Chelsea vs Leeds United
My friend met me outside London's Fulham Broadway station where many police officers were gathered on foot or on horses. Obviously there was something going on. My friend smiled broadly and said,"You're in for a treat. You'll never guess where I'm going to take you."
Well, we had first arranged to meet at a club near Baker Street to listen to new artists perform. But it had been moved to Monday night. So now I was expecting to have dinner and visit his new home. "Your music studio?" I guessed. "No, bigger and better," he replied.
We walked swiftly with the crowd. Alas! He took me to the famous Chelsea Football Club (which isn't far from where he lives). Although we were already late by ten minutes, I still wanted to visit the ladies rooom and also get something to eat.
Once we entered the stadium, however, I realised that it was not just any game, but my friend's favourite team Chelsea playing against Leeds United.. It was also my first professional soccer event. The stadium was completely packed. With his season pass, my friend led me to the two reserved seats several rows up.
Only one or two of the players on the Chelsea team are English, said my friend who had played centre-forward in his university team. They get paid £30,000 each to play a game. He educated me on how these athletes got started and then got picked.
It took forever to score the first goal. And another eternity for the second. By then, it was even. I am sure that it was just as hard to watch them play as it was to play. The speculators were relentless if their team players had missed and overjoyed if they goaled. I witnessed a back kick goal by the blonde Norwegian Chelsea player.
So many men, so much testosterone, so much swearing.... you have to be a single woman desperate for male company to be cushioned between all these men for two hours -- in the biting cold!
30 January 2003 Thursday