Ani Metta Al Kaduregel!

In America, when you want to exagerrate about how much you enjoy something, you say “I just LOVE chocolate….”. In Hebrew, the slang expressions is “ani met al ….” which literally translates into “I just die over….”. The title of my post, translated into English, means “I just die over soccer”.

Unfortunately, this sometimes happens. Literally. Fans of Beitar Yerushalayim couldn’t contain their enthusiasm last night and rushed out onto the field, causing a human stampede which injured many, some seriously.

I asked my resident¬†sports experts about this after I heard the news on the radio. My two youngest sons follow both soccer and basketball so I asked them about the two sports. They had some interesting things to say. They had some practical reasons why this happens in soccer games more than in basketball games – the field in soccer is much bigger than the court in basketball, so there are many more fans to begin with. They also shared that the fans of soccer and basketball are different. They said that religious people didn’t go to watch soccer games, because “they swear and get into fights there”, which doesn’t happen at basketball games (or at least not as much).

I guess it is similar to the difference between fans of baseball (what American kid hasn’t seen a live game, at least once – even I can say that I saw one) and those of hockey. You have to have a certain amount of tolerance for the extra-curricular hand-to-hand (or hockey stick to body) combat that happens on the ice, or you just don’t go to the games.

It really is a shame. Between the wars and terrorism and car accidents, we Jews face enough dangers. We really don’t need an additional one at a sports event.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jerusalem joe
    May 07, 2007 @ 16:41:15

    Soccer is a much less complex sport and therefore much more appealing to the average man. Basketball is physically rougher but also much more difficult intellectually – the pace is much quicker and the amount of information to be processed much higher, for the fans and players alike.

  2. Ilana-Davita
    May 07, 2007 @ 16:51:14

    I believe the same applies to soccer vs rugy. Different sports, different fans, much less violence and aggro in rugby.

  3. Ilana-Davita
    May 07, 2007 @ 16:51:34

    I believe the same applies to soccer vs rugby. Different sports, different fans, much less violence and aggro in rugby.

  4. PP
    May 07, 2007 @ 21:18:32

    I heard all the sirens last night loud and clear and I first thought it was a pigua. When I saw on the news it was crushes, I was just thankful that people didn’t die, as they have done in Europe.

    And incidentally- “Religious people” tend to watch football less here simply because most of the games are on Shabbat. But two points to counter the main argument: 1) the Jerusalem fans are all very traditional religious, and 2) around the rest of the world you’ll find plenty of frummers supporting all the clubs.

    And to Jerusalem Joe- “Much less complex sport than basketball” -! Do the words “Offside Rule” mean anything to you?!

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