Friday, June 16, 2006

You'll never walk alone

England fan
We couldn't resist the pull of English energy coming from downtown Nurnberg yesterday, so we ventured to the heart of the city to watch England play Trinidad & Tobago. According to TV commentators, 70,000 English converged on the city yesterday. Most of them didn't hold tickets to the match, so they watched on outdoor TV screens in various gathering places. We found a spot at a bar where a group of blokes from Lancashire had planted themselves for the afternoon. They were spending their nights in the Czech Republic, stocking up on cheap Czech beverages(their ringleader carried a gym bag that contained one clean shirt, a can of deodorant, and an endless supply of beer), and riding the trains at least five hours each way to watch the England matches in host cities.

There's a reason that English football fans are revered and feared throughout Europe. Sometimes their enthusiasm gets the best of them, and then tend toward the destructive. But we saw simply infectious joy, gallons of face paint, and a few more bare chests than we'd bargained for. The match was a nailbiter, with England, heavy favorites, finally pulling out a win in the last few minutes.

Let's go England!

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