at the same year in the motoring competition Buenos Aires-Caracas, so-called "América del Sur"; the outstanding perfomance of Juan Manuel Fangio in Europe, who in 1951 and 1954 won twice the World Motoring Championship; the triumphs of the boxer José María Gatica; the respective boxing Championships' tittles obtained by Pascual Pérez and Rafael Iglesias in their own weights; the World Chess Tournament won by Oscar Panno, etc.
12. The Argentinean's history is narrated through the films La guerra gaucha, Su mejor alumno, El último payador.
13. This is an essential difference observed by Vittorio Dini between the mythological heroes and the modern sport ones: "The lowest the original social and cultural condition, the highest is his/her capacity of being representative as a hero" (Dini, 1991: 46). (Our translation).
14. During the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, Diego Maradona played in two World Championships: the Youth Championship of Japan in 1979 and the World Cup of Spain in 1982. The first one was watched in Argentina crossed by a black ribbon on the screen which covered up the government opposite banners. The second one, beyond doubt with a very poor perfomance of the national team, happened in a context of acute political crisis: the defeat in Malvinas and the further fallen of the Military Junta.
15. Rewarded with the "Inspirer Master of Dreams" award by a group of students from the University of Oxford, Diego Maradona admitted there, though elliptically, the famous "Hand of God".
16. To go further see Alabarces, P. and Rodríguez, M.G. (1996).
17. In fact, while Bernardo Neustadt, a very conservative journalist, qualified the image frozen by the television as an extemporaneous one and said of him that he "nourishes of negative energy", in occasion of the Federal March of July 1994, the manifestings sang a little song which said: "Diego was not drugged/ Diego was not drugged/ The Dope Test is for Menem/ son of the bitch" (Source: Feinman, J.P. (1994): "El sueño no terminó", in Página 12 , July 9).
18. We say "hazardous" noting the fact that the USA Football World Cup in 1994, that could be selected as a motivational core of interpretations due to the famous case of doping, it almost superposed itself, at its ending, with the blasting of the Argentinean Israelite Mutual Aid Association (AMIA, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) on July 18th of that year, in which almost 90 persons died. The media agenda displaced the Maradona's affaire so as to center on this issue because it's a more important event, which confirms not only the hazardousness of the debate's context but also, by the way although it sounds obvious, the communitarian ability to set the hierarchy of social subjects.
19. Baczko describes two functions of the collective memory: the unifying function which guarantees and consolidates, through an origins' discourse, the collective identity, and the compensating function which operates upon "what cannot be freely or openly said in a public discourse and which is claimed in an oblique but perfectly legible way" (Baczko, 1991: 188). (Our translation).
20. The word comes from the name of a theatre play which is played at this moment in Buenos Aires, where the soccer is presented as a psychological pathology, that affects every inhabitant. The main character is a traditional member of the urban middle classes. The piece has an important repercussion of critic and audience.

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© 1998. Alabarces & Rodríguez
Lecturas: Educación Física y Deportes.
Año 3, Nº 10. Buenos Aires. Mayo 1998