Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chelsea-Liverpool Carling Cup

November 29th, 2011

After a decade of supporting Liverpool Football Club, I finally got the chance to see them play live. However my first game wouldn't had been at home, it was at Stamford Bridge against one of the other top teams, Chelsea. I owe this to my friend David, who was able to purchase a ticket for me with the remaining money he had on his account.

Although he kind of almost indirectly sentenced me to death by getting me a sit in the middle of the Chelsea fans.

Despite of his warnings not to clearly show that I'm with the opposite and sending all kinds of videos of football hooligans, I wanted to enjoy the match to the full;

Even my boss was up for it, as he sent me to get coffee wearing red to the canteen owned by massive Chelsea fans. Luckily the coffee wasn't poisoned and all I got was fingers pointing at the door.

You can't imagine how stoked I was when I got to the stadium. You can't also imagine how fast that excitement turned into disappointment and anger; due to stupid rules at Stamford Bridge, no cameras were allowed. That's because they don't want people to sell pictures. Even the guy working there said it's stupid. Firstly you can take high quality pictures with phones nowadays, and second what about those people, who go to matches for the first time and aren't able to capture those memories?

Well, at least I concentrated fully on the game now.

When I was about to enter the stadium, of course the security guy told me that I wouldn't be allowed to enter with red showing, as I was sitting with the Chelsea fans. That was alright, but then the interrogation started;

"How did you get your ticket here?"
"I live in London, so I was only able to get a ticket from the fan stand."
"Why do you live in London?"
"Well, I actually come from Finland, but I'm doing my internship here."...

Is this how it feels to arrive in America?

During the match I started to understand the warnings of my friend, the fans were a bit aggressive. Not badly though, but what surprised me was that they spent more time on cussing the visitors than cheering their owns.

"Have you ever seen Gerrard (Liverpool's captain) win the league?!" I was tempted to reply "No, but I've seen him win the Champions League". It's good I didn't, I would have most likely been beaten.

The best thing was to see all the Liverpool fans go crazy, when Liverpool scored, twice. Though it sucked when I was only able to put a tiny smirk on my face. Also, when Liverpool missed a penalty, a tiny smirk too. This was the time when being Finnish was useful; having a neutral face impression no matter what.

In the beginning of the match, when they had the huge Chelsea flag going around the fan stand, it felt like darkness had come over me. But no worries, we won the match and I survived. It's a pity though that even Liverpool's site doesn't have any pictures of the game anymore, but here's one, which pretty much sums up the experience.

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