We took Charlie to his first Premier League soccer (football) game last night at Wembley Stadium. Brad was able to buy some tickets from a coworker who couldn't go. When he first brought up taking Charlie to the game I was torn, but it ended up being a really good experience. Charlie had a great time!
The game was Chelsea vs. Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final. What does this mean? The FA cup is an annual tournament here and our favorite team, Chelsea, was doing pretty well! In fact, last night they won 5-1, so now they are playing in the final tonight against Liverpool.
Brad and I have both been to a few Chelsea games at their home stadium in Fulham, which is about a half hour bus ride from our flat. The first time we went, we bought Charlie a little Chelsea football uniform and he wore the jersey last night. Brad wore his Chelsea jacket that my parents got him for Christmas. Kara sadly has no Chelsea paraphernalia and just wore her favorite blue gingham shirt. Sniff.
I don't know what I was thinking, but I assumed the game would be similar to the ones I'd been to at Chelsea's stadium. It didn't cross my mind that Wembley Stadium is huge. There were over 85,000 people there last night. I'd say 75% of them were men between the ages of 18 and 35 who'd each had an average of 5 pints. Yeah.
I got a little nervous about having Charlie there as we approached the stadium and this was all becoming evident to me. The kazillion cops, some on horseback, and a circling helicopter didn't do much to calm my fears. Of course, all of this was very exciting to Charlie. The only thing he likes more than policemen and horses are helicopters.
It turns out I didn't have anything to worry about. Everything was very orderly. When we were waiting in line to go through the turnstiles, a security agent came by and offered to let us go through the disabled entrance. I think he was kind of laughing at us for trying to send Charlie through a turnstile. But hey, no line and a special elevator to our seats - I'll take it!
Really the only fail was that Wembley Stadium has NO apple juice. Like, none. Ugh. Whadya do? I guess the other fail was that Chelsea's first and second points were scored while Brad was under the stands searching for said apple juice. Brad got to see points 3 and 4. Point 5 was scored on the train ride home, trying to beat the mad exit rush.
Charlie had a lot of fun at the game. It was a little sensory overload at first with all the people and the loud music. But he got used to it and by 10 minutes in, even realized there was a game going on. He turned to Brad and said "Daddy! There's a soccer game there!" - you know, just in case Brad hadn't noticed yet!
While Chelsea hasn't had the most spirited fans when we've been to home games, it was very exciting last night! Lots of singing and cheering. Charlie would hold up both hands and yell for Chelsea! He also broke it down at halftime when Rihanna came on. Charlie loves to boogie.
It was a little insanely crowded leaving, but we got out ok. We had a very tired boy on our hands when we got home after all the excitement. I hope we can take him again while we're here, because he loved it so much. I don't think I'll ever forget taking him to that game last night.