Whenever my wife and I tell diehard Béticos from Seville about the blog, and explain that there are people in Kentucky and Stockholm and Croatia following the club as closely as any Spaniards, one of the most common responses is for them to gasp in amazement and say, "Just thinking about that gives me goosebumps..."
Yesterday, perhaps not surprisingly, saw the biggest ever number of visitors to Ooh Betis (almost 1,000 page views), so this one's for all of you - from Travis celebrating in the Utah snow (do find his story in last night's Comments if you haven't already), to Theresa in her university library, Kent up in Oregon, all the many Californians, Ahsan in Isleworth, Dan and Rob in the east of England, the Irish Béticos, the Swedish Béticos, the Danes, the Poles, the French... Thanks so much for your contributions to the blog and to Bético culture in general. ¡Sois grandes!
And hey - that was quite a night, wasn't it?
Right. You want random thoughts? I got 'em (after the jump)...
l I think it's only fair to start with the hero of the hour, don't you?
In among the usual stuff you'd expect - "It's not just me it's the whole team..." "I'm very happy at the club..." - he reveals that he'd practised the "under-the-wall" free-kick in training, and had even tried it in a game before. (I remember it, in fact - the ball just clipped the studs of one of the jumping players and was cleared.) He says that Pepe Mel had told him it would never work, "but I was lucky enough eventually to be able to try it again and, well, it went in."
Are we allowed to admit that the winning goal's sneaky-cleverness is part of what helped make make it feel extra-special? Outplaying the neighbours would have been great, but outfoxing them turned out to be even sweeter.
l Of course, one of the first questions Pepe Mel was asked after the game was whether Betis would be able to keep hold of the Basque wizard if and when the big clubs came calling. "We're not going to lower his release clause [thought to be €20million] one Euro - this could take us out of administration," said Mel, defiantly, admitting that even he'd been taken by surprise by the "cheekiness" of the second free-kick.
l I'm afraid that in the noisy atmosphere of a busy bar full of boisterous old men intent on breaking the world record for the number of times the word "coño" could be used in 90 minutes, I wasn't able to pay much attention to tactics. I didn't even notice, for example, that Roque Santa Cruz played most of the game on the right wing, allowing Pozuelo to roam around in the spaces behind Rubén Castro. Commentators seem to agree unanimously that the experiment was a success, with Roque fulfilling his new role diligently and Pozuelo causing the Sevilla defence plenty of problems. I haven't read one neutral report that hasn't concluded the better side won.
"We surprised Sevilla in the way we lined up," explained Mel afterwards. "Nobody was expecting Roque's position, or Pozuelo's. We didn't let Sevilla play the ball out, so they were reduced to long balls and we were good in the second phase. The players were magnificent and I'm really happy for them.
"[But] I'll dedicate this victory to the Béticos. They've spent a lot of years suffering - too many. This is a moment to enjoy." And enjoy it we did.
l Pepe Mel refused to be drawn on the matter, but the Seville press is pretty much in agreement that yesterday's victory represented a seismic shift in the city's footballing balance of power. It's not just that this is the first time Betis have overtaken Sevilla in a post-Christmas league table since 2005, there's also a sense that the two clubs are heading in different directions. "A new hero, new times," is how El Correo de Andalucía puts it; "Betis in progression, Sevilla in recession," according to local sports website El Desmarque. Betis now have more season-ticket holders, more promising young players and more hope for the future than their rivals. For once, it's not even our president who has a jail sentence hanging over him. All in all, the post-Lopera era is going swimmingly.
l Much of the credit for that must go to president Miguel Guillén, especially for his refusal to sack Pepe Mel in November when any normal football director would have done. By my reckoning eight Primera clubs have changed their coaches this season, and only three - Mallorca, Atlético Madrid and Zaragoza - can claim to have made any progress as a result. In other words, it's usually a pointless thing to do; perhaps it takes a man more used to selling olive oil than running a football club to realise that.
l The only downsides to last night were nasty-looking injuries to Nelson and Iriney. We still don't know exactly how bad they are, but Iriney had a swollen ankle after falling awkwardly and Nelson required nine stitches and a new boot after being assaulted by Negredo, who would definitely have been sent off if he'd made the same challenge in England.
You have to hand it to Nelson, though, who posted a cheerful photograph on Twitter later and wrote: "Nothing can take away my smile and the happiness I feel... Proud of my team... Mucho Betis, eh."
l I also can't help mentioning his substitute at right-back Javier Chica, who has had a miserable season and yet has always maintained a positive attitude and sense of humour. He tweeted: "Today is one of the happiest days I've had in football. I was able to contribute to the victory of the team in such an important game." Good for him.
l There were around 1,300 Béticos in attendance last night, and it looked like a good time was had by all. As usual, they were required to pick up their tickets at the Benito Villamarín and were then marched the two miles or so to the Sánchez-Pizjuán with a police escort, so as to arrive at the stadium exactly in time for kick-off. The Betisweb gallery of the whole occasion will give you a very good idea of what it must have been like.
I'm also intrigued by this little videoclip of the Beñat winner, which shows Béticos and Béticas in a completely separate part of the ground. I can only assume these are wives, family members and club officials.
l Beñat, Dorado and Cañas will all be suspended for the Sporting game on Saturday after picking up yellow cards and so, with Nelson and Iriney likely to be out as well, we might struggle to put out a competitive team.
But frankly, who cares?