One of many football (soccer) fans’ dreams is to attend one of the Argentinian Boca Juniors’ matches in their famous stadium, “La Bombonera.” Football fans all over the world have many things in common, but the Argentinian – and Boca Juniors – fans in particular are one of the most passionate fans in the world, if not the most passionate.
Phoebe-K, who is an American blogger living in Argentina, wrote about Argentinians’ passion for politics and football.
La 12 and La Bombonera
In Spanish, groups of supporters at football matches are called “Hinchadas” or “Barras Bravas;” but Boca Juniors fans are usually referred to by the nickname “La 12,” or “The 12th Player.” Such nickname was given to them back in the 1920's. Barras Bravas Mundial elaborates more on the origin of the nickname [es].
La calificación de la 12 (“el jugador número doce”) que se ganó la parcialidad de Boca Juniors data del año 1925, con motivo de la gira europea que realizó ese año. En esa oportunidad, el equipo fue acompañado por un fanático boquense, Victoriano Caffarena, perteneciente a una familia adinerada, que financió parte de la gira. Durante la misma Caffarena ayudó al equipo en todo … estableciendo tal grado de relación con los jugadores, que éstos los nombraron “Jugador Número 12″. Al volver a la Argentina, Caffarena era tan conocido como los mismos jugadores.
En la actualidad, este apodo se utiliza principalmente para nombrar a su barra brava, conocida como La 12.
Nowadays, this nickname is used primarily to name their group of supporters, known as “La 12″.
Facundo Ronchel in Jugada Preparada once wrote [es] about “La 12″ and how they keep chanting continuously in stadium “La Bombonera” throughout their team's 90 minute-long matches. This might be a normal thing for almost all football supporters around the world, but Boca took it to the next level and created their own musical band. Al Chopin wrote about the musical band [es] and listed some of their chants or “Cantitos.”
Una de las barras más coloridas de Sudámerica y el mundo, cuenta con una banda compuesta por más de 50 músicos que acompañan a la 12 (Barra oficial de Boca Juniors) y que le dan ese sonido espectacular que remece la Bombonera.
And when their team scores, supporters don't just sing but they literally shake the stadium. Gulen and Murat wrote about the famous shake of the Bombonera.
One of the chants that the supporters sing for Boca is called “Ni la muerte nos va a separar, desde el cielo te voy alentar,” which means “Not even death will separate us. From heaven I'm going to support you.” And in fact it's not just a song, as there are coffins made specially for Boca fans. The coffins only come in two colors – blue and yellow, and fans can have their team's logo engraved for an extra fee.
With such an atmosphere, even advertisers surely don't mind altering the colors of their brands’ logos to suit it:
Special preparations have to be made to preserve the safety of the away fans, as Señorita Dewey Decimal explains in her blog:
However, sometimes such preparations are still not enough:
Finally, if you too are now interested in attending one of Boca Juniors’ matches, becoming a member of the club might secure your tickets to the game, but you – just like Miss Dewey Decimal – will have to wait for a while in the membership waiting list.