My blog posts generally revolve around something I know a little about, stories I've covered, or more typically, long distance running. This is an attempt to write about something I admittedly know nothing about: soccer.
I think it's safe to say, before moving to Utah, I was your typical American when it comes to the sport. It confused me and frankly other than trying to get the ball in the other team's goal, I had no clue what goes on in between.
I wonder if most Utahns were like me before RSL came here in 2004. I have to believe many were just as clueless as I. But, seeing the amount of diehard fans that now exists after less than a decade of having a professional team intrigued me. I wanted to know what this Real Salt Lake thing was all about.
This week I got my first taste attending the Philadelphia game. I think I saw enough to begin to understand the draw. First, the stadium is unreal. Especially if it's a beautiful night, which it was. The atmosphere was electric. Anyone who appreciates being at a sporting event would have a great time just being there. But it was the intensity of the fans. Yes, they were yelling at the refs and players... ok mostly the refs. Some of it made me squirm, but brought drama to the game. Who doesn't love a bit of drama?
Mostly, I think I picked a really good game for my first RSL experience... at least that's what my ABC4 sports guys tell me. It was my first.. I really have nothing to compare it to. It was 0-1 Philly for the first half of the game. When RSL finally scored the stadium erupted. But before we could barely finish the RSL chant... Philly managed to score again. It happened so fast! Even a newbie fan couldn't help but feel my heart being ripped out of my chest... just a little at least.
But then somehow, and I'm not going to even try to pretend that I know what happened... RSL scored again right before the end of the game. So, the match ended with a 2-2 tie. A tie. Only in this kind of game will you see fans so elated with... a tie.
It was a fireworks night which was a perfect ending to a perfect first match. I'm already looking forward my next.
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