Good morning! A change of pace. A lighthearted post.
Where was I last night? Wembley Stadium, in northwest London, seeing Tottenham Hotspur win 2-1 over PSV Eindhoven. It was my first ever Champions League game in person… and England captain Harry Kane scored twice for Spurs.
I’m not a Spurs fan like a REAL Spurs fan. I do like them as a London team and enjoyed the chance to see Kane play.
He will be Sir Harry Kane someday, I’m sure.
Interestingly, I think the match was the most male major sports/concert event I’ve attended. We went to see West Ham play about 15 years ago – but we sat in my brother-in-law’s company box and were not really part of the crowd. I don’t recall what that crowd “felt” like in terms of ratio of males v. females.
Last night I noticed: it had to have been 90 percent men in the stadium. I’ve been to NY Islanders NHL games and the crowd there is more mixed. The Washington Nationals v. Milwaukee Brewers MLB game we’d been to in Washington back in the summer was lots of families, including teenage girls cheering on the Nats – it was almost like an after-school event. I have not been to an NFL game in person, but most US sports I have attended seem rather now “family-oriented.”
There weren’t many teenage girls around us last night. Some teenage boys, yes, but mostly men. It felt a bit like “war”:
The “enemy” last night were the Dutch: PSV Eindhoven. Their visiting fans were sat separately in a group, police around them at intervals. Actually, they didn’t really “sit”: they stood for most of the match, chanting, singing and shouting, and waving their arms.
Spurs fans separated from them but sitting close by occasionally could be seen waving their arms at them and making “gestures” in return. After the match ended, the Dutch were kept inside the stadium in their area until most of the Spurs fans had left the stadium – to avoid any trouble outside.
The American NFL’s markings were also visible on the field. The NFL plays some games at Wembley to promote the league here; and Spurs are playing at Wembley as their homefield until their proper new stadium in London’s Tottenham area is completed in the next year (I think). Some fans – and (quietly) some involved with the club, and (more loudly) their opponents – have been complaining the NFL games played there have been leaving the field a chewed up mess, especially down the middle.
Ah, the Americans. Always the Americans.
We They mess up control the world! 😉
The Spurs win wasn’t always likely to happen, though. Their fans around us grumbled and made sarcastic comments for most of the game: PSV had scored first only a minute in and Spurs afterwards had several good rushes and chances which came to nothing. By the middle of the second half, it did look like Spurs might lose. The guy behind me shouting through most of the game was often (unintentionally?) hilarious: “Come on, Harry!” “Oh, this isn’t Harry’s night.” “They’re terrible tonight!” “C’mon, get it into the box!”…
…until after Kane scored twice in the last 15 or so minutes. Then the yelling guy changed his tune instantly: “Harry did it! I always knew he would. That’s our boy!” It was usually more entertaining than any TV commentary.
At the half, I had to take a selfie:
Sorry to do that to you early in the morning. It’s not very good. But I wanted one as a souvenir.
We got home here to Hertfordshire near midnight. Have a good Wednesday, wherever you are. 🙂