Sunday, February 3

Watching the difference between English football and US football

This weekend, I happen to be in England and found it incredibly interesting to be invited to watch an English football club game (Fulham Football Club) and a chance to watch the SuperBowl with a bunch of NFL fans in SoHo London.

Ging to Fulham Football Club was quite interesting - my friend and I decided to take one of the buses to the game, where a client had gotten some impressive "director box" tickets (eight rows from the pitch) where 75 minutes of the game consisted of running up and down the field with minor adverts showing on the floor of the sidelines. At around 75 minutes, an accidental tap by a Fulham player causes a "friendly goal" to go to the Astor Villa Team. Then, with a penalty kick from a player who had shattered his leg was able to overtake the "wall" and found the upper left corner of the Villa goal. And, with 85+ minutes in, a second goal gave Fulham their first win in a couple of months.

Watching the British chanting during the game, when the away fans were cheering when they were doing well - and then with Fulham fans getting into the game, it was an incredibly proper, yet exciting game - which reminded me (in some fashion) of watching a baseball game. Relatively quiet (when the team was playing like a high school soccer team) and then moments of pure excitement.

In contrast, I went to SoHo to Bodeans (BBQ in London) where a bunch of US football fans gathered together in Patriots outfits (and I wore my New York Giants cap) and watched a majority of Brits (10% were American) cheering their team on - in some strange ritual merging US and UK football fans. They were getting absolutely pissed ("drunk"), chanting loudly with all sorts of language you could not discern. And, being in the minority with large, drunken Pat fans sitting on the bar next to me, I must tell you - watching Eli Manning was a dream. And, even an American can be a crazy fan in amoungst football holligans.

I thought I might connect with other ex-pats (since I had to be in the old country over the weekend), but the diversity focused primarily on Brits enjoying their own celebration of US football. Unfortunately, we do not get to see the adverts (but I will have recorded them) and the commentators here in London think that more verbiage is better (but Rod Woodson on BBC2 did a pretty good job), which makes all the Brits bitch about US football that "2 minutes of talk, 20 seconds of action, then another 2-4 minutes of talking". But, I always retort - have you been to a cricket game?

Interesting comparison...

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