Monday, April 30, 2007

Our First Greek Soccer Game

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On Sunday evening (a beautiful one, I might add), some of our Greek friends from the local gym invited us to go with them to a professional soccer game.

Now, unlike the US where almost no one cares about soccer, football here is by far the most popular sport. Thessaloniki alone has four professional teams, and the rivalries between them can be heated.

This Sunday evening was an inter-city rivalry between Aris and Kalamaria, at Aris’ stadium in Harilaou (not far from us here in Panorama). Our friends (who bought us the tickets) were Aris supporters, so we were too for the day.

Here they don’t say I’m an Aris fan, or an Aris supporter; they say, literally, I am Aris (or whatever team it happens to be).

When we arrived in Harilaou around 6:30 Sunday evening, it was chaos. The main street, which is normally very busy, was entirely closed down for the game. Yellow-clad fans milled around, waiting for the game to start.

Check out the video I made below. (Note that I learned how to edit clips together and even add a rudimentary narrative voice-over.)

Inside the stadium, the fans erupted when the players first took the field. We were in the cheap seats on the ends of the stadium, but the section on the other side seemed to be the die-hard fans. When they first saw the players, they set off flares and fireworks right from their seats! The field was flooded with toilet paper and ripped tickets.

The enthusiasm continued as Aris scored in the first 10 seconds, followed by a second goal only a minute later.

But Kalamaria climbed back by the half to even it 2-2, and it wasn’t until the second half that Aris got the winner, to end the game 3-2.

It was a good experience – I don’t know if we can say we really lived in Europe until we’ve been to a football game. ( ;

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

haha you liked it?

It's like this everytime