13 February 2007

An American Football Fan in Antwerp

Well, first let's be clear, the word *fan* may be a little strong here. But I did feel it my patriotic duty to try and attend the Superbowl this year. And so, the other weekend a friend and I trekked up to Antwerp for "Superbowl Early Monday Morning."

Once you get past the fact that this adventure was going to cost us a full night's sleep, there really isn't much else exciting to tell. We met friends at an Irish pub off the Grote Markt around 12:30 AM. The owners of the pub had pulled out all the stops to provide a "typically American" environment: American flags, stale potato chips, empty beer glasses, sticky floors. H and I secured the best seats in the house, right between the big screen and the bar. While H opted for beer, I thought of the struggle to stay awake and drank grapefruit juice instead. Neither Belgian nor American, but good for my stamina!

In the end it was a great game. The Chicago fans in the room dealt gracefully with their defeat. I met a small handful of Europeans that showed a mild interest in the game and a greater interest in the fans' reactions. I arrived home, in my bed, at 7 AM and slept until noon. A small price to pay for a well-spent evening.

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