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Milan Futbol Massacre

Oct 20th, 2010.  We’d been in Milan for two days at this point, and had staked out our favourite pizza joints, and the very affordable, easily navigated, transit system.  We were meeting
Lindsay’s cousin from Reading, Perry, and going to a Tottenham Spurs game as we couldn’t afford to see them IN England.
Perry had been on the same beautiful train ride from Zurich that we’d taken a couple days before, but unfortunately the weather was a little more spuratic for Perry than for us.  We quickly sorted him into his hotel and went about getting a few drinks in us and a good serving of pizza, while catching up.  The stadium was alcohol free, at least for the visiting fans. I could feel the anticipation rising amongst ourselves, and in the city in general, as the throng of Tottenham suporters swelled into Milan.  We could hear groups chanting and singing from blocks away as AC Milan fans gave us their blessing to beat their intercity rivals.
We took the Metro to the closest station to the stadium and were ushered, based on our appearance/lack of fashion in Milanites opinion, into awaiting, free buses by obviously armed police.  The busses were again full to the brim with singing Tottenham suporters.  My personal favorites, having nothing to do of course with them being the only legible ones, where “Spurs go marching in” to the tune of “Saints go marching in” and “VaVa-VaVa-VaVa-VaVa-Van der Varrt” sung to KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Baby Give it Up”.  The latter honoring, my new favorite futboler, Dutch national Rafael Van der Varrt, unavailable this game due to a red card in the previous game. I bought his jersey in Amsterdam and proudly wore the carrot orange jersey for days.  We were hearded through a few security gates, frisked, and marched up our choice of only one ramp.

Gametime, up-upstairs, fenced and netted off of the rest of the stadium was approximately 5000-6000 Tottenham fans.  By halftime, Spurs were down a man and we’d shamefully watched the Inter Milan fans light flares and cheer along to the stadium announcer, lame! Four times to our zero, no less, some fans where considering leaving in time to take the last flight back to England, only to be told they can’t leave the stadium.  Good thing for them cause in the latter part of the second half, Welsh-born Gareth Bale streaked down the left side and scored.  Perry had predicted before the game that Bale should have a good one, a prediction forgotten at 4-0, but revived at 4-1.  The Tottenham fans erupted!!  Perry quickly pointed out the Tottenham fans throughout the rest of the stadium.  There must’ve been a couple thousand more!!  The chanting, which never stopped, but toned down a bit, was back at pre-game enthusiasm: “Second halfs one nil!! The second halfs one nil!!”  It was all better now.  This goal, and opportunity to go berserk, made it all worthwhile.  Understandably, travelling all that way to sit on your hands for a couple hours would be, like travelling to watch a Leafs game I guess.  As the game wound down, only a couple minutes left, the fans started moving towards the exit, not to leave, but to linger closer to the exit, when Bale struck again.  Pandemonium ensued in the aisles and in the stands when Bale struck a third time on a beautiful give-n-go. The fans nirvana slipped to hope and angst over, “where was this an hour ago!”.  “The second halfs three nil, the second halfs three nil!”
As extra time slipped away and the amazing Champions League comeback ebbed, I started to realize that we weren’t going anywhere.  I could see from our third teir aisle view that the rest of the stadium was empty.  30 minutes later the groundskeeper was out, the stadium undecorated in lieu of an AC Milan game no doubt, and the reserve players back out stretching on the field!  It was surreal to me that we were held like cattle for that long due to the fear of English futbol hooliganism.  This was by far the most threated I’d felt, lookin’ over at Perry, a seasoned pro as a travelling fan, he looked, “business as usual.”  By the time we got out of the stadium it was near and hour after the game had ended, with the free busses unable to close their doors due to Tottenham fans cramming in, we went for a libertaing walk back to the station.

My second game was full of a lot of excitement and firsts for this NHL/NFL veteran, and it was again a great experience!  Thanks to Perry for helping us out with the tickets and playing futbol tour guide for us again.

The Yank

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This entry was posted on November 2, 2010 by in Futbol, Italy, Milan.
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