Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Take Me Out To The (Foot)Ball Game

Tickets of the free variety.I got hold of some free tickets to go and see the local footie team playing at the Metrodome, and never one to pass up a freebie, we went along to see how the Americans play The Beautiful Game. It was a fourth round cup match between our lot and the LA Galaxy, who are a proper Major League Soccer (euch) team, and thus technically superior to the Thunder, who are in the next division down (the approximate equivalent of the first division...sorry, the "Championship"). The Minnesotans have proven to be quite handy (well, not literally, obviously) at football and were the runners-up in the league last season, so it shouldn't have been a total rout.

But it was. Just not in the direction we'd expected.

Minnesota were all over the Californians in the first half, and held them to a stalemate in the second. It was in that first half that Minnesota scored the only goal of the game, but the one that gave them their first victory ever over a Major League (euch) team, and that puts them through to the next round. Minnesota were firmly in control, much to the obvious frustration of the Californians, as they began a series of dirty fouls, even punching the Minnesotan goalie in the throat at one point. It didn't help that the referee was completely incompetent, veering from oversensitivity to apparent blindness at random. But at the end of the day, Minnesota were the better team and they deserved to win.I could certainly do without the music played throughout the game, however. It may be necessary during the suicidal tedium that is baseball, but it's a bit intrusive when there's actually stuff going on. Less of the music thanks. And drop that national anthem rubbish too. For international games, it's fine, but it's getting in the way here.

Brent or Paddy?The strangest part of the evening came when I glanced through the match programme, looking at the player profiles, only to find this image. Allegedly, this is Minnesota Thunder player Brent Jacquette, but it looks more to me like a certain Mr Patrick Booth of the city of London. I'd been told that he'd moved to Liverpool to study archaeology, but on the basis of this evidence, I'm not so sure that that's the truth after all...

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