Sunday, April 6, 2008

Walking in a Winter April?!?

This weather in England is crazy.

I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about how there was rain, sleet, snow, and sunshine all in the space of an hour or so in the Tottenham-Portsmouth game at White Hart Lane. I couldn't believe the drastic, sudden changes in weather but after today, nothing should surprise me.

It's the beginning of April, but you wouldn't know it if you were watching the Middlesbrough-Manchester United match today in the North East. I turned on the TV and thought I was watching an NFL game in Cleveland or Buffalo in the dead of winter. Snow was falling as hard as I've seen it come down in a while, and the condition of the field obviously reflected this. The ball was skipping, players were slipping and sliding, and yet the passion from them and fans alike was still evident.

I have to give Middlesbrough's supporters a lot of credit; I've criticized them harshly (but fairly) in the past for not filling the Riverside for a big game but today they came out in droves. The stadium was nearly sold out and the fans gave such a boost to the team. They played a huge part in spurring their club on to hold Manchester United, the defending champions and likely champions this season as well, to a 2-2 draw, and Tuncay almost won the game for Boro at the very death. Snow and cold didn't seem to bother the crowd in the least bit and they were singing and chanting and shouting for the full 90 minutes.

Good stuff as usual from England. Soccer can truly be played in all conditions, and we saw that today.

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