Saturday, December 4, 2010

Of Missing Time And Newell's Jerseys

As is mentioned in my profile I became a fan of Newell's Old Boys many years ago, in the era when "El Mono" Adolfo Obberti, Mario Zanabria, and Santiago Santamaría were the team idols. I would have enjoyed the 1974 Metropolitano championship more had I still been living in the country... my father stayed behind in Rosario while my mother, myself, and my two sisters moved back to the USA. As it was, I only learned of Newell's first ever championship from a newspaper clipping that my father sent me. The details of the campaign I had to learn of decades later.

From 1974 until the early 1990's I had no idea what was going on with Newell's. That said, yes, I missed the entire golden age when La Lepra won three titles: 1987/88, 1990 Apertura (as well as the "final" between the 1990 Apertura/1991 Clausura winners Boca Jrs,) 1992 Clausura. Adding to that the team were runners up in the Copa Libertadores in 1988 and 1992.

Now, truth be told, I may have read a bit about that last championship in 1992, I'm not sure exactly when I first came across World Soccer magazine, but it could well have been that very year. As a monthly magazine that tries to cover everything that happens in the world of futbol, they do a good job of it. As a fan of a team from Argentina that is not River Plate or Boca Jrs... well, the only article I recall that was dedicated to Newell's Old Boys during the time that I could afford a subscription was during the 2004 Apertura. Once the title was decided, World Soccer declared them champions, and that was about it. No discussion on the quality of the team, no mention of who the players were... well, at least not that I recall.

It was shortly before the 2004 Apertura that I first got access to the internet. Back then, I discovered a website that allowed me to listen to Newell's radio broadcasts, which reignited my passion for the team. I have lost track of the site after finding ways to watch the matches from Argentina via web feeds, first via, and then through a website that I have been using to follow the Primera Division in Argentina ever sense I have been able to get on the internet:

Fernando Velarde, who runs, is to be applauded for his efforts. I sincerely hope the man has help in running this operation, surely he must. Not only does the site keep track of Argentina's top division, but also the National B, First B, First C, and First D, though not in so much detail as the Primera División. Not too long ago, Fernando added a page entitled "Live TV", which is where I go when I cannot find a good feed at rojadirecta.

One of the first things that was added to Fernando's site was an online store, from which I have purchased three jerseys, as well as directing my sister and brother-in-law to the site when I included a Newell's jersey on my Christmas wish list some time ago. My latest I just ordered a week ago, a 2009/20010 Newell's jersey in the honor of our current 10, Mauro Formica, and as a Christmas present to myself. The only problem I have had with ordering jerseys through this site have been when what I have ordered has been out of stock, at which times Fernando has been quick to send me an e-mail explaining the situation, and offering alternatives, often more expensive than what I had ordered, but at no extra cost.

Fernando, thank you, my friend. I look forward to replacing my current profile picture with one of me wearing my newest Newell's shirt.

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