“The Argentine soccer tournament begins and the Wolf starts last in the averages. In perspective, it is almost impossible for it to be saved. Their transfer market was, above all, a catastrophe ”. This is how the La Plata journalist Facundo Arroyo its Diary of a Tripper. And he observes: “You can think of the football chronicle, too, as a course. Texts about football from glory, victory, about the new champions are easy ”.
It was not the case with Gymnastics and Fencing, at least when he wrote the first chronicle July 27 2019, day of the beginning of that Super League. What in the last minute of the game seemed to sign a valuable 2-0 against Patronato (direct rival in the fight not to be relegated, the famous “Six-point match”), ended with the missed penalty by Lucas Barrios and the final draw on the next play.
Order and adventure
Ever Borges said that literature is “Order and adventure”. And some time later, El Flaco Menotti he covered that phrase but to define football. Perhaps Facundo does not know this story, but he does not need it either: his book is the exact syncretism between the pen and the court through an ordering premise that later became an adventure.
Precisely where he lived el Lobo, a club with which he fanatizes (and which, based on his work, also historicizes) in that season that started with a draw and continued with four losses in a row. With that discouraging start (“at the beginning I was writing the chronicle of a death foretold,” acknowledges the author), no one imagined the end: the pandemic suspending football and canceling relegation. In the middle, of course, the battering ram that turned the book and that campaign into a feat of epics and miracles: the unthinkable arrival of Diego Maradona to the forest of La Plata.
“In principle, I did not have a roadmap on the chronicles, much less the idea that it would result in a book. In fact, at the beginning I had a touch of the word of sports journalism, but I was filing it because I didn’t want to get close to that ”, explains Facundo, who began by publishing these stories in The agenda.
“More than the format, I tried to pay attention to the tone,” he continues. Get rid of some learnings and go against the rules of some canonized formats, I live with great anguish the narrative rules that were hardening in the Latin American chronicle. What started out as a game ended up being a rule. That writing production became politically correct, but my buzzy spirit always tries to go the other way “.
Definitions of a beat from La Plata
“The tone I was chasing was that of In the path, from Kerouac, the one with the notebook Ginsberg on the gypsy tour of Dylan, the one with the backpack with the master’s degree Candombe of 31, from Jaime Roos. Something good hot, intuitive, clumsy, impulsive and immediate”, He lists. “Going back to those texts made me stand up to the correctness of my journalistic profession. On the other hand, it was all so urgent in that season of the Wolf, that the newspaper would have written it on the cement boards of the field ”.
Arroyo feels that The lyrics of Los Redondos, Bob Dylan or Serú Girán may well explain the Wolf (What is rock, if not what always seems to talk about us and us?). Rock and goal: many times, rock culture and soccer are best explained from popular and personal passions. To sink the body in an irresistible pogo, to mix the throat in a moved tribune. To merge with an other that identifies as similar, as a pair … even if that other is a stranger (or not, perhaps?). Facundo points out in Diary of a Tripper a powerful postcard that describes this much better: Diego seated on the bench of substitutes of 60 and 118 with a cap of the Indio Solari.
“The epic of writing about Gymnastics from pain I link it with the paradigm that surrounds indie Creole, to alter the figure of winning leaders, males, etc., with the figure of the super loser”, Comments the author. “In our case and for a generational issue, there is El Chango, from He Killed a Motorized Police, who always tells that he decided to make music the day he saw Joey Ramone live and said, ‘This is a creep just like me, so I can do it too.’
Pop culture and class struggle
That spirit between indie and punk, between a certain melancholy and “do it yourself”, they fought so that their texts were formatted in a book, even in spite of themselves. “I closed an idea with publishers, but I did not get to port because of my self-demand. Finally, it is my girlfriend who ends up hiring a designer to do the PDF layout. There I realized that it made no sense to leave those texts lying aroundI even added other things ”. For now Diary of a Tripper it is in digital format and it can be achieved by making a donation.
Arroyo’s book is summarized in fifty pages that catch from start to finish, with a lot of narrative and aesthetic resources. There are fulbito, because the path of his own amateur team Ruta 11 comes to coincide several times with that of Gymnastics. Also liturgy, pop culture. Crying and joy. Y class struggle, perhaps the best way to explain the differences between Students and Gymnastics (clubs that inhabit the same forest a few meters away), beyond the medal table.
“The Lobo represents the working class of La Plata and the Pincha the middle class half hair, in terms of Jauretche. The correctness. His training place in a private gated community in City Bell, one of the most cheeky areas of the city; the new stadium looks like a shopping mall. Ideologically I’m on another path than the middle hair that never lets go, that breaks the social processes of equality”, Shows Facundo chest.
That last miracle
Gymnastics and its fans are accompanied by certain spirit of frustration that Facundo turns into ink. “Nobody better than us understands the disappointment and anguish of Argentine soccer,” he wrote. That kind of gloating in lament (describes “The beauty of pain” and even sentence that the Wolf lives an “eternal disgrace”) is so imperturbable (“We have five runners-up!”, remember that it took a miracle to twist the spirits of the triperos and the writer’s pen: the appearance of Diego Maradona. A rumor that “in the forest began as a fake” and ended as “the vanishing point of a colossal artistic work”. The last Hand of God was to save the Wolf from descent and, incidentally, leave the journalist from La Plata a great story to tell.
That Sunday, September 8, 2019 will remain forever. The Juan Carmelo Zerillo stadium from boat to boat, smudged blue and white, with bicolor flags and flares. He had not departed. Nobody was playing. Diego played. They all played, then. Only the scuffle of the efforts in the hiring of Maradona would have deserved a separate book. But Arroyo finds the summary so as not to fall short, or cloak himself. He compresses it with the force of an atomic bomb: “El Lobo is a people and Diego is too “.
“That class question is what ends up bringing him closer to Gymnastics. He said so himself. He too Indian Solari when he explained why Maradona went to Lobo and not to Pincha ”, Facundo emphasizes. The miracle was beginning to materialize. And, incidentally, it brings a new element to a prodigal stock in the city of the square and the diagonals: “La Plata coexists with a flow of myths that are part of the cultural heritage of its history ”.