Saturday, October 27

Chelsea Vs Man City

Although I've been to watch a fair few Cricket matches, I've never actually seen a Football game live. I guess it just didn't quite appeal to me both in terms of interest (there's a level of tribal fandom with Football that I don't relate to) and value - fifty quid or whatever for ninety minutes play seems a bit steep to me.

But when my place of work offered me a pair of tickets (I declined a single place in the corporate box), I thought I'd take my brother (mad Chelsea fan) to Stamford Bridge and see what the fuss was about.

I've been to The Bridge before, ironically to play myself rather than watch others. Coming back wasn't much of a shock then; the pitch still seemed small compared to what I've seen on the telly. But more than that, the play seemed slower too and the players less... professional. I guess television is weird in making real life more than it actually is.

It took me a while to get used to no commentary, a lack of replays and different camera angles, but as a result I seemed to be able to hone in on my other senses and followed the game in a totally different way. I guess I now know what people mean by them being closer to the action. It's not just a physical thing.

The match itself was amazing: we witnessed six goals being scored by the home side - not bad considering the other two matches I could have chosen instead both ending in goalless draws. The downside to this, of course, is that I probably think this is a normal result when you watch Football live; I wonder what it's like watching a match with no score?

The atmosphere was awesome too, but also telling of how fanatic those who follow Football seriously actually are. And the snob in me marvelled at the number of great unwashed all in one place at the same time.

So yes, overall my first match was pretty damn good. It's nice that, unlike cricket, you can be in and out in a couple of hours, and games can be very exciting to watch (provided the teams score more than five times, of course). Still, it was obvious that I enjoyed today's match in a vastly different way to the fans watching with me; theirs is a level of passion I don't think I'll ever achieve.

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