My father is a very stoic and quiet man. He spends most of his free time either reading the newspaper or skeptically watching futbol; sometimes both at the same time.
When I was younger, I, like most other children, would imitate every and any action my father would do. I would order the exact meals he ordered at restaurants, I willingly embraced all of his mannerisms, and I of course rooted for the same soccer teams that he did.
My father is and always will be a Chivas fan, and he loved to talk about them.
Due to the fact that he was so quiet, whenever he did actually speak up, I listened attentively. His conversations with me usually involved life lessons or the lessons which he deemed to be the most important: those involving futbol. He taught me that other than the national team, there was no other team more important than Chivas.
My father is originally from Guadalajara and still to this day claims that he once played for Chivas' reserve team. I would usually not believe the old man but I still can't beat him in a one-on-one match. I can't tell you the amount of times that I have been embarrassed by my father when we have played some cascara together.
Naturally, this all meant that I would see Club America as the "bad team," the "evil team." We would "boo" Las Aguilas every time they appeared on television and we would have fun banter with family members who rooted for "the bad guys" -- especially during the clasico.
I honestly didn't even decide for Chivas to be my favorite team; by the time I was able to recognize my surroundings and speak my first words, I was surrounded by Chivas paraphernalia. The idea of rooting for Chivas is just embedded in my mind, just like the Mexican national team. I sometimes want to root for another team but I can't help but feel excitement anytime Chivas plays.
Which is why it is now so heartbreaking because it is a terrible time to root for Chivas. Rooting for Chivas is a rollercoaster of emotions: Every time I want to run away, Chivas woos me back with the occasional win -- even a random goal is enough for me to come crawling back. Crawling back and knowing that I will once again deal with some type of emotional pain.
What makes the clasico fantastic for Chivas' fans is that it temporarily heals wounds. A win can be a wonderful consolation prize at the end of the season. It may not be much to others, but a win allows me to hold my head up just slightly higher during a bad season.
Unfortunately for Chivas, a win is unlikely at this point. America are arguably the best team in North America and Chivas haven't won a league match since September 7th.
Yet, the rivalry is almost like a league in its own that knows nothing of the points and goals that have been collected earlier in the season. It wouldn't be shocking for Chivas to beat America, and then lose terribly against Tigres in their next match.
As a Chivas fan, a win against America this Saturday would almost be enough to make the season bearable. At the least, it would leave us Chivas fans with something to be proud of at the end of the Apertura.