Monday, July 20, 2009

GRH On Location: Mexico v. Haiti

They should have sent a poet. They sent Icehouse instead.

GRH On Location. Quarterfinals, Concacaf Gold Cup.

From my office, I have watched this damn thing be built. I’ve been dreaming about it for more than a year now. Opportunities have existed to go to it. Tours have been available. George Strait performed there. Heck, the Jonas Brothers have been in this stadium already. But like the Jonas Brothers, I wanted my first time to mean something. Something real.

Then comes the Concacaf Gold Cup. Two quarterfinals games to be played in Cowboys Stadium. I’m not going to lie here, the Gold Cup isn’t the best footy in the world. Any players that are on European club sides are nowhere to be found. What you end up with are bunch of dudes that are playing for both a bigger rep and national pride; two things that make for a slugfest.

That all pales in comparison to one fact: Cowboys Stadium is mankind’s greatest edifice. It is a palatial playground of kings. It is an offering to God, with a caveat. It says, ‘you may be the creator of all things natural, but THIS IS OURS.’

Going to soccer games, like every sporting event, are great communal activities, where you can join with your neighbors and scream your guts out. I don’t think I need to remind our readers that soccer isn’t the biggest sport in the United States. The MLS is a fledgling underleague, and Team USA, despite recent success, only drew around 30,000 to the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for their Saturday night victory. Mexico, on the other hand, loves them some fĂștbol. They always come out en masse. Check the tape of any recent Mexico v. USA game. Off the top of my head, games in Chicago, San Diego, Salt Lake and Houston all featured heavily Mexican fanbases. I would like to take this opportunity to point out that it is fucking pathetic when one nation’s fans show up more than the home nations. FIX YO FANDOM, AMERICA!

Having said that, the game on Sunday was in Texas, which was founded by Mexico, and was a veritable Mexican home game. HOLYSHIT. You like sports, motherfucker? Do you? Because you have to love the shit out of sport to go to Los Tri soccer game. This was my first international cap of any kind, though I did have the good fortune of falling in with the Deportivo Cruz Azul crowd back when the Icehouse was Casahielo and hung his hat down south.

Anyways, these cats love their country, and they love this sport. They were all abouts it. There were 82,252 in attendance for this event. That’s right. I said it. They came to rock, too. From my rough estimation, there were:
• 65.63% - Los Tri gear
• 34.35% - various Professional Mexican gear
• 00.02% - Cowboys gear (it’s a home game. Y’heard?)
• 1 pink polo, worn by Trae, my accomplice

One of the best parts about this crowd is that they love ‘The Wave.’ I love ‘the wave.’ It’s probably my favorite fan gathering phenomenon. They love it more than I do, possibly. There were people in my section that were actually cheering in anticipation of the ripple effect of standing and screaming arriving. Imagine a slow crescendo of “hey…hey…hey…Hey. Hey. Hey. HEYHEYHEY WOOOOOO!” It was fucking great.

As for the game itself, it was pretty great. The first goal came off of a rebound from a botched stutter-step of a PK.

Miguel Sabah charged and flushed.

The second goal came from one of Mexico’s youngsters. Giovani dos Santos turned with his left foot and drained one in the upper 90. It was fabulous. Sabah scored again with a flying header off of a corner in the second half. But then, in the 82nd minute, substitute Pablo Barrera blasted a one-timer off his right hoof into Haiti’s net for a righteous goal that sent me and the drunks around me into quite the tizzy.

At the 75th minute, I began to see paper airplanes rain down out of the upper deck. Then more. Then a whole lot more. Then more than paper airplanes than I thought were possible. This was also around the time that Trae bought a delicious cheese steak. The food and drink at Cowboys Stadium, while expensive yet on par with virtually every other pro arena, were righteous.

Leaving the stadium, there were carts selling wares that were more indicative of Mexico than Arlington, which just added to the flavor. Getting out was easy enough, but there seemed to be a large amount of people that seemed to be congregating at or near the underside of bridges. Trae referred to them as the ‘bridge and tunnel crowd.’ I guffawed heartily.

All in all, pretty successful. I loved every second of it. The next step is getting Stovall down here for the Texas A&M v. Arkansas game.


  1. That is an Icehouse original video, by the way.

  2. I remember I was at the very first game in the TWA dome. Even as a 10 year old boy I knew it sucked.