Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 2 of 13 › view all entries
La Boca Game
Sunday May 14th 2006
Last night I stayed in, many of the students went to a Swedish party, but I opted out, and took alone time to read and relax. I am glad I did because I felt so refreshed when I woke up in the morning. I knew that we were going to have a busy day ahead, but I had no idea it was going to be SO long.
We met for the ´football´ game at 1 PM, to go down to La Boca, where the game was being played. I have never considered myself an American football fan. Having foreign parents, it was not something I grew up with. Also, the concept of tailgating and drinking at 8AM in the morning for a noon game, devoting an entire day to a game of football, and being around random drunk people all day, is just something that has never had much appeal to me! In fact, I have yet to attend one Georgia Tech football! L
Anyway, I assumed that since we were leaving for the game at around 1, the game would maybe start at 2 or 2:30. I figured the game would be over by maybe 6, and we would return home by 7 or so. Melissa had shown me pictures of when she went to the soccer game, and told me it was something that you had to ¨experience¨ and that you cant really explain.
I have always liked soccer more than football. It was a sport that I grew up with, one that my dad loved a lot, and something that we shared. He was the neighborhood team coach for awhile, and I admired that. My sister, dad and I would spend time in our front yard playing soccer. To me, it is much more entertaining than football, but I do not follow either.
I was so excited to go to the soccer game, and had big expectations. Let me say: my perceptions every aspect of the game were COMPLETELY wrong. I have always known that soccer is huge worldwide, but I never even imagined it was this big. As I mentioned earlier we left for the game at 1, a game that didn’t start until…4:30! It was great sitting in the stands, watching all the people start piling in. Initially when I sat there, I was somewhat surprised that it wasn´t packed, soon to find out that we were there 3 hours early! They do not sell alcohol at the stadium, which I thought was awesome. However, you are allowed to smoke in the stadium, but smoking is really allowed EVERYWHERE here.
So I thought UGA football fans were enthusiastic, but honestly this experience was 100 fold. Fireworks, colored gas, people of all ages screaming at the top of their lungs, people trying to climb fences to get on the field, this is just a little picture of what you see at the game. The number 12 is their biggest fan club. They call themselves number 12 because there are 11 people on the team, and they consider themselves the 12th. They gather around and sing their traditional songs, which the whole stadium eventually sings along to. To compare it to the wramblin wreck, well you just cant do that, it is something you have to experience. I found them so distracting, that I didn’t even realize when kickoff was because I was watching them!
When a goal is scored the entire stadium goes crazing, jumping up and down, screaming and yelling, singing songs, and of course smoking cigarettes. This was an experience of a lifetime, one that I will always have vivid memories of, and one in which I can only share with my friends through the hundreds of pictures and videos I took, but something that I will encourage every person to experience.
To compare soccer to football would be foolish. Although football may be the most ´traditional´ sport in the US, it is something that is not comparable. Soccer is what ties people together here, it is a common ground that EVERYONE shares, it is what differentiates on individual from another, the game was so cultural, and so bonding. I had an absolutely wonderful time. It was amazing to see 2 year old kids, and 80 year old men all gathered in one stadium, all chanting and cheering for the same team.