30 March 2011

Scotland vs. Italy

On the first full day of Sinead and Buffum's visit, we decided to check out our first rugby game. Now, I don't know much about the sport. Going in, I only knew the word 'scrum' and wasn't even entirely sure what that was. We started off the day with Scotland's finest pastime -- day drinking. Before we caught the bus to the game, we stopped by a local pub for a good, old fashioned pint.

One of the first things I noticed about Murray Field was the massive beer tents that surrounded the stadium. In the stadiums that I've been to in the States, food and drink are all available at little kiosks and stands inside. Instead, the ground surrounding were massive. There was a stage with a pre-game concert, massive food tents where you could get any food imaginable, and gourds of people sporting their team colors.

Once we settled into our seats, we looked out over the green field. In true Scottish fashion, the spectacle started with a band of bagpipers. To roaring applause, they entered the field. After a rousing song, they paused to allow the Italian team to take the field. Now, one thing that I loved was how well Italy traveled. The Italian fans took turns chanting "Iiiii-taaaaa-li----aaaaa!" Below is a video of the Scottish team entering the pitch:

This was immediately followed by Scotland's National Anthem:

Now, I am perfectly familiar with England's National Anthem - "God Bless the Queen." I don't have many opportunities, however, to catch Scotland's. It may have actually been the first time I've ever heard it. I hope that doesn't mean I'm a bad Scottish resident. It even came up again during the game, this time completely spontaneously and led by the crowd:

The game ended up great. At half, Scotland was losing to Italy 8-6. Scotland ended up winning 21-6. Luckily, they had many runs like this one: 

I left the game understanding like 50% of the rules, which is a 50% increase from where I was when the game started. So, I would say my first rugby experience was a great success.

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