This weekend I partook in a Seattle experience that I’ve never participated in before. I spent the afternoon surrounded by soccer fans at CenturyLink field as I watched a Sounders game with a friend.
A little known fact about me – I played soccer for about one season when I was fairly little. I remember my position was halfback because I basically spent the entire game, bored out of my mind, standing at the center of the field. Needless to say I have not played since, nor did I pick up any knowledge of the game while hanging out at the halfway line.
Basically, the only professional sporting events that I have ever attended have been baseball games. Now at baseball games there’s an announcer, you’ve got that crazy music (not counting “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch), sometimes there’s a mascot to draw your attention, and you have to be on the lookout for the wave.
At the soccer game, there was nothing. No announcer. No beach balls making their way through the stands. No one shooting a t-shirt cannon. I was surprised at how quiet it seemed.
There is a marching band, but I only heard them play before the game started. There is also the supporter section. This group led cheers and chants throughout the entire game. However, even though they were cheering, I felt the atmosphere was still fairly quiet for a sporting event. Or at least it was quiet enough to hear the guy sitting a few rows over who kept yelling at the referee.
The fact that there was no announcer made it difficult for me to follow the game. Since I don’t know much about soccer, I can’t tell when a player has been fouled or determine who should have the ball when it goes out of bounds. I don’t know why sometimes the players throw the ball in and sometimes they kick it in. I spent a lot of the game just watching the ball go from player to player, and not really knowing much more.
I still found the game exciting, though. My favorite part may have been halftime when people came out to water the field.
Another interesting thing is that when my friend and I bought bottled water, the server took the caps off the bottles and wouldn’t give them to us. Apparently there is an issue with spectators throwing the caps at the players on the field? Fascinating.
So, while I had an enjoyable time and it was a beautiful day for a game, the sun was shining and our seats were in the sun. It quickly got too hot and my friend and I ending up leaving before the game was finished.