Siamo La Roma

Siamo La Roma

AS Rome vs. Feyenoord Rotterdam 1-1. Great game to watch. Most terrified I’ve been so far while abroad.

The Student Activities Committee helped organize a group of students to go to the AS Roma soccer game on Thursday night. My ticket only set me back 22 euro–in order to encourage more women to come to the games, tickets for women cost 3 euro less than tickets for men, not too shabby. The next best news I had was that the JFRC is actually within walking distance of Stadio Olimpico. The walk wasn’t so bad on the way there because it was entirely downhill–the walk home wasn’t quite as easy.

Our group of almost 30 students had a bit of an issue getting into the stadium once we arrived. Steven, the Student Life Assistant that came with us, ┬áled us towards the gate he usually enters, but we were stopped by the police because a group of Dutch fans were currently entering the stadium…

Side note: These games are nothing like any sporting event I’ve been to in the States. Not only were there city police patroling the outside of the stadium, the military police was there–in full “SWAT team gear”– and stadium security. The biggest difference though is that fans from opposing teams, especially during games of intense rivalries, never cross paths. Huge glass walls and lines of security guards separate the fans from each other and they enter the stadium through different gates. By the way the fans were behaving throughout the game I would say the separation is for good reason. I can’t even imagine what it would of been like had our game not ended in a tie.

…After the Dutch fans made their way in, we kept walking to the next gate. Only to be stopped by the military police who said it wasn’t safe for us to go that way. So we turned around and started heading for gates on the other end of the stadium. We thought we were home free, but before we even made it to the next gate we were stopped by another group of police officers. They turned us back around the way we came, but this time they escorted us past the military police and right up to the gate. After a bit of a scare from a variety of intimidating, Italian police officers it was a huge relief to make it inside and to our seats.

By the time we finally made it into the stadium the game had already started. We were lucky though, because minutes after we sat down Roma scored a goal! By the way the crowd reacted you would of thought we won the World Cup. Everyone (minus the Dutch) was roaring with Roma cheers (and cursing the Dutch). The most dedicated fans behind our goal were swinging flags in the air throughout the entire match. Some set off flares and red and yellow “smoke bombs”. How they got those past security beats me.

The entire game was a lot of back and forth between these two clearly talented teams. The skill level of these players was incredible watch. But I think watching the fans on both sides was just as entertaining. Shortly after half-time, Feyenoord scored and I was sure the Dutch fans would storm the field–somehow they stayed mostly contained.┬áThe synchronization of their cheers was amazing, and their intimidation factor even from across the field.

Roma had a few more chances to score before the game was over, but was unable to make it happen. Ending in a tie may have been for the best, for the sake of the livelihood of the fans at least. Although, I am bummed I couldn’t see them win. But hey, I definitely enjoyed the game so maybe I’ll be back before the semester’s over. Siamo la Roma–We are Rome.

 

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