FC Barcelona vs. Glasgow Rangers: Soccer or Football?

I’ve just finished watching the FC Barcelona versus the Glasgow Rangers football/soccer game. It ended in a 2-0 win for Barça. To be clear, I’m not a soccer/football fan – much preferring American Football with pads, field goals, and hard, brain-jarring hits. Afterall, MadridMan was the was a tailback/running back since the 8th grade and was the starting tailback/running back for the Shelby Whippets in Shelby, Ohio USA his senior season and much preferred to GIVE hits than to TAKE hits.

camp-nou-stadium.jpgI generally find Football – the kind with a soccer ball – rather boring but am compelled to watch the big games just to consider myself “in the know“. So much back and forth, change of possession, low-scoring games don’t keep my attention very well. When a Real Madrid versus FC Barcelona game comes around, however, I TUNE IN without exception. Even a Real Madrid versus Atlético de Madrid game is never passed up.

I did know about the game beforehand since I’ve recently listed the FC Barcelona schedule on the BarcelonaMan.com website. And the games could be listened to live via any number of radio stations found on the Barcelona Multimedia Page – in Spanish and Catalán, of course, but WATCHING the game live on TV is the best form of entertainment. I also noticed a HUGE SURGE in visits to the Barcelona WebCams page from people in the UK seeking Camp Nou live webcams. Maybe they couldn’t get the game live either.

My particular interest in watching such football games on TV is to test – or enhance – my Spanish language skills. It’s a great way to learn about sports terms, language, and to generally know what so many others around you are talking about “around the water cooler” or in the bars.

It never ceases to make me laugh when one player, from whatever team, falls down in absolute agony, holding his leg after some collision – UNTIL the yellow or red card comes out by the referee. Once that happen, the injured player who’s been rolling around on the ground in pain inevitably pops up and runs around without any limp or sign of injury. What a joke and example of good acting.

I was watching TVE earlier, just before the game, and they showed the piles of garbage created by the visiting Scottish Football Team in Barcelona and the riot police trying to control the crowd – TRYING to control the crowd. Seems a lot of Glasgow Ranger fans came go to Barcelona WITHOUT football game tickets and decided to party and cause trouble instead of enjoy the game on some bar’s TV. Hooligans? Maybe. Football + Beer = Riot Police. Lots of Scottish fans were passed out on benches or starting fights with Barça fans on Las Ramblas and just generally out of control.

You never hear about riots or fist fights after or during an NFL or College Football game. Are we more civilized or just take the competition more for granted? Not sure. In any case, I’m sure there’ll be lots of burning cars and sofas in the alleys in Columbus, Ohio USA before, during, and after the Ohio State – Michigan game on November 17th as we/the OSU Buckeyes fight to keep their Number 1 ranking in American University Football in their quest for the National Championship Game. Can’t wait for that. I’m all giddy with anticipation. Give me American Football anyday over soccer.

8 November 2007 Update:
I just read in today’s El País English Version (which is printed one day late) the following article “snippet” about the visiting teams’ fans:

Hooligans from Glasgow wreak havoc on Barcelona Plaza
In anticipation of their team’s Champions League encounter last night against Barcelona, thousands of fans of Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers descended on the Catalan capital, leaving a wake of debris strewn about the city’s central Plaza Cataluña.

Over 15,000 Rangers fans arrived in Barcelona to cheer on their team, but only 6,200 of them had tickets for the game.

The fans camped in the Plaza, drinking, relieving themselves in the streets, and prompting several adjacent bars to close to avoid incidents. Near game time, 200 fans tried to enter into Camp Nou stadium, requiring the intervention of the authorities.

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