The Local Sunday Football Game

While everyone else back home watch the Vikings (which would be playing about while I type this actually), I decided to see a local football game for the fun of it.

For those of you who don’t know, football in Europe and pretty much everywhere in the world besides the United States is what we call soccer.  Unlike our football though, there are multiple professional levels.  The one I got a ticket to see was a Series A match, which is just below World Cup level.  At Series A level, every town big enough has a local team, and believe me Rome is big enough.

So this was a home game for Rome, fighting apparently the team from the lost city of Atlantis — I didn’t even know they had a team…

Oh sorry, Atalanta, another Italian club from Bergamo.

Anyway, watching a game there is really different from back home.  For instance, every attempted goal, as well as every well defended block or play, is applauded.  That and everyone talks to everyone else.  There are no boundaries of groups in the audience, the whole thing is an open forum.  I was asked multiple times what I thought of the play and had to sheepishly explain that I understood very little of their commentary.  Still, they welcomed me and I was certainly one of them when the team scored.

The whole crowd goes absolutely nuts when the home team scores.  Not just the flag waving lunatics behind the goals.  Reminded me of home.

Minnesota Vikings fans are known for being the loudest, craziest fans in the NFL.  Whenever they telecast a game, there are points where the broadcasters have to shout over the noise the fans are generating in the back.  Well, the flag waving sections would fit right in at a Vikings game.  They were constantly shouting, singing taunting chants and screaming loudly to distract the opposing goalie whenever he needed to make a kick or save.

It was awesome.

Thankfully the home team won, so the scheduled riot was cancelled.

That reminds me, they had a line of workers inbetween the crowd and the field that had mostly younger women in it.  They were all clad in work vests so I knew they weren’t cheerleaders, but the thought crossed my mind “If the crowd riots, what good are these girls going to be against all of us?”

Glad I never had to find out.