Last evening was this American’s first foray into the hooligan world of England football. Well, I’ve experienced the hooligans before in hearing/viewing them parade down my block from the pubs straight to Stamford Bridge nearby to cheer on their dear Chelsea Football Club. (And by this point I have thoroughly offended my English colleague / Chelsea Football Aficionado by stereotyping all football fans as pint-guzzling thugs…call it American ignorance, but I think it’s funny…either way, please do forgive and don’t take your rowdy hooligan temper out on me. Ha! I did it again! I’m just asking to be struck with a Cricket bat right upside the head…because we all know every Englishman carries one of those every day, along with his umbrella, tea cup, and Spotted Dick–get your minds out of the gutter, it’s a pudding–Okay, now I really am asking for it…)
I’ve honestly never been an avid sports fan, attending baseball games to socialise more than really watch the game. But at a UK football match, it becomes readily evident that all eyes are on the field, and any speaking in the stands is about the game. These fans are die-hard, and they bust out not a few different chants to proclaim their undying loyalty. The match moved along quickly during a perpetual torrent of rain flooding the pitch, but the adverse weather didn’t deter Chelsea from defeating Porto 1-0. The seats, luckily, are aptly covered to protect from whatever the London sky may issue forth, and tucking into a Cornish pasty made the cushioned stadium seats that much more cosy an experience. Before I realised it, I was audibly gasping along with lifetime fans, sucked into the spirit of their true love of the game (sorry, I mean “match”). Football is a quintessential London experience to have, so don’t pass up an opportunity whilst you’re here.