A Football Kick

It usually lasts around two hours, involves a short intermission and, regardless of talent level, everyone ends up clapping for the performer. If you’ve ever been to an outstanding Broadway show, you know exactly how this feels.

 

On Friday night at M&T Bank Stadium, the World Football Challenge brought its brand of football to a city that loves the sport.

 

Sort of.

 

Creating more traffic nightmares that you can imagine, AC Milan and Chelsea took over downtown Baltimore for an evening. A typical 15 minute drive from northwest Baltimore to the stadium took an hour. Since I had enough time to people watch in traffic, I noticed something that I have never seen before the start of a Ravens game. This group of rabid soccer fans exhibited a unique form of diversity.

 

Standing for the playing of the national anthem, many Europeans didn’t know the words or tune of “The Star Spangled Banner,” but remained revenant during the rendition. How many of us would do the same when “God Save The Queen” plays at Wembley Stadium in England?

 

Even though three-quarters of the fans wore Chelsea jerseys, everyone in the building cheered when AC Milan made a sensational play.  

 

Make no mistake, this wasn’t an average exhibition. We won’t see the same level of play or excitement when the Ravens host two preseason games in August.

 

The level of buzz in the stadium on this soupy Friday night in Baltimore went to the stratosphere from the first minute of the game. For one night in July, the score of the Orioles game didn’t matter.

 

Soccer caught on in a football town.

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