TIJUANA, Mexico -- Colleague Jill Replogle did a story on the new rule to end “the gushing enthusiasm” of Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles futbol/soccer fans who toss whatever they have in their hands — usually beer — to celebrate a goal.
Just so happens I was invited to the first game by soccer fanatic and Tijuanense Hiram Soto, who, for the record, does not participate in the practice. But, like many in Mexico, never really complained — live and let live.
I observed more security personnel with bright neon jackets deployed throughout the stands. And the Xolos quickly put the new rule to the test with a goal in the 12th minute.
For the most part, people behaved. There was a smattering of liquid in the air. The exception was where the most rabid fans sit: the liquid was flying pretty good there. (The video below catches an eager fan in the act.)
Security guards flocked to the area, but I did not see anyone thrown out.
UPDATE: Looks like four people were tossed from the game.
The second goal came in the 70th minute — plenty of time for people to get inebriated. There was more beer throwing than in the first goal, but, again, nothing like before. (See video) This time someone who was behind us threw a beer, which fell on us like a spritz.
Fans immediately started pointing at the possible thrower and chanted: “¡PA FUERA!” (THROW HIM OUT!). But, when the security guards came, no one could ID him and he remained.
I must say it was much better than previous games where I’ve seen people use umbrellas to avoid getting soaked. During one game Hiram was drenched in beer and I caught some of it.
Time will tell if this will break the tradition or if it will join the numerous rules in Mexico that are spoken, but not enforced. Then again, one might say, that’s what gives the place some of its charm.