Sunday, September 27, 2009

"You're Not Singing Anymore"

I only started to worry when the police helicopter showed up.

But that's getting ahead of myself, let's start a few hours earlier. We woke up early Saturday because KT had to to pick up a friend at Heathrow airport and then head for Cardiff in Wales. Why? Well, it's where Dr Who and Torchwood, two of their favorite TV shows, are filmed. Equally important there's the Great British Cheese festival in Cardiff castle, I expect them back tonite with lots of cheese!

It was supposed to be another warm, sunny weekend day so after Kate left, I planned a long bike ride, hooking together several routes I had already done. Though the cloudy start never burned off, the ride was great until about 12 miles out from the house my mobile phone rings--a researcher based in Spain that I needed to talk to happens to be in England and coming to Cambridge. Did I want to meet him in at the Eagle pub in a bit? Uh, yes. I biked about fast as I can go to get home--I did 26 miles in 2 hours (Sadly, I realized marathoners run that distance in the same time!) and met the source for a 90 minute interview.

From there I biked to a Cambridge United game against the big neighboring town of Luton. Luton was a league above us last year but dropped because they were penalized for shady financial dealings. Their fans are not happy about that and a thousand or more made the short trip to Cambridge.
Wild game--United went up 2-0, and seemed in control as the ref ejected a Luton player leaving them a man down and enraging their fans, who were on the verge of rioting. Away fans are segregated from home fans but Luton fans were taunting Cambridge fans with obscene chants and tried to break by the police to "our" side (left).

But after halftime, Luton stormed back, quickly scoring 3 goals. Delirious Luton fans started chanting to Cambridge fans "You're not Singing Anymore" and "We have only 10, We have only 10". A few rows from me a fight almost started between Luton team members sitting in "our" stands and a Cambridge fan. By that point, police reinforcements ringed the field. Cambridge tied the game, but Luton scored another to win the crazy game 4-3. As I walked out of the stadium, police vans and ambulances were lined up, officers were wearing riot gear and a helicopter buzzed overhead--and the Luton fans weren't being allowed to leave until the home fans had departed.

After that true taste of English football, I needless to say biked out of the area fast and came home to watch American college footbal with their passionate, but largely peaceful, crowds!

-JT

Below are some pictures from the much more peaceful bike ride, including one from the backside of the Cambridge American Cemetary.



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