Puerto Rico, as proven to all of you in my previous posts, is an amazing place; and the people are simply special. The weather is unique, the food is tasty and the beaches are beautiful and warm. I have also written about holidays, and Borinquen has a lot of holidays, like three or four times more than any other nation, and the longest Christmas season is here (without any snow). I have written a lot about different stuff, but its time to read about beauty and sports (weird mix right!).
There have been six Ms. Universe winners from Puerto Rico and a few more were either first or second runner up (one of them from Cidra. Very proud I should add). But that is not the point. Boricuas are always happy to see one of them representing in a good way our Island and our culture. But every single year, we “know” the chosen lady to represent us in the Pageant is not the right one; she is either ugly, too skinny, too dark, too light, too tall, too small, hair is too long, teeth are too big, eyes like owl’s. And on top of that she will never make it to the top 10 and she’ll be lucky to be in the top 15. “Are you out of your mind? She’s the worst ever”. But deep inside we want that ugly, too skinny lady to win. That’s why every single year we tune in to see her, and all the others, walk and model all night. If she does not make it to the first 15, we knew it was going to happen. “I told you she is ugly. Miss other town was better, I told you”. But when she makes it, we also knew she could do it. And then the last 10, last five, last three and of course “Ganó, sabía que ganaría” (She won, I knew she would win). And we jump, scream, compare her to the ugly lady from the ugly country who was the first runner up, and we make sure to be at the airport when she arrives. We close streets and we celebrate for five or six days, and we get ready for next year’s ugly lady.
Now some sports. Boricuas love sports; baseball, basketball and boxing. We are now getting into futbol (soccer, for some of you) and some Mixed Martial Arts. I have been to some basketball and baseball games and it’s really amazing to see what happens there. It’s not just about the actual game, it’s about the fun. First, we have three or four guys making sure the rest of the stadium crowd is pumped. One has a trumpet, another has “la clave”, one drum and the last man is the loudest in the whole place, he just screams his lungs out with some melody and we all follow. The worst time is always for the umpire or referee. Boricuas will let him know that his wife is cheating on him, that he was born with no father and his mother works the night shift at the street (I know it’s wrong, but it is how it is).
You think all of that happens when Boricuas go to a game? Watching sports in someone’s house is also an adventure. In the morning we go to Costco or Sam’s to get some beer, some meat for the grill and some more beer. At boxing time everyone is in front of the TV, some sitting, some standing (some are too nervous to sit) and everyone is a boxing expert. Showtime people are no good, and the Spanish commentators are always against our fighter. The bell rings and the fun starts. From the kids to the elders, we watch that fight as our lives depend on it. Punch after punch every Boricua is screaming or throwing punches in the air. “Dale nene, dale. No te dejes dar, muevete! (Go man, go. Don’t let him punch you, move!) with the ocassional coño and carajo. When Tito Trinidad was boxing, that night was amazing, the whole Island, and every Boricua outside of it, was ready. Even crime took the night off to celebrate his fight, because everyone knew he was going to win (we would see aliens before we saw Tito loose). It was even better when he was interviewed and not even the interpreter could explain in English what he meant: “Did you think he was going to knock you, Tito?” said the PPV guy. “A la verdad que no por que yo sabia que estaba cansao y que el cuerpo no le daba pa mas na. Lo vi cansao y decidimos ir pa encima a terminarlo.” Said Tito in his faster than usual Spanish. That was the hard part for the interpreter, putting some sense to those words in English when he could not even follow him in Spanish. “I was ready and I knew I would knock him out”, that’s all he could understand.
There has been some incredible days in basketball too. Carlos Arroyo’s celebration in the court when Puerto Rico beat USA in 2004 (one of the few suffered by the USA Olympic team. YEAH!!!!!!!). When Jose Juan Barea, of the NBA Dallas Mavericks team was killing the LA Lakers. He was so good that even the Lakers’ fans wanted Dallas to win (I just made that one up) and so many others. Even in MLB and NFL Boricuas make a difference (even Victor Cruz dancing some salsa after a touchdown). Roberto Clemente, los Alomar, Edgar Martinez, Carlos Delagado, Carlos Baerga and so many others that played the great game of baseball made every single Boricua proud.
Don’t let the size of our Island fool you. Puerto Rico is full of great men and women that will go the extra mile just to prove you wrong. Not only in Beauty Pageants or sports, also in music (Ricky Martin), Hollywood (Benicio del Toro), space (Joseph Acaba), politics (Sonia Sotomayor) and blogging (me, of course) there is always a Boricua proving that there is no big task that we can’t do, and we do it better, always! Until next time, cojanlo suave!