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Archive for the ‘Football (Soccer)’ Category

Yesterday my family, myself and the boyf hit up a double header “football” game at Red Bulls stadium. Tottenham played their second friendly in NY (having beat the Red Bulls 2-1 three days earlier) against Sporting Clube de Portugal, ending in a 2-2 draw; followed by the Red Bulls beating Manchester City 2-1. (Goooo Bulls!)

It was the boyf’s first round of birthday gifts experiences and I think he had a great time. I know I did — both in the hot sun and then in the downpour that pleasantly followed. I was excited to take him to this game in particular because I knew he had been to a Tottenham game in England when he was over visiting. Not quite the same experience, but as close as we can get over here.

The Red Bulls victory was very cool. I mean, Man City is an EPL team, and the Red Bulls are, well, an MLS team. They are in a different league… both literally AND figuratively. (ha. ha. ha.) It was fun to watch them win!

But while NY showed up the Mancunians on the field, we definitely failed in the stands.

The Tottenham team has either a) a strong fan base in the NY/NJ area, or b) very dedicated fans who followed them across the pond. Every few minutes during the Tott v. Sporting game, they broke out in song: “Ooooh when the Spurs go marching in…” It was quite catchy, and as I was happily supporting the crazy Brits, I jumped up and chimed right in.

When the second game started, the Red Bull fan club took their seats at the end of the field and started in with their cheers, chants and bouncing. I thought, “We’re American; the number one thing foreigners hate us for is being loud. Bring it on boys.”

Well, I was wrong. It seems the Mancunians didn’t bring their cheer team, but lucky for the Brits, the Tottenham supporters had nowhere else to be — and the bar was still serving. It was only a few minutes in when we heard, “Ooooooh whennnnnnnn the Spuuuuuuuurrrrrssss come marching innnnnnnn…” … louder and faster and louder and faster.

I looked at the Red Bull fanclub as if to say, “WTF boys? Crank up the volume,” only to see them all screaming and clapping and cheering their lil’ hearts out. They were trying, and they just couldn’t compete. Their lungs had not received the years of training given to footie fans in the UK. It’s in their blood.

It’s not just volume that they have mastered; they got stamina. They continued to cheer for their beloved team — who I remind you wasn’t playing anymore, and once it started pouring wasn’t even sitting in their seats on the field anymore — the entire time the Red Bulls battled with Manc. And with such a catchy tune it’s hard to ignore. More than once I caught myself humming and tapping my feet before I remembered that I wasn’t cheering for the bloody Brits anymore. GOOO RED BULLS!

We did drown them out when we scored. I’m not sure the Totts fans were even watching to know we scored. And I bet there were some annoyed NY fans in the stadium. For me, personally, it just made me want a beer… and some Thai Sweet Chili chips. (Which I later found :-))

The happiest girl in the world!

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So my dad has become a bit of a humor icon in my life, and some of my friend’s lives. I don’t know if he’s gotten funnier with age or my sense of humor has changed, but he cracks me up. I could state all the jokes here, but some of them are of the “you have to be there” type, and others aren’t as enjoyable without hand motions or photos. But this… this is classic.

In June, The Onion published an article about the “vuvuzela philharmonic” — South African Vuvuzela Philharmonic Angered By Soccer Games Breaking Out During Concerts.

This morning I get this in my inbox:

AP – Associated Pressing – July 12

The South African Vuvzela Orchestra (SAVO) ended its outdoor concert season on Jul 11.  The 65 performance 9 city tour finished in front of a standing-room-only crowd in Johannesberg.  The tour featured the world premiere of the “Hear Us World – We are Loud” based on local South African rhythms. A SAVO spokesperson said  “SAVO was extremely please with the reception that its performances received.  It far exceeded our best
estimates prior to the season. The international tourist community was very favorable to our signature music. It was, however, a grueling schedule that has left the orchestra members completely drained.  As a result SAVO will now be on an extended sabbatical for the next 18 months before resuming its regular series of quarterly performances.”

SAVO achieved world-wide recognition during its performance season heightened by its agreement with ABC and its world-wide affiliates to simulcast all 65 performances.  A Berlin Philharmonic spokesperson indicated “We pioneered that effort several years ago but the entertainment broadcaster indicated that ‘the time was just not right for such a project’ – Congratulations to SAVO for such a remarkable achievement enabling this fine cultural showcase to be brought to the world”.

The ABC involvement brought world-wide acclaim to SAVO for its exhilarating performances, though some negative reaction was received – especially from France, Italy, and England. It was even rumored that French tourists left the country to ensure that they would not be subjected to what they considered the unrefined SAVO sound.

An announcement by the SAVO board of directors made after the final Johannesberg performance stated that “SAVO has received support for a future international tour from a group in Spain. Additional interest has been expressed by several other international groups including New Zealand and the Netherlands among others. As a result of the anticipated support SAVO is planning a series of performances in Brazil during the 2014 outdoor season.  Further plans are also  being explored for possible tours in 2018 and 2022 though, to date, no venues  have been chosen.”SAVO has also commissioned the Spaniard Iniesta to compose a new performance piece for the 2014 tour. Iniesta is quoted as saying that ” the new commission will be a collaborative work loosely based on the 2010 world premiere”. When asked for specifics he indicated ” In my opinion, ‘Hear Us World’ received such positive acclaim  that it would be silly not to use its foundation as the basis of the new work”.  It is rumored that Iniesta commission will feature an expanded percussion presence and a more dance-like aura”.

How clever!!!
And not only is he a creative writer, he apparently wastes his mornings at work writing nonsense… now I know where I get it from!!

More of dad’s humor to come in an upcoming entry!

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Yesterday, I joined my family for an exciting day of athletic and cultural entertainment. The Meadowlands hosted the international soccer game: England vs. Columbia. I was quite nervous about attending the game. The English are capable of consuming unimaginable amounts of alcohol and the Columbians allegedly killed the national team goalie when he lost an important game. I was afraid of what this combination of fans may be capable of. Either way, we all pulled on our England jerseys and whipped out the BBQ and set up camp in the parking lot.

Tailgating is truely an American tradition. Americans tailgate at football games, baseball games, soccer games, concerts, etc. The greatest thing is that it’s a family event. The kids run around bouncing [insert type of sport]balls off the hoods of other cars, the men stand in front of the BBQ roaring at the burgers and the women lounge around gossiping in their camping chairs. Everyone’s stuffed, happy and pretty much drunk by the time the game begins. I walked in with my head floating on Coors Light but by half time, with the 90 degree heat melting me away, I was regretting all the beer and questioning how the food stand workers sleep at night after charging $4 for a Poland Spring. Either way, this is where the cultures differed- not the Columbians and English but the English and everyone else who was there.

We sat on the England dedicated side of the stadium next to the endzone which had fallen under the control of drunken English men with their shirts off flaunting their beer guts and “man boobs.” This group included a man in traditional “lord” attire (odd). Their chanting and singing was encouraged throughout the England game – although I would have killed for a Karoake machine to know what they were saying – but it was after England won and NY Metros took on Chicago that I began to worry about, and enjoy, their mental state. They continued to sing for the remaining two hours post England’s victory. They continued to chant the same cheer that ended with “ENGLAND” and I think I heard the national anthem in there. Every once in a while they would chant “U.S.A.” and I felt better that they were aware of their location in the world. They all stood up in the back of the section till the 2nd half of the NY/NJ game when they decided to mobilize their cause. Led by a skinny kid in nothing but white adidas pants with half a leg missing, they formed a conga line longer then any bat mitzvah south of Sunrise highway. They collected more drunks along the way and at one point wrapped 2/3’s of the way around Giants Stadium – it was awesome!

This type of enthusiasm is not unusual in America. Look at football fans on Superbowl Sunday – or listen to that sentence… Superbowl Sunday… we have created a holiday for a sports championship. Either way, Americans show some serious team support. I am not suprised at the level of support for their national team at a friendly international game but I am shocked at the energy level and complete oblivion they ended the night in. For example, there was a drunken American sitting two rows ahead of us and he continued to stand up and everyone would yell at him to sit and this repeated for about 1 1/2 hours. This guy eventually got sleepy and sat with his eyes half shut staring blankly at the field till the end of the game… like any other human being that had been drinking for 6 hours. Not the English! They were still cheering – AND THEIR GAME WAS OVER. Nothing could force these guys to put the beers down, stop singing (and congaing for that matter) and cheering for their country. I felt this added to the game – the constant cheer and roar of the crowd during an otherwise dull game.

I vow to become an avid football fan upon my arrival to England. I admire the support and excitement they show for their football teams – I’m just a little nervous to share the pubs with them.

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