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Date: 9/20
Location: Apartment/Vinohrady/Praha 2
Weather: COLD! 😦
Mood: Trying not to think about Auschwitz-Birkenau, which I will be visiting in two days.

So, yesterday after class I was just sitting around the apartment, planning an evening of homework and Internet use, when my roommates said “Hey, aren’t you coming to the soccer- I mean football game?” It had been on the list of activities the CEA was providing for us, and I thought I had signed up, but I hadn’t made it on the list; the CEA only buys certain amounts of tickets and it’s first come, first serve. Oddly enough, Bee hadn’t been on the list either, but she was planning to go- “Someone always misses these things, I’m sure there will be extra tickets.” Since I didn’t have any big plans, I agreed to come along!

Luckily enough, there were enough tickets for everyone who showed up- about half of the people on the list, and their various roommates and friends (I think around 10 people who hadn’t been on the list!) as well. We got into the stadium and headed for our seats- well, at least four or five of us headed for the seats that were designated on our tickets. I think this is the part where I explain that I don’t know anything about sports- okay, yes, I know in soccer (FOOTBALL) the goal is to get the ball into the net, and you can’t use your hand unless you’re a goalie, but that’s about it. So it turns out that the arena, being about half-empty (I guess it wasn’t an important game) was kind of a pick-your-own-seating thing, and instead of having a view like this [1] at a vertigo-inspiring height, we could just mosey down and plant ourselves a few rows from the grass [2.] That picture is angled up to catch the awesome sunset-clouds, but you can see how much closer we are.

Another thing I didn’t know about socc-I mean, football, is that it’s totally normal to go for a while without anyone scoring. The first 45 minutes went by, then there was a brief intermission, and about 15 more minutes before the home team- our adopted team, SK Slavia Praha, scored. Even in the first half, when nobody was scoring, the Slavia cheering section, a good 1/4 of the stadium, was on their feet, chanting, clapping, and singing. Our guide said that the main chant/cheer is translated something like “Red and white, we will win the fight, Slavia Slavia Slavia,” but really it sounded like “Da-do-do-do, DAA-do-do-do-da, SLAVIOOO SLAVIOOOO SLAVIOOOOOOOOOOO” so of course we loved singing along. I took a picture of my roomie and one of our friends cheering! [3]

Like I said, the first score didn’t come until 70 minutes into the game, but the opposing team (from some random town in the north of the Czech Republic, I think, but even if they’d both been from Praha I would have been rooting for Slavia, whose colors are red and white like my high school) got pretty close to scoring on Slavia a few times. Luckily they had a great goalie, who was wearing a pink jersey, which of course made me yell stuff like “Go, pink-shirt-guy! That guy’s awesome!” The ending score was Slavia 2, other guys 0, which I have been told is a pretty normal score for socc- I mean, football. We started to stand up and head out of the stadium, and a gentleman wearing a Slavia scarf and sweater gestured at us to stop. “No no. Not leave yet. Five more minutes.” He held up a hand in case we couldn’t understand that. “You stay. Five minutes.” and a flood of Czech that only the CEA person with us comprehended. “Oh, he wants us to stay to hear the chants.” We weren’t in a hurry, so we headed back to our seats and watched as the team gathered in front of their huge cheering section [4] They joined in the cheers, posed for pictures, etc. [5] See pink-shirt-guy on the left? He’s pretty cool. He’s literally (jersey) #1.

I ended up buying myself a Slavia scarf, if I go to another game (which I probably will, tickets were 160 czk, $8, and some of my non-CEA classmates want to go) I’ll be able to twirl it in the air like all the other cool fans (:

Thanks for reading- special shout-out to my aunts and uncles, some of whom have commented on previous posts, I love knowing that this blog is doing more than just occupying another quiet corner of the Inter Webs! Always feel free to leave comments, it might take them a little to show up because I have to ‘approve’ every one (to cut down on spam) but they’re always appreciated! This weekend I’ll be in Krakow and Auschwitz, so there will be a good long post or three when I come back.

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One thought on “Don’t Call it Soccer!

  1. Pingback: Slaviaaaaa Redux | Dorothy Ann Writes!

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