Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Celtic v. Rangers: Old Firm Derby

This past Sunday, the Scottish Premier League's "Old Firm" match between Celtic and Rangers took place.  It's by far the biggest rivalry of the SPL, and considered one of European football's biggest league rivalries (ranked #4 by the Bleacher Report).  These teams, and fans really hate each other. 
Watching (on TV, I was NOT in Scotland) last Sunday's match was an awesome experience.  It was played at Celtic Park in Glasgow, and the singing, chanting, cheering and jeering from the crowd was pretty much non-stop from the 1st minute to the last.  Right at kickoff the crowd sings "You Will Never Walk Alone", which continues on, until completion, even as the game is being played.  It was quite stirring.  Keep in mind Celtic is a SCOTTISH based team, not Irish, and the game is being played in Glasgow.

(note: the videos below are NOT from this past Sunday's match)

I'm not sure what it is about all the singing and chanting at soccer matches that draws me to it, but it sure does.  Perhaps the lack of scoring on the pitch forces the crowds to entertain themselves.  Regardless, for me, it's cool to witness, even if just on TV.

The rivalry has WAY more to it than just the teams and players on the pitch.  Politics, religion, and even immigration have played a major role over the years.  I'm not going to get into any of that right now, but let's just say that even as a non-catholic, I side with Celtic.

I know, I know, most Americans think soccer is boring and lame.  That's fine, we're all entitled to our opinions.   But I would have to think that even the biggest soccer cynics in the US would appreciate the passion these fans have for their teams!

Oh, and by the way, Celtic won 3-0!!

Here are a few more links of videos, and other info on the clubs.


You'll Never Walk Alone Lyrics
When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark,
At the end of a storm, there's a golden sky,
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone...


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