Monday, November 26, 2007

Nott's County Game

On November 17 I got to take part in that which is a BIG part of European/British heritage: Football. The school organized a trip out to Nottingham (about an hour by bus) for a Nott's County game against a local rival. The team is the oldest football club in the country, and used to be quite good! One of their biggest fans happens to be a professor here at Harlaxton, and he managed to organize a pre-game tour, luncheon with the owner, manager/coach and players, as well as great seats for a great game!

Our pre-game tour brought us through the locker rooms, the boot room (where all their cleats are kept), and out onto the field through the players' tunnel:

Lunch was nice - lots of team representatives came to talk with us a little. We heard a little about strategy from the manager/coach, and then had the opportunity to talk with five players (who wouldn't be playing today because of injuries or off-days) for about an hour. They answered all our questions about footballing, life in the pro's (the guys in ties are twins - and only 17 years old!), and how they get ready for a game.

And then of course there was the game itself! It was a good time, despite the cold! Mandy even bought me coffee! How sweet! English Football fans get really into their game. Nott's County in particular has some pretty rowdy/die-hard fans that we were sitting close to. The whole section gets really worked up all the time! Nott's County plays in the 2nd League (which, in International Football, is actually 4 tiers down from the top). They're not huge, but they're big enough to warrant a little attention!

And unfortunately, Nott's County didn't win. It seems that, for as long as Harlaxton has been coming, the team has never won a match while the school was there. I think we might be bad luck - or maybe it's just because the team doesn't have the best Win/Loss record. It's OK though, because now we've been drafted as lifetime fans. See, Nott's County is kind of like the Cubs in that they're never very good, but they've got killer fans anyway. We all understand why to sing (to the tune of 'On top of Old Smokey'): "I had a wheel-barrow, the wheel fell off." We know why to yell "Come on you Pies" (which, with a British accent, sounds a lot like "Come on you Guys" and had us very confused...).

It might not make sense to fans of lesser teams, but that's ok. It's kind of a 'Pies thing ;)
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