In one of the November 1916 editions of Careta, I saw the curious way fans were watching a game at Flamengo’s club – by standing on benches (stadiums weren’t yet the norm, as can also be seen in this match from 1923). It was with this image I also found an interview with a die-hard fan.
It’s 7 at night. On Rua Guanabara , talking about the sports that dominate Rio de Janeiro, the author of these lines and one of the most corageous Carioca rowers pass by.
At the gate of the Fluminense Foot-ball Club, together is a group of elegant, charming ladies speaking and smiling, attracting the attention of the passers-by.
The rower says:
– Just so you see how sports seizes the hearts of beautiful Carioca women, I am going to do, for you, a quick interview with the most intelligent of these women. They approach us. After introductions, solemn like someone who wears an overcoat to see Venceslau Braz (the president), we immediately start asking questions, receiving the following answers:
– What is the main trait of your character, miss?
– To be a big Fluminense fan.
– What is your dominating passion?
– What qualities do you prefer in a man?
– Sportive ones.
– And in a woman?
– To be a big fan of her team.
– And your main quality?
– To be partisan.
– And your main defect?
– To be the adversary of the team that opposes mine.
– How do you want to die?
– For Fluminense, on a day they win.
The actual interview is longer than this but it’s telling of how quickly soccer caught on in Brazil among both sexes, only a few years after the first teams came about.