A Journey Into Fútbol Fandom: Watching My First Match

Welcome to the 4th installment of the new series on MSF, “A Journey into Fútbol Fandom!” If you haven’t already checked out the first three parts of the series, make sure to check them out here!

———

Liverpool set the tone early against Norwich City, making the game very 'watchable' for a newcomer like myself. Credit: Colin Lane

Liverpool set the tone early against Norwich City, making the game very ‘watchable’ for a newcomer like myself. Credit: Colin Lane

Last week, I took you through my first in-depth analysis of Liverpool FC, the Barclays Premier League team I’ve chosen to root for going forward as a soccer fan.

The best part about acquiring that wealth of knowledge concerning the Reds is without a doubt being able to have it at your disposal while watching a live game … which is exactly the luxury I had when watching my first LFC match this past weekend.

To put it simply, it was a blast.

Besides the fact that I had to wake up before 9:00 AM on a Saturday morning, it was an entirely pleasant experience.

Led by strikers Luis Suarez and newcomer Daniel Sturridge, the Reds flashed control at the midfield position and immense speed and aggressiveness on the attack, setting the game’s fast, offensive pace from the first whistle.

When Jordan Henderson scored the team’s first goal in the 26th minute, it drew great excitement (to go along with a quick fist-pump) that’s hard to draw a parallel for in the major American sports. Maybe you could say it’s similar to an outfielder robbing a home run or a receiver hauling in a deep touchdown pass, in the sense that you can see it coming, but you never really expect it to happen. No matter what you want to compare it to, though … it was exciting.

When Luis Suarez knocked in a goal out on the pitch just 10 minutes later, it was clearly Liverpool’s game, and I no longer had to wait with such angst.

Halftime finally came after a fun, non-stop 1st half ended what felt like quite a long time after the match began. But when you remember that it really was only 45 minutes, and that the entire event will take less than 2 hours, you realize it’s nicer than spending 3+ hours of your day watching a game like you may with football or baseball, while still getting the same riveting experience.

From there on out, I got to see pretty much everything else I could have asked for as icing on the cake. In the 59th minute, new acquisition Daniel Sturridge used his ridiculous speed to knock home the game’s 3rd goal, just 7 minutes before “the captain” Steven Gerrard got into the action, putting the game pretty much out of reach for Norwich City.

Sturridge (left), Gerrard (middle), Suarez (right) celebrating after a goal. Credit: Mirror UK

Sturridge (left), Gerrard (middle), Suarez (right) celebrating after a goal. Credit: Mirror UK

When the final whistle was sounded after 90+ minutes of exciting game action, I was obviously very pleased. A 5-0 win over a solid Premier League opposition is something that’s always great for a club that needs all the points they can get going forward in the BPL standings.

We’ll discuss more about that and other unique aspects of the world’s game in the next installment of “A Journey into Fútbol Fandom.”

As you’ll see, it may not be as easy to learn about the world’s leagues and competitions as it was to just about the Reds.

***

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @GropSports as well as MSF @ByMSF for more of my journey until the next installment of the series, coming soon on MidwestSportsFans.com!



About Zach Gropper

Zach Gropper is a sports broadcasting major at Indiana University in the beautiful town of Bloomington, IN. He is from Flossmoor, IL, a small Chicago suburb.
Zach was was the sports director for WHFH 88.5 FM Flossmoor his junior year of high school and Television Station Manager of Viking Television during his senior year.
He runs a White Sox blog at GrabSomeBench.com and also contributes and reports for AssemblyCall.com. Last summer, Zach interned for ESPN 1000 AM Chicago, working on programming for the Waddle and Silvy Show.
He is currently eager to get out into the professional world of sports media, wherever that may take him.

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