Well, I’m happy to report that I (plus 32,000+ other soccer fans) got to attend the inaugural Fenway Football Challenge at Boston’s beloved Fenway Park last week. To get a full report on the teams, the players, the history, I’d recommend checking out recent articles in the Boston Globe, USA Today, as well as the history of soccer in Boston in The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston. But from the perspective of a local who just loves to embrace all that Boston has to offer, I wanted to share with UPP readers that it really was QUITE the occasion.
The overarching theme of the evening seemed to be “everybody wins!” That is, the match officially ended on a tie, fans from all countries were just thrilled to be there, and it was a fantastically timed event with soccer fever pouring over from the World Cup. I particularly loved seeing the massive number of immigrant-locals who were clearly trying to pass on their passion for this world sport to their kids, cousins, and other members of the younger US-born generation. And then there were the hardcore soccer fans from all over, who cheered from beginning to end, just smitten to have their moment in Fenway Park.
Since there was a special award just for Fenway, they ended the evening with a shootout–and the Scottish Football Club, the Celtic, proved to be the winning team–which, given their name, was definitely a fitting finale for a Beantown event.
Overall, it was an incredible event to be part of and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that Fenway, in the true spirit of representing Boston as the best sports town in the US, should make this friendly, international match the first of many others to come (And not wait another 42 years to make it happen!).