Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My First Spectator Experience Overseas.

Last night I went to watch Kyle and his basketball team Ikaros play their first home game. I was a little nervous going into this game, hearing about how crazy the fans at these games can get. But I sucked it up and as you see by me writing this blog entry that I came out unharmed. 

I will say I was taken aback when we pulled up to the arena and there were a good fifty cops out front, some dressed in their normal uniforms but I couldn't help but notice the twenty or so standing in riot gear off to the side. What did we get ourselves into? I know fans can be a little rowdy, but riot gear? 

Once I was inside things were a lot more calm, that was until the rest of the fans showed up. The opposing team Panionios, had a big fan base at the game and they were up in the rafters, with signs and banners and of course the cops in riot gear monitoring their every move. From the tip off their fans sang and chanted for the whole game not missing a beat, I wish I knew what they were saying but I don't speak Greek. I mistakingly was sitting with the players family and friends from the other team, not a good look once Kyle started scoring, and I was getting the death stares. I moved at the half and sat with Amanda and felt a lot safer. Something that really boggled my mind was that the spectators where actually allowed to smoke in the arena. By halftime you could see the plume of smoke over the court. 

It was a close game but Kyle's team came out on top, their first win of the season. They play very differently over here, the scores aren't as high,the game is definitely more physical and defensive. I was so proud and excited for him and the rest of the team. This is the first year the team is in the top division in Greece, so they are really off to a great start. I look forward to the rest of the season, as long as the fans don't get too rowdy.

Kyle at the foul line sealing the victory in the final minute.

Wahoo...Go Ikaros!

Some of the cops in riot gear, awesome! 

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