Monday, September 22, 2008

Chelsea v. Bordeaux

Jignesh with his new British friend!

A stadium, a field, and some players. That is about all you get when attending a European sporting event.

Last Tuesday night, Jiggy, Dennis, and I were lucky enough to get the last three tickets available to the Chelsea v. Bordeaux football (soccer, for those of you a little confused) match. For Dennis, a huge football fan, this was a dream come true. He must have been feeling the same emotions when I went to Wimbledon…giddy, amazed, and outragiouosly excitied. His perma-grin said it all. While I have been to one European football game in the past, this was a first for Jignesh.

Unlike the American fans, European fans attend games truly for the sport. There are no fancy scoreboards, scantily clad cheerleaders/dancers, or halftime entertainment. The concession stands mirror those at a high school football game rather than the upscale dining that can now be found at stadiums across America. There are no vendors walking the stands while selling foam fingers and overpriced beer (actually, there was no alcohol at all!). On-field advertising is almost non-existent and unidentifiable mascots are nowhere to be seen.

Despite the simplicity of the event, it is an amazing experience. The stadium was packed with 42,000 knowledgeable fans that jubilantly chanted and sang for 90 straight minutes. Even though the home team was leading and dominating the contest, almost every seat remained occupied until the last kick. The athleticism of the players was undeniable and the competition between the teams was marked with intensity but respect. It is safe to say that European football as gained two more fans in Jignesh and myself!


Oh, stay tuned for the latest on our trip to Barcelona!


peter said...

I've been following English football (for the last couple of years), so I'm pretty jealous now.

peter said...

By the way, what's with the wanker showing his tats to Jiggy? I would have been a little freaked out. Are you sure that guy wasn't the mascot?