Before I met Derek, I knew very little about soccer.
Like, it involved a ball, two goals, and a grassy playing field.
I didn’t grow up playing — or watching — the game, and the only time I actually kicked around a soccer ball, my friend accidentally kicked me in the left shin and fractured it. (So I get why players wear shin guards.)
Derek, on the other hand, lives and breathes the game. He’s played soccer most of his life — even in college — and would still be kicked around a ball had it not been for two knee surgeries and a distraction called his Ph.D.
And as a good girlfriend, I sat through a few televised matches and read about the World Cup. Lucky for him, I actually do enjoy sports. And lucky for him, I learned to really appreciate what he calls “the beautiful game.”
The last time we were in London, we caught the Tube to Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal Gunners, one of his favorite teams. On my urging — if you can believe that! — we bought very expensive tickets and sat through what’s really a truly English experience.
Premier League soccer — or football, as it’s called here — games are nothing like their American counterparts. For starters, they consist of two 45-minute (or so) halves; meaning, they only last about 90 minutes, not all day. And the spectators are more like college fanatics — they dress up, they cheer and sing, they stand the entire time. It’s really an experience.
So since we were back in London — and since Arsenal was playing that Sunday — we bought tickets from a slightly sketchy Russian (another story) and went to the league’s first derby of the season.
Follow my #CatTravels adventures in Europe and Japan on Twitter @thedailydish and on Instagram @catherinetoth.
CAT: Soccer fans are nutz! Went to my first professional match in Germany in late November…froze my butt off, standing all the way, and drinking beer. It is really quite an experience. We think Americans are crazy for football but soccer’s got us beat! Thanks for sharing your adventure.
Soccer players and basketball players love to run on the field, off it not so much. never warmed to the sport however I thought spending a day at a cricket match would suck life out the universe. A friend drug me to a cricket match at the Hong Kong Cricket Club. After about six hours I knew the rules, was rooting for the local squad, and mingling with a large number of people from India and making lots of new and interesting acquaintances. My best friend from Haiti plays soccer to this day, in the village of Z’Orange there is a soccer field. And all the kids there play.
Maybe that is the connection, we all had basketball goals in the yard when I was growing up. Some had open fields and could run and play all day soccer all day too. Athletes see that something in other athlete’s eyes. It is a tie that binds. Give us fellows our games by God and we are happy, we are connected, and we are free.
Hi cat, been reading ur blog recently, . Wow it was great. ((:
I was reading the travel of your to Brisbane, and I wanted so much to view the photos but is not valid. Oh.. I’m also one of your followers on Instagram too.
What? Oh, no! Which ones???
What, no shopping? No stops at Harrod’s or anyplace else?
What a great trip! Great travel log! Thank you Cat!!!!
Hi, I take it as u reply me.:p
I would said most of your Brisbane photos . Error, page not found.grrr