Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope that this will be an excellent way for me to keep all of my friends and family up to date on my semester abroad in Rome. Please feel free to post any comments you would like, or shoot me an e-mail and I will try to respond as soon as possible. Also, if you click on each of the photographs below, it will display them at their full size.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

AS Roma Game = Pure Insanity

Today was one of the most memorable days on the trip thus far…and it was all because of the AS Roma game. This afternoon I went to class and then went in search of the AS Roma store with Monica’s roommate Krista because they decided they would like to come to the game as well. We first tried to go to an AS Roma store near the school but found out that the only store that actually sells tickets to the game is located in Piazza Colonna. So we hopped on the bus and tried to navigate our way to the other store. We exited the bus a couple of blocks away from the store and got a little turned around so we asked a lady for directions. She very confidently pointed us in the wrong direction and we walked that way for about a block before we both decided she had no idea what she was talking about. So we went back the other direction and got to Piazza Colonna and we didn’t see the AS Roma store, so we went and asked a guy in a suit who was leaning on a very nice Alfa Romeo about getting tickets for tonight’s game at the AS Roma store. He said we had to go to the stadium to get them and had no idea where the store was. So we walk past Piazza Colonna about a block and then I call my roommate case to see if he can better direct us. He told use to take an immediate left when we get to the piazza and it is right down the road. So we went back and looked a little harder this time. We eventually saw it and guess where it was? That’s right, right behind the guy in the suit leaning on his Alfa Romeo. We went in and got the tickets.

My roommates and I met Monica and her roommates at JCU at around 20:15 and a few of us decided we were going to try and take busses to the stadium instead of paying for a cab. So we end up walking about three miles before we get to the right bus stop and by the time we hop on it is 21:05, ten minutes before the game was scheduled to start. So we eventually get to the stadium and start running as soon as we get off the bus. We have no idea where to go, so we just start running after everyone else that is running and begin to hear loud chanting and cheering coming from inside the stadium. We lose a couple in our group in the process of running towards the stadium and as we get close we see smoke rising up from inside the stadium…this only made us run faster. So we eventually see a gate that a ton of people are running to and we just follow them. We get up there and the gate is absolutely packed and people just start shoving their way through. We get shoved through and there is just one guy tearing tickets and there are four policia behind him. We later found out that the gate we were supposed to go in, along with our seats were on the other side of the stadium.

This is us running up to the gates of the stadium. We could hear loud chanting and see smoke coming from inside the stadium.

This is us running up to the stairs heading into the stadium after we pushed our way through the gate with the rest of the mob.

Once we get inside we just run up the first set of steps leading into the stadium. As we are running up we have to swerve to avoid a fire that is burning (probably some trash that was caught on fire by a dropped flair) right in the middle of the stairs. We keep on running. We get to the top of the stairs and all we can see is people and the night sky. There are no walkways, no stairs to get to the seats, no nothing…just people. Right then, AS Roma scores a goal and the entire stadium went completely nuts. People are jumping and pushing each other around, chanting, and lighting flares, that’s right flares.

This was the first view of the field I could get. We had just ran up the steps past a fire and I held the camera up over my head to get this.

I tried to get a shot of the crowd behind me as well, but this is the best I could do.

This is kind of gives you some idea of just how packed the section was that we were in.

Shortly after we got inside AS Roma scored a goal and the entire stadium went absolutely NUTS! And we found out that Italians like to celebrate with fire and moshing.

We head back down the stairs after the crowd calmed down after the goal to look for another entry that was less crowded, but they were all just as crowded as the first. So we eventually work our way back to the steps where we thought our seats might be and go up to the top again. This was the same gate we started out in and we just stood there a while having no idea how we are supposed to fight the crowd to get to our seats that we had no idea where they were located. I look back and there are a few guys above us, hanging over the stairs, yelling at us and pointing to the back of the seats. We waited a few more minutes and decided we had to get up there eventually so we dove right in. I was in the lead and started saying “scusi…scusi…scusi” over and over again as we worked our way through the dense crowd. We got a lot of crazy looks but people did move out of the way and gave us just enough room to slide by.

This is what we walked through.

After we had walked up past row 60 (our tickets were for seats on row 20) my roommate Sean and I decided to cut left to look for an open spot because looking up towards the back of the seats there was no openings. I don’t know if it was God who wanted to spare our lives or if we just lucked out but we eventually hit a rather large opening right next to the scoreboard (I think no one was here because some of the view of the field was blocked by the scoreboard).

We remained here for the rest of the game. We didn’t even think about trying to go for snacks or even dream of going to the bathroom because I don’t think we could have made it through the crowd again. One of Monica’s roommates who we lost earlier eventually made her way up to where we were at half time and we were relieved to find out that she taken away by the mob. It was completely amazing how the energy level never dissipated during the game. The chanting at the end of the game was as loud, if not louder than at the beginning of the game. We found out later that there was no alcohol served at the game (probably because people might actually be killed if the crowd were under the influence) but that it is replaced by espresso. So basically all of the already insane AS Roma fans come into the stadium and just pound like four or five espresso shots before finding their standing position for the game.

Here are some other shots from the game:

This is a view from our seats during the game. Yes, those flags were waving the entire time, so it was a little difficult to see at times. We were just happy to be alive.

Me messing around with that color thing again.

This is during one of the many chants that continued throughout the whole game.

This is after the second goal of the game. Flares just started lighting up everywhere in the middle of the crowd. It was insane.

Here is us during a break in the game.

Also, here are a couple videos. Again, I am sorry if they don't work, I am still working out the bugs:

This is a clip of one of the many chants by the AS Roma fans.

This is a clip of just how crazy it got right after AS Roma Would score a goal.

After the game we eventually found our way back home, waiting for a bus that we thought was never going to come…and we picked up some gelato on the way. Soooo delicious!

This is us waiting for the bus we thought would never come, after the game.

1 comment:

Bailey said...

Hey Adam! Looks like you are having an amazing time, the pictures are fabulous! Have fun and be safe, miss you!
Much love from Kansas,