Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lifestyle: Hannover 96 v Fortuna Düsseldorf Football Game

I had yet to experience a proper European soccer game, so when the football gods smiled upon me and two tickets for the final match day of the Bundesliga became available last weekend, I eagerly agreed to watch. The match we went to was Hannover 96 vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf in Hannover, Germany. The boy's team colors were green, white, and black, so we donned ourself in our best Hannover 96 gear and drove over to Hannover for the day for a day of hardcore football fun.

Prior to the match at 3:30pm, we braved cold wind and a slight drizzle to grab a bite to eat. We happened upon a sushi restaurant, so ordered some sushi, edamame, and noodles. It was purely coincidental that the colors happened to be Hannover 96's colors.  

Standard noodles. More Chinese than Japanese, hm?

Crispy battered duck.

Chicken meatballs. Not very Japanese-y.

Spicy chicken rolls with cucumber. Also not very Japanese-y, but very pretty.

Headed to the match!

Jacket- Barbour // Jeans- Zara // Rain galoshes- Rockfish // Bag- Alexander Wang // Scarf- Hannover 96

Those boots saved my toes from a wet and soggy situation.

Throngs of fans excitedly milling for the match. 

Headed into the Hannover 96 arena.

Tickets!

A man tried to feed me.

Funny beer boy and his equally funny friend.

Go go go!

Police in riot gear. Those boots look serious.

The boy, Max the Fortuna Düsseldorf fan and his two friends. 

Beer and my amazing Chanel Bel-Argus nails.  

Prost!

A kiss for Fortuna Düsseldorf!

The players entering the arena.

Hannover 96 fans holding their scarves.

This man seemed like a pretty big fan. Some of the fans of the football teams go back generations. Hannover 96 is called thus because they were first founded in 1896, whereas Fortuna Düsseldorf was first founded in 1895. 

Beer girl as a future career option? Look at those balancing skillz.

Hannover 96 was, oddly, garbed in maroon and black, while Fortuna Düsseldorf was wearing green and red. 

The police and arena security ensuring that none of the fans jump over the rails. Apparently the Düsseldorf fans can get very aggressive/rowdy, and there have been instances where fans have gotten on the field and attacked/hugged relentlessly/hassled the footballers. 

I have not seen this level of participation and enthusiasm for a sport, not even for Atlanta Braves games, Atlanta Hawks basketball games, nor Korean baseball or soccer games. Do not mess with a European and his football. 

Fortuna Düsseldorf fan clubs even burned some flares fully knowing they would pay a hefty fine in a last minute attempt to rally their team and the fans. 

Too little, too late. Hannover 96 won the match 3-0!

The players thanking the fans for supporting them through a great season!

I'm not the biggest sports fan, but I think that the atmosphere and group participation in live sports games are absolutely fascinating from a sociological perspective. I find myself getting caught up in the excitement as well, and I love the level of dedication the fans have for their teams. The parents bringing their wee ones to the games to continue a tradition and clock in some quality bonding time is adorable on all levels. 

Plus, I think bratwurst and beer tastes better when at a sports game ^____^ I think I'll be going to a few more of these in the future!

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