First " Fútbol" Game!

Trip Start Aug 30, 2011
Trip End Dec 30, 2011

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What I did

Flag of Colombia  ,
Saturday, November 26, 2011

There is a rivalry, between Team Nacional and Team Medellin, that creates an obvious division in Colombian citizens. With Camilo being a dedicated Nacional fan and my family supporting Medellin for life, I had to ensure that they both knew I was neutral to the subject. However, since Medellin has no more home games I was off to see a Nacional game at "El Estadio". 
Camilo was vague on what to expect, but specifically warned me NOT to wear red (Medellin's color), so when I was getting ready I put on a grey sweater figuring it was the wisest, unbiased choice. I meet the guys at their favorite pub near the University and from there we walked about seven blocks to the stadium. The closer we got, the more green I saw. People in jerseys were waving flags and singing Nacional Songs- if I thought they were passionate I was just beginning to see the devotion of these fanatic supporters. When we were about fifty yards from the entrance we made it obvious that we were in need of tickets and within seconds a man in a Nacional hat started offering us a package deal. After a few minutes of bargaining we bought five tickets for the west side of the stadium, nine dollars a piece.
I followed Thar, Stephen, Camilo, and Miles into the maze and we waited to be searched before we could set foot in the coliseum. I was allowed through with out a bother, whereas the boys were rigorously patted down. I remained a few feet away while each of them was stroked under the arms, up the back, around the calves, and in places that are better left alone. While this enabled us to enter the general area, we were in for another detailed inspection before we could get to our seats. The second time I was frisked by a female guard, and she took extreme measures to confirm I wasn't bringing in anything I wasn't supposed to. 
Finally we made it in, just in time to see Nacional's first goal. Behind the net is where all the action is taking place. Hundreds of fans dressed in green give the impression that grass has been planted on the bleachers. Flags, waving arms, and hats are in the air and moving to the beat of the band's music. Not once did the fans stop singing nor cheering. I was able to catch on to a few songs by the end of the night and even though the game ended in a tie, the crowd made me think Nacional had won. They booed the opposing team and cheered on their favorite players. Some fans were in full Nacional costumes and showing their pride. I can see why Camilo warned about the danger of losing-  the fans can get violent when they are upset. Luckily, everything was calm as we walked out of the stadium ninety minutes later. 
Even when I returned home, after post game pizza, I was humming the team's songs. I was raised on American Football (go Broncos!), but I can see soccer becoming a lifelong passion. 
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tommy king on

leala scores a fun night and witnesses a real Colombian passion - GGOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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