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Monday, August 15, 2011

CONCACAF GEOGRAPHIC: The Travelling Supporter’s Guide to: Pumas UNAM

Pumas UNAM: It's a Latino puma! No, wait... a golden fist!
 
The Yorkies present "CONCACAF Geographic" - a three-part travel guide for those with the expendable funds, masochistic streak and strong stomach to tackle supporting Toronto FC away during the Champions League Group Stage. Our travel department has been hard at work to bring you this three-part bonus, non-pullout, section of The Yorkies. Pack your bags for Part 2 of 3...
 
WHAT TEAM AM I WATCHING?
Today we visit what will likely be Toronto's toughest away fixture of the CCL Group Stage - Mexico City's PUMAS UNAM. A traditional powerhouse of Mexican football, Pumas also have one of the greatest badges in FIFA which looks like a jungle cat - until you stare at it for a minute and it ends up looking like a golden fist. Like a Mexican 3D painting off of 1990's malls. Just less sailboat - more Latino punching. With the catchy nickname "La escuadra de la maxima casa de estudios" in hand, Pumas are led on to the pitch by Argentine goal scorer Martin Bravo and midfielder Diego De Buen (translated: Doug The Good).Celebrity supporters include cartoon mouse/ speed enthusiast Speedy Gonzales, inventor of the Chimichanga - Alejandro Campos III and Love Boat guest star Charo. Coochie Coochie.
 
WHERE AM I GOING?
The UNAM in Pumas' name stands for National Autonomous University of Mexico - the club's owners and site of Pumas' massive home ground, the 62,700 seat Estadio Olimpico Universitario. The stadium is located in the Ciudad Universitaria (translated: School Cafeteria City) area so visiting Canadians who are used to being stabbed, shot and beaten at Mexican resorts by rural banditos, can instead be stabbed, shot and beaten by educated Mexican co-eds. UNAM is one of Mexico's leading schools, famous for its research into the Jumping Bean Phenomena, Siesta Technologies and Advanced Burrito Engineering. For those venturing further afield into Mexico City, don't miss the hourly Mexican wrestling matches at most main intersections, the annual Festival De Pickpocketos and of course have your facial hair groomed into a swarthy handlebar mustachio by most local taxi drivers during traffic jams.
 
HOW DO I GET THERE?
While there are daily direct flights to Mexico City from Toronto, for the thrifty traveller we recommend leaving a few days early and flying on a budget airline to San Diego, California or Laredo, Texas. While there, pretend to be an illegal alien, get captured, then sit back and relax as American authorities transport you for free across the Mexican border. It is only a 3-day donkey-trek form the border region to Mexico City. Ariba savings!
 
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME?
The seasoned Mexican tourist knows that travelling light is key. An empty suitcase, apart from two cases of bottled water, an anti-diarrhetic and some form of high-powered rifle (preferably with night vision capability) is all that you should need. That, and wads of American money to hand over to: airport customs, cab drivers, local police, amateur "pharmaceutical" teams, cock-fighting organizers, novelty sombrero salesmen, giant mice, random schoolchildren and priests.
 
WHAT SHOULD I EAT & DRINK?
There's a (loosely translated) phrase in Mexico - "If it's brown - drink it down. If it burns... you will die in approximately 36 hours" This ain't your daddy's taco bell. If you aren't used to spices that cause your testicles to recede into your stomach - be sure to ask for everything "Grande Gringo". This level of spice is equal to what most Canadians would consider "5 Alarm" but is the mildest available. To start your day, we recommend the mildest available breakfast of Jalapeno Cheerios with skim chili horse milk, toast with butter and paprika, an orange dipped in Tabasco and a Tequilacino coffee.
 
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR?
Mexico hasn't been the friendliest of countries for Canuck visitors over the last few years but a great majority of Mexicans are warm, hospitable and moustachioed. At least 3 out of 10 gunshot-sounds are simply fireworks being let off and only 48% of people wearing masks are robbers with the remaining being luchadors on their way to a match. Do be aware of a new scam however where the worm in the bottom of local tequila bottles somehow manages to extract all of your credit card info.
 
WHAT'S A HANDY PHRASE TO REMEMBER?
"No, no, yo no soy un turista canadiense - Yo soy un albino panameno!"
(Translated: No, no I am not a Canadian tourist - I am an albino Panamanian!")

Coochie Coochie!

Be sure to check back for our CONCACAF Geographic guide to Tauro FC coming soon

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