Football and Friends from Across the Pond

While checking out a bar in West Village within our first couple of weeks in the city, Yang and I spotted a banner and sparked up a conversation. The conversation was the first of many since that we’ve had regarding sports, brought on by the banner’s advertisement for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.

While I am hardly a seasoned soccer fan (baseball and hockey are much more up my alley), I recognize and appreciate the idea of an ultimate championship among a continent full of nations that are crazed about the sport. Yang and I agreed we’d return to the bar (Fiddlesticks), to watch some of the action this month.

The ceiling of Fiddlesticks was indicative of the range in cultures present – and loud – during the matches.

This past Saturday, we found ourselves in the midst of some authentic football passion among some authentic European fans. At least from what I could decipher, there were cheering people originally from the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Germany – along with a group of boisterous Brits who dressed up as superheroes for the event, even though their team wouldn’t be playing until the next day (see below).

I enjoyed some lively entertainment in the range of cheers, some good beer (they had Hoegaarden on tap!) and most of all, exciting soccer that transcended the many different cultures represented. All within a small, dimly lit bar, no less.

The Euro Cup runs through July 1, with matches becoming more and more important. Try to catch a taste of this one-of-a-kind atmosphere, either at Fiddlesticks or one of the many other venues showcasing the games around town, while you still can.

– Zach Garcia

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