last saturday we had a rare day off. usually our weekends are filled with games and game prep, so we took the opportunity to take in some of the other athletics available in prague.
saturday afternoon we watched the Sparta Women's Basketball team play against Gambrinus Brno in what started out as a close game, but eventually turned into a 100-51 blow out. our friend from aia, erin, is the assistant coach on the team and we've gotten to know one of her players, nicole who is from the states, a little bit. if Sparta had had two of nicole, they might have won the game. she was great to watch. Brno boasted having a WNBA player from the states as well as 9 czech national team players.
after dinner at a pizza place in our neighbourhood, we headed to the Sparta fotbal field to take in a game: czech national team vs. slovak national team. i can now call myself a fotbal fan! seriously, the energy in that place was so exciting and the athleticism of those guys... whew, it was awesome! after each czech goal (they won 3-1, by the way) the whole stadium would get on their feet and yell this catchy chant that we obviously did not understand. we're learning czech, but when 17,000 people are yelling it, it's kind of hard to understand. but we joined in with the jumping, giggling and grinning and not quite knowing what was happening. we asked some of our teammates the next day and what the czechs were yelling was, "anyone who's not jumping isn't czech". good thing we joined in... those are some passionate fans. included at the game were a couple hundred police officers, officers on horses and tanks. thankfully none of the previously mentioned were needed, and after the 10 minute firework production everyone went home tired and happy (or to the bar to drink the night away - we took the former option).
the next sporting event was tuesday night when jackie and i hit up a Sparta Men's hockey game against Karlovy Vary. Sparta boasts the former nhl player, Petr Nedved. it was an exciting game with two goals in the third period, one to each team, to leave the game tied and force overtime. nothing come from the 4 on 4 ot, so a shoot out followed. karlovy vary ended up taking the game. it was an exciting night and again, czech fans love their teams! there was a section of the arena packed with fans wearing sparta gear and colours, pounding drums, swinging scarves, shouting and hollering the whole game. they put the cheerleaders to shame with their chants (yes, there were cheerleaders).
the sports scene in czech is full of passion and loyalty. something we could maybe learn from, eh rider fans?! speaking of which, we've figured out that the grey cup will be aired on a tsn station we can pick up over here. we're heading to a pub sunday night to watch the game at 11:30. even in czech, i guess us prairie girls still bleed green and white! :)
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