And by football, I am referring, of course, to the European football game which we call soccer.
You’d know the big tournament was going on even if you weren’t a big football fan for several reasons.
- The metro is crowded! Boys. Many. Today it was young hunks from Germany. They take up more space in the metro with their bulk.
- Your favorite bus route is now split in two – so you can’t get there from here anymore. It used to go by the Eiffel tower. Now it stops on this side of the river and picks up again many blocks form the Eiffel Tower because that is the Fan Zone. I can’t describe it because I haven’t seen it for lack of a bus…
- Almost every bar has put in a large screen TV with football all the time. A friend said he saw one or two with signs saying Pas de Football– No Football here!
- People are draped with flags from everywhere. Or bright green wigs (Italy? Ireland?) I saw 3 guys with the German flag worn as a sarong over their shorts.
It’s a big deal here. France is hosting Euro 2016. My friend LB has told me there is an America 2016 going on over in that part of the world too. But right now it’s all Europe!
Passions run high. There are hooligans associated with the sport. Those looking for a fight. The first week was quite violent – with many fights breaking out particularly between the Russians and the English. (Yes, English. They play under the flag of St George – red cross on white field. Wales has their own team. As does both Northern and Ireland.) The Russians were caught on video jumping over barriers to attack and chase the English. They were disqualified for that and other violent aggressions. However, the disqualification was suspended.
OK. That’s effective. Not.
Three Englishmen were sent to prison. Some 40 Russians were deported. One Russian exited France to Spain and then immediately came back by car and tweeted about it. Well. Not too bright. He was picked up and sent away again. However, he doesn’t really have a reason to come back – the Russian team didn’t do very well and I believe it is out of the finals. So there!
All of this going on while the politics are getting hot too. But that’s for a later blog.
Go Bleus! (That’s the French team!)