Frequently, I’m left feeling without anything to add in conversations with the bros when the topic turns to sports. Its a true stereotype that guys tend to like soccer, american football, basketball and baseball. They all have balls in place of wheels, and aren’t too important to me. But just as people respect me for being a cyclist (except for a bit of silly ignorance), I like to give all the other sports a chance, and try to add my two cents.
Of the sports that I”ll call ball sports for lack of a better name, soccer (henceforth to be referred to as futbol) is my favorite. However unsuccessful it may have been, I played soccer for 8 years as a child, and loved it for most of the time. Its a fun game to play and watch, and its where I discovered my passion and talent in running. It was quickly realized in practice that I could run well, so I became midfielder, running back and forth across the field after the ball like a dog. But it was fun, and left me with overall a good impression of the sport.
Fast forward to this era, where I jumped on the chance to go see a pro futbol match in Paris. France vs. Germany only 25 euros. My buddy Gabe and I had sandwiches and wine before going into the stadium, and got there super stoked, full of French pride.
We may have had the cheapest seats at the top of the stadium, but it didn’t kill the excitement, our view, or the passion for the country and sport. The wave went around, flags were waved and we yelled broken French. Mostly allez allez. There were some serious fans in there 50’s sitting in front of us who got a huge kick out of the ridiculous things we said which were grammatically correct but not idiomatic. For a corner kick I yelled c’est la coin (literally its the corner), and they found it hilarious. They taught us a bunch, but it unfortunately didn’t stick.
It was a friendly game, which eased the pain of Germany’s win. It was almost a tie but an hors-jeu (offsides – the one thing from our old men that I remember) made a goal not count. It didn’t matter to much to me, the experience was regardless exhilarating and fascinating. When you take thousands of people with so much passion and energy, a really cool force is created.
The Stade de France, where the game was is North of Paris on the line 13. As the game ended at 11, nearly every single person left at the same time trying to get the metro. Of course they plan in advance and had trains leaving every minute, but we made a game of it and dashed the kilometer from the stadium to the station, easily saving an hour on our journey home. From start to finish, a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday night, hopefully I’ll be going again.