Sunday, October 28, 2007

Even More Cultural Exchange

Hi, we're back. Well, uh, that wasn't the best the NFL had to offer its overseas fans ... between the low score, the poor passing, the five or six consecutive plays the Giants were penalized and the last comic onside kick that ended up as a line drive out of bounds, there wasn't a whole lot to cheer about. But some cultural notes:

1. The British were gaga over the cheerleaders. A British spectator sitting one row in front of us (who listened to the 1-1 Arsenal vs. Liverpool draw on the radio as the game was on) said to us, "We don't have these here. Well Wigan Athletic do -- it's two guys."

2. We dressed for rain, but in true British soccer fashion, Wembley Stadium has fairly effective sheltering for the spectators. Not for the players, though.

3. The razzle-dazzle of the NFL was a bit foreign to the British. At Premier League matches, our friend said, "There's nothing before the game and maybe at the half somebody will kick penalties for charity. Nobody watches." Compare that to the loud music thumping from loudspeakers an hour before gametime, the banners, the cheerleaders, and an opening musical act that the NFL put on the field.

4. To hear "Bollocks!" shouted out by a fan disagreeing with a call just seemed strange.

5. Our friend asked, "Fans for both teams sit in the same section?" Evidently, this is not done in English soccer because some rather foul, vulgar, and probably even actionable things happen between opposing fans even when separated by a fence. (It's not restricted to the sectarian-rooted rivalry at Scotland's Old Firm. I did point out, however, that Philadelphia fans are in a class by themselves among NFL fans.) As a side note, I met my rugby enthusiast friend for coffee this morning and he pointed out that fans for opposing rugby fans can mix in the same sections without anything untoward happening.

I'm sure there's more, but it's late.

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6 Comments:

Blogger oldest kid said...

Well, what did you expect? American football is almost as boring as American baseball, which is just a bit more exciting than watching golf. You should have taken a good book. That's what I always do whenever I'm forced to watch football or baseball (which is very seldom).

11:20 PM  
Blogger Middle Kid said...

I agree with OK. The reason football games have loud music, cheerleaders, and half-time entertainment is to keep the spectators there. They have to do something to make football entertaining!

2:56 AM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

81,000 NFL fans can't be wrong.

9:05 AM  
Blogger oldest kid said...

Yes they. How many people voted for Bush?

11:25 AM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

At Wembley last night? Fewer than 5,000, I would guess.

11:32 AM  
Blogger MKOK said...

You're missing the whole point of
football! The point of it is to
watch big, hairy guys beat the living daylights out of each other!
But that's an americanized Afghan
thing.You wouldn't understand.

9:10 PM  

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