Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Calcio Crazyness!!!

In the USA the main sport is Football and in the rest of the world the main sport is also football, but a football of another type. And by another type I mean SOCCER!!! While I have been in Italy I have heard more talk of Calico (which is soccer in Italian, even thought it really is the word for “kick”) then I have ever heard in my entire life of 17 years combined!! But I was bound to learn about why the Italians love it so much before I left Italy so hence the goal (get the pun???) to go to a professional soccer game before my time in Italy was up!!

I have never really (and am still not,even though I played for many years) been a huge fan of soccer but while I have been here in Italy this year I have heard all about it and have even started learning who the players are and who the famous people of European soccer are. I’m not going to claim myself to be an expert by any means but I will say that I am much less ignorant about soccer now then I was when I left the USA. Although even though I’ve heard a lot about it here in Italy I’ve never really understood the “craziness” that everyone talks about when they talk about soccer games here in Europe. Well on May 10th (my dad’s birthday and the day that my parents left) I got to experience this madness first hand at a Cagliari – Rome soccer game that took place in Cagliari.

After we (me and my host dad) left the airport he took me in to Cagliari so that I could meet up with my friends that I was going to go to the game with. I will admit to you all right now that I wasn’t going to the game so much for the soccer as I was going to experience something new and to have fun with my friends. I could honestly careless about the soccer game itself but I knew that because I was going to be going with my friends it would be a lot of fun! Well when I got to Cagliari I met up with Marga, Sofia, and Lilla and we went to Lilla’s house to hang out for a little while because we had some time before the game started. About an hour and a half before the game we started the 20 minute walk to the stadium.

When we started to get closer to the stadium we started to be joined by a TON of people. There were sooooo many people there that we didn’t even have to worry about not knowing exactly where the stadium was (because we didn’t hahaha) we just followed the big mass of people wearing red and blue (the colors of Cagliari) We did eventually arrive at the stadium, but there was only one problem. There were about 30 different doors that you could enter the stadium in (and you had to enter in the correct one, meaning the one that is written on your ticket) so we started walking around the stadium because we had no clue where the door that we had to enter was and we eventually just had to ask because it felt as if we had been walking around the stadium for ever (when in reality we had really only walked around ¼ of the stadium) but we found out that we were going in the correct direction and that we just had to keep walking because we had come in on the northern side of the stadium and we had tickets for the southern side of the stadium. So when we finally found our entrance we got in line! I was glad that we got there early because it didn’t seem like they were letting in the people very fast because they were checking everyone’s tickets and name cards so it was taking sooooo long!! And my friends were freaking out because they didn’t want to miss the beginning of the game but it started moving a little faster thankfully!

Let me tell you the line was LONG!! We apparently had really good seats (I didn’t know I just was going by what the other people told me) so we waited with our tickets and our passports in hand. Yes I said our PASSPORTS!! We needed our passports to get in to a soccer game because we were foreiners and they want some kind of ID and because we don’t have Italian ID cards we had to take our passports! I thought this was a bit much but honestly I had never been to any type of professional sporting event before this so I didn’t know if it was normal procedure or if this was some kind of Italian red tape. Well we eventually got to the front of the line and we showed them our tickets and our passports and they checked to see if the names were the same and then they asked us if we had water bottles. We all did so they made us throw away the caps (because they had problems with people putting soap in to them shaking them up and spraying people with soapy water) and we were allowed to go in to the stadium!!

I walked in and I’m not going to lie I was a little bit in awe because it was HUGE!! The field looked so big and the players so small. When we got in there it was just the warm up practice thing for the players because the game had not yet started. We found our seats really easily and we sat down and waited for the game to start. OMG when the players came out for real, like when they all had there uniforms on, the crowds went WILD. Not just for Cagliari but also the crowd that was there for Rome. Everyone went crazy and so far all they had done was walk out on to the field in a straight line. To me not so impressive yet but still every one went completely crazy. Then that’s when the game started. I was surprised that there was no like ceremony or anything they just all took there places and started to play. There was no person commenting on the game or anything there was no score board or a place to tell you how much time was left or what was happening they just took the field and started playing. I was surprised at how many complications there weren’t (although I don’t view the commentary or a score board complications because they help the people like me that are a little confused all through the game haha)

I was rooting for Cagliari (I mean come on I do live on SARDEGNA!! And I'm pretty sure that if I was rooting for Rome in the section that I was in I might just have been murdered by all of the Cagliari fans that were sitting around us because we were in a Cagliari fan section!!) but as soon as the game started I didn’t honestly think that Cagliari had much chance at winning because Rome seemed to be a much better team over all. For most of the first part of the first half (I was a little confused because I had no clue how much time was passing and what not) it was mostly Cagliari on defense and Rome trying to score because they were better. This made the Cagliari fans go CRAZY because they were convinced that the refs were partial to Rome because in there opinions every time Cagliari would get they ball they would call some sort of foul and make them give it to Rome. But before the second half was over Cagliari scored so that made all of the fans really happy because it mint that Cagliari was in the lead and that they only had one more half and if they could keep the lead they would win the game. Well as you can imagine there was an intermission between the 45 minute halves. But we stayed in our seats waiting for them to restart the game.

In the beginning of the second half Cagliari scored another goal which made the fans very happy because they were winning 2-0 against Rome! Then the problems started to set in! Rome started to take control of the ball more which eventually lead to them scouring a goal on Cagliari which made the fans really really mad. Some of the fans were getting so mad that they were starting yell some very bad things at the refs and the players and fans of the other teams! They were really getting into the fact that there team had a chance of losing its lead so they started to get a bit mean to the other teams and especially the refs. Every time the refs would call something on Cagliari they would get called so many names by the fans (especially in my section because we had the good seats so it was the people who really liked soccer! So they were really in to the game and wanted to see Cagliari win) it was really funny to watch all of the fans (if I dare to say it, it might have been more entertaining to watch the fans then it was to watch the actual game of soccer. They were more lively and did different stuff and the game started to get boring after a while becauseI'm not a huge fan of soccer so it did get boring but the yelling screaming people were very funny even all the way to the end of the game)

When Rome scored its second goal the Cagliari people were enraged because one of the Cagliari players had been pushed (or so they said) before Rome scored its goal so they were convinced that the goal shouldn't count because he was pushed down before the goal was scored. They were all standing up in there seats and hanging over the edges of the rails yelling some not so pleasant things to the refs trying to get them to take back the goal that they thought shouldn’t count because of what happened. Which made the fans of Rome really mad because they thought that the goal should count and that he was not pushed down but that he just fell. So the were yelling at each other across the field which was really amusing. Especially when it was like adults in suits yelling at each other all red faced and angry. In the end the ref decided that he was not pushed down and that the second Rome goal would count for Rome so the score was now 2-2 with only like 3 minutes left in the game.

As you can imagine the game ended in a tie much to the Cagliari fans dismay because they were all still thoroughly convinced that it should have been 2-1 because the last Rome goal should not count. Honestly I would have loved to see Cagliari win just to see them win but they didn’t and that’s fine with me too. In the end though I’m really really glad that I went to the game, soccer is a part of the culture of Italy that I had not yet seen. It’s a past time that a lot of the Italians enjoy (although it seems like more of a stress then a stress reliever to them hahaha) so I’m glad that I got to experience something that is part of there culture that I had not yet experienced. Gli Italiani sono PAZZI per calcio! (The Italians are crazy for soccer)

And above all it was a very fun day that I had with the other exchange students (it was there first Italian soccer game as well) having an “Italian first”

Pace, Amore, e felicità, (peace, love and happiness)


Sardinia Insider said...

Ciao Kendra
I'm glad you enjoyed the "footie" match (as we call it in the UK). Yes the Italian's are crazy about calcio, we live in northern sardinia and had the build up to the last world cup to enjoy (long lines of cars with waving flags and horns blasting away as they won each succesive round) and then for the final we happened to be in Volterra, Tuscany and the historic squares went absolutely crazy. All good fun!
Since you are in Cagliari I thought you might like this site (it needs more content but you've got to start somewhere)about Cagliari and southern Sardegna.
See what you think and continue enjoying your time in Sardinia.

Erin at said...

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Thanks, and congratulations again!

Anonymous said...

Kendra, when you say you are in "aw", it is supposed to be awe! It has an E!! Sorry to comment on that (I realize it must be hard writing in English while surrounded by Italian), but I am a huge grammar nerd and could not help it. I've enjoyed reading your posts all year. I'm going to Italy next year,and I have loved reading about your experience.