A couple of weeks ago I bought a ticket to an Angers soccer game. I have never been one for soccer. I have always thought of it as a long, boring sport that only gets exciting once or twice throughout the match. In high school, I played basketball and tennis so soccer was never my cup of tea. But my dad suggested that I go to soccer game while in France to experience something new.
I had nothing against trying. So, I went online the night before the last home soccer game and purchased a ticket for 10 euros. I picked a seat in the middle of the stand near one of the goals.
Later that night, I ate dinner at my foyer and started walking toward the Jean-Boudin stadium. It took me about 30 minutes to get from my foyer to the stadium. The SCO Angers pride became apparent on the walk. Hundreds of Angers fans were walking the same path as me to the game. The only difference was that they were all wearing SCO Angers scarves and other fan gear while I was in jeans and a random shirt.
I found my gate, stair, and door number, passed through security, and found my seat. Everyone was standing up and screaming when I got there. What surprised me about the fans was how orcustrated they were. Everyone knew the words, movements, and timing of all the chants. For the first twenty minutes I was a student and everyone else was the teacher. I struggled to follow their movements and listen to the words in the song.
After about thirty minutes, I had a handle on some of the traditions. I joined in when I could and l enjoyed the atmosphere when I couldn’t. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing most of the time but it was a thrill. The camaraderie was inspiring.
Never in a million years did I think that there were more motivated fans than Ole Miss fans but I tell you what….. Angers fans come in a very close second. There was not a single minute of the game that the fans were not cheering. At one point they even started throwing drinks around.
I will never forget my SCO Angers soccer experience and the valuable lesson that it taught me about soccer. I can fully appreciate what soccer players do on the field and the sport that they play. I understand now how exciting soccer could be.