Sport and competition is something that almost everyone can get behind. Everyone has either come in contact with, watched, attended, or played some time of sport. It’s one of those things that remain a constant around the world, yet differentiate with style and practice. Attending or watching local sport while in another country is one of my favorite things.
This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be in Munich, Germany during the Bundesliga Championship between Bayern Munich and BVB Dortmund. Since the crack of dawn, you could tell that the whole town was preparing for the much anticipated match. I would imagine that those who were working were not getting much done. My friends Michael, Joey, and I found ourselves bandwagonning real hard and buying some gear. We all got scarves and wrist bands to wear throughout the day.
We began the pre-game at the Hofbrauhaus where we then met an English-mans bachelor party. You had dressed the husband-to-be in all BVB Dortmund equipment, which you could imagine extracted some pretty crude comments from the Bayern fans. Either way, they were a rowdy bunch that eventually led to us getting kicked out of the bar. Yea… we got kicked out of a beer house.. that’s how intense we were.
Anywho, we stumbled our way to an Irish Pub when the game was set to kick-off and had an amazing time watching it. I had actually lost my voice by the end of that day, and I don’t even like soccer! But it was fun being in the midst of a community all behind their local team, and to see true excitement from their fans.
I had the same experience when I was in Georgia, coincidentally in the same trip as Munich! Georgia is a top tier team for International Rugby and while there, the Premier League had their championship round between Armazi and Lelo Tblisi. I convinced Joey and Hailey to tag along with me, and I’m pretty sure they were glad they did!
Personally, I didn’t care who won, but the fans obviously did! Their passion and enthusiasm for the game was off the charts. Each teams fans took different sides of the stadiums, and there were quite clearly some reasons for that, one implication being the police in riot gear between them. I was not interested in seeing what would happen if the two fan sections clash. Either way, the love for the sport and their respective teams was influential. It showed that while outside the stadium, people live very different lives and have their own separate paths, but while in the stadium, they all have a common goal; to watch good rugby.
I find this the same with every sport in every different location. That’s why sports are beautiful, because they unite people under one common cause.
What were your experiences at some competitions?? Do you feel the same way as I do?
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