Observing Irish Soccer

Last night, our class went to an Irish soccer game. The teams that were facing off with one another were the Bohemians and the Irish Rovers. Since these were teams that I knew nothing about, I just decided to root for whoever the professors were rooting for, which were the Bohemians.

Although I am not hugely into athletics, I found this soccer game (or football game as they would call it in Ireland) to be rather enjoyable. It was interesting to see how the culture of Irish soccer compared to how I pictured American soccer to be like. The Irish teams seemed much more aggressive than I would have pictured them to be. They had mini fights when they were at odds over a certain play, and they held and pushed each other back in order to get their hands on the ball. There were even some injuries, though those seemed more accidental than intentional.

The supporters of each team sat in separate rows of bleachers and taunted one another. The passion that the soccer fans had for these teams was intense, because every time someone scored, everyone was up on their feet, cheering madly, and slapping each other high five. It was very interesting to think about how each country placed value on different sports. In America, most people I know are either really big American Football fans or Hockey fans. Soccer is popular in America, but it does not appear to be a fan favorite. In Ireland, however, the fans of the soccer game had as much passion as any Bruins or Patriots fan that I had ever seen. Also, just from what I have observed of Irish society during my stay in Dublin, soccer seems to be one of Ireland’s most popular sports.

Bohemia ended up beating the Irish Rovers by two points, and as I left the soccer stadium, I came away with a new understanding of how different cultures put their enthusiasm into different sports.