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September 17th, 2008

grin

Soccer

stori_lundi took me to join La Barra Brava at RFK Stadium as DC United lost 2-0 to Deportivo Saprissa from Costa Rica in an early match of CONCACAF Champions League. This was my first visit to a professional soccer game in the US. The fans that I met there said that it was a poor game. I was disappointed by the play but the rest of the experience was great.

Barra Brava ...Collapse )
Soccer drivel first half ...Collapse )
Transatlantic soccer cultural differences...Collapse )
Soccer drivel second half ...Collapse )
Being amidst such a vocal group was exciting but in a strange way it divorced me from the flow of the play. The singing keeps going irrespective of events on the pitch and all the chants are well-established. At Portman Road I hear new chants or circumstantial chants. Here there was none of that. I like the ritual of "Come on you Blues" whenever a corner is taken, and the absurdity of the drawn out "Dodgy keeper" for a goal kick. I want to hear the swelling roar as a midfielder makes a heroic run through the middle. Amidst the glorious flag-waving bellowing of the barras there is no room for the quiet irony of "We're not singing any more" or "We're going to score in a minute".

For all that, I had a great evening. The inevitable post-match review on the way back to the parking lot was good-humoured and informed. Since nothing can be finer than dinner in the diner, we went on to Bob & Edith's in Arlington where the short order cook wanted to know all about the game and particularly sought details of Khumalo's performance.
grin

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