This is no longer a live blog: ireland v slovakia

Friday was our last night in Dublin. We went to our first ever soccer (football) game (match). Ireland was playing Slovaks in a qualifier for the 2012 Euro Cup, which is like the world cup but without America in it. I was surprised by a number of things at this game. The stadium was a little more than half full (suck it haters, I can be an optimist). the game play was more physical than it seems on TV. These guys were really fast and hitting each other pretty hard. As a fan, what stood out the most was how much I missed even though I understand the game fairly well. There were a handful of instances where the crowd would have a slight surge in volume – probably a player getting open or a play developing away from the ball – and I didn’t know what I missed. Other times, Ireland would have a good goal scoring opportunity that they missed and it would be followed by polite applause for the good try rather than a scathing rebuke on everything about the player.

Some other things about the game were also quite surprising. We bought the tickets from ticket master and they were available at the box office for pick up. In America, the box office is part of the stadium. In Ireland, it’s not part of the stadium and only one police officer (Garda) in the whole land knows where it is. After about 70 minutes of walk-sprinting, we found the ticket booth in some hotel, conveniently located in the general vicinity of Ireland.

The hiccup picking up the tickets meant that we got into the stadium just as the game was about to start. We were the only sober people in the whole country at this moment, and the fans walking through the gates had a rowdiness and excitedness that usually leads to hooliganism. I knew that after one beer, I would be in the same inebriated state. I was looking forward to a nice half pint from the beer stand or vendor in the stadium. And maybe a tasty snack.

The stadium did not serve beer. I repeat. THE STADIUM DID NOT SERVE BEER. Of all the surprising things that happen in the world, this was the most surprising. A soccer stadium hosting a game of the national team in a country with a thriving commemorative key chain bar industry did not serve beer. Also, there wasn’t even a shake shack.

Some not surprising things happened at the game as well:
No one scored
It ended in a tie
My U-S-A chant went over very poorly

Ireland live blog, part something: Euro 2012

We walked to the Guinness storehouse today. If you have never been to the guinness storehouse, picture exactly what it would be like. Got it in your head? Ok, it was exactly like that. A tip to any man that visits Ireland in the future, don’t order a half pint of anything for yourself. That’s a mistake I do no want to make again. “Git a load of ‘dis guy. He ordered a half pint.” (do the leprechaun voice again).

This evening will bring our greatest adventure yet. We are headed to the 2012 Euro qualifying match between Ireland and Slovakia. I bought the tickets this morning, and I’d put the estimate at 85% chance that we will accidentally be seated in the slovak section. Are they called Slovaks? That sounds sort of racist. Do their fans drink half pints?

unofficial tally:
Pints of Guinness: .5
Miles walked: 6.4
Additional McLovin sightings: 1
Extra Miles walked because neither anne nor I correctly navigated to Guinness storehouse: 3.7
Inappropriate hooligan jokes I make at tonight’s game: 9
Times I get murdered by a Slovak: 1

Tomorrow we head off to a TBD destination. We hear there is going to be an epic hurling final on Sunday. I also plan to do some epic hurling of my own when I switch back to the big boy pints.