Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

RSL Game

I know the team name is technically "ReAL Salt Lake," but I've never been a big fan of that. So, on Saturday, Lisa and Brett treated us to our first RSL game. I honestly thought I'd be bored to tears, but since Lisa and Brett are moving to Georgia in a couple months, I wasn't about to pass on the experience. Turns out, it wasn't too bad. I've learned a lot from going to the Blaze games that sports isn't just about scoring. Often, it is about all the work that went into even getting a decent attempt. That, combined with my recent experiences playing a version of indoor soccer with my ward, helped me to enjoy watching all the mid-field action that rarely even ventured near a goal. The fun part, though, was the few moments when the ball actually neared the goal. You could feel the excitement at the prospect of a goal. It didn't hurt, either, that RSL won the game 3-1.

It was also really interesting to learn a bit about soccer fans. Lisa had been telling us on the ride there that soccer fans get really annoyed if a fan does anything to mess with the game. Since the clock doesn't stop for anything, the fans get really upset with any delay of game. She explained that you're not allowed to keep a game ball if it goes into the stands, and that if you try, the fans will turn on you, because they need that ball on the field to keep the game going. Well, sometime during the first half of play, a fan in the section next to us threw a cowbell onto the field. Security came to handle the situation, which turned out to be pretty easy, because all of the surrounding fans were pointing to the guy who did it. When security escorted him out, the fans in that section sang very loudly, "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye," and everyone cheered.

Another thing I really liked was an advertising campaign Lisa told me about where individual RSL players shared a list of their accomplishments and ended with, "Who am I? I'm a ReAL Salt Lake Player," never calling attention to their individual identity. I've often ranted about the current trend in the NBA where the players seem far more interested in themselves than in their team. It gave me hope to think that maybe a sport still exists where the team comes first. Lisa commented that this attitude is one she'd like to see in her future children, and that she considers most of the RSL players to be worthy role models. It's nice to know that still exists.

All in all, the weather was great, the game was well played, and the company was fun. It was a great way to spend our Saturday.