2012 Spring External Programs Shannon Barter United Kingdom


Another great week in Londontown – except for the weather that is! This week was by far the coldest one we’ve had since I have been here with temperatures plummeting down to the teens and twenties. I have always been a Summer girl, so the bitter cold is not exactly my ideal weather! Despite the freezing cold temperatures, I decided to brave the outside world and head to my first even English Premier League Football match! On Wednesday night, me and four of my friends all decked out in black and white and headed to the Fulham vs West Brom match in Southwest London! Before going into the stadium, we went to a pub called the Crabtree. It was packed with tons of fans from both teams making the atmosphere intense, energetic, and very exciting! We then ventured into the stadium for kick-off where the fun continued. Despite the below freezing temperatures, all of the fans were cheering and chanting the whole night long. It was really cool to hear the songs they have for their teams, and the pride with which they scream them whenever anyone scored. The man sitting next to me tried to teach me the words to the Fulham anthem, and I tried my best to sing along. The game ended in a tie, but Clint Dempsey (from America!) did get a goal which was quite exciting! Here is a picture I took of the pitch (aka the field!)


To continue my sports filled week, me and a bunch of friends from Westminster all went to a sports bar called Rileys to watch the Superbowl on Sunday night. This was particularly fun, because much to my surprise many of the people there were British but genuinely interested in seeing the Superbowl. A lot of them even had on shirts and sweatshirts from their favorite NFL teams – which made the atmosphere in the bar quite fun! I began talking to a group of Brits about the sport of American football and what their feelings on the game really were. Many of them said they do like the sport (clearly enough to watch it) but that they like Rugby better. They explained that this is because football has clock stoppages quite often, whereas soccer and rugby don’t have the constant pauses. I explained to them that in the case of the Superbowl these pauses were really important – because that is when you get to see the famous million dollar commercials! Unfortunately, the Superbowl commercials do not play on the ESPN International broadcast, which was a bit upsetting because they are usually one of my favorite parts of the game!
Apparently right now is the season for the 2012 Six Nations Rugby tournament, and everyone I met told me those are the games to watch! My British friend explained to me that originally Rugby was seen as the rich mans sport while soccer was seen as the working class sport. Now they are both equally as important to many Londoners – and I can’t wait to go to a pub and watch the Six Nations tournament games!

That is all for now but I am going to Stonehenge this week, so i will report back soon!!!

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