While everyone stateside was just waking up to begin a day of tailgating and college football I was getting on a bus to go to a different football game, the kind you play with your feet.
On Saturday I went to a real, big time Premier League football game in Fulham. The two teams who played, Fulham and Stoke City, are pretty low in the standings, but it was still plenty entertaining.
I figured if I was going to go to this game, I was going to do it right, so before hand we made our way to a local pub. We were greeted at the front door by a sign reading ‘by order of the police, we ask that only Fulham Football Club Members enter this premise on game day.’ Apparently things can get rowdy.
Luckily, since we were Americans who claimed to be cheering for Fulham they let us in. We hung out in the beer garden, smashed on juicy burgers and enjoyed ourselves until it was time to head to the game.
A couple hours, we were off. The stadium is tucked away off the main streets, so it was a bit of a hike. As we walked, more and more people started filling the sidewalks and it felt sort of like game day at Kinnick Stadium – except with far less people and drunkenness. They even had some street vendors peddling their food.
Finally at the game, we took our seats only to find they were directly beside the visiting team’s section.
I used to think American Football games were rowdy, but the fans here are on a different level. Through the entire game they chanted, hollered and even flipped the bird too many times to count.
Here is another example of their supportive creativity. You know how at concerts someone always whips a beach ball to bounce across the crowd? Well Stoke City one-upped that and brought an inflatable woman, and yes it soared through the crowd right past security as they tried to snag it.
The game itself was equally entertaining. Football (or Soccer or whatever) has definitely never been my favorite sport, but I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I have to admit, I switched who I was cheering for nearly every minute because I just wanted to see someone score. I just couldn’t bear the thought of a sport ending in any sort of tie. In the end I was pleased because the home team came out out on top.
All in all, a Premier League game is worth checking out, especially if your a fan of good old, passionate competition. Would I go to another game? Sure, as long as someone brings the inflatables.