Is this what it’s like in Brazil?
Wednesday, September 11th Brazil and Mexico were having a friendly soccer match in Foxboro, MA. I had a friend who had a ticket with my name on it. This should be a great event even if I’m in the very highest back row, I can still hope to see Kaka or Ronaldinho. Well Foxboro is 16 miles from my house. There will be traffic, so I figure 7:00 is a good time to leave to get to an 8:30 game. Added to this is that the people with tickets are leaving at 6:30 from slightly further away.
Of course, nothing goes to plan. My ride shows up a little later than expected, we don’t leave until 7:30. At 8:15 we’ve gone 3 miles (that’s an average speed of 4 MPH… about 1/15 of the speed limit) and give the ticket holders a call. “We’re running late. You can just put our tickets at the Will Call window. Oh, your still in traffic on route 1? Well, call me back when you park, we’ll tell you how close we are.” Yes, for an extra hour of driving, they were only 10 miles ahead of us, but at our speed that was an hour and a half away.
Using the powers of GPS navigation, we decided to forgo the interstate and travel lesser known back roads to our destination. With a little luck and a little magic, we were at foxboro at 9:30. One hour after the game was supposed to start. We call the holders of the tickets. “How the fuck did you get there before us!? We’ve only gone about a mile or two in the hour and 15 since we last spoke. I see that stadium, and should be parking in about 15 minutes or so. I’ll meet you at the gates.”
So we stood by the entrance gates watching tons of fans pour into the stadium more than an hour after the game started. Some of them complaining that they left Boston over three hours prior to arriving. After people watching for almost a half hour, our tickets had arrived. We entered the stadium with the game tied 1-1 during the 73rd minute. We skipped going to our seats to go directly to a railing with decent view.
This is what I saw: 67,000 fans (probably about 60,000 sporting Brazil colors), a game-winning goal by Kaka, another Brazil goal (Afonso), a pair of ejections: Elano for a hard foul, and coach Dunga for complaining, and a partridge in a pear tree. So, I did catch some exciting moments, but not everything. After the game, while stuck in the parking lot waiting for the traffic to clear, it was a little like a refugee camp – other than we weren’t really locked in (our car wasn’t going anywhere, but we could have walked away).
A little after 2:00 am I was finally home to sleep and wake for another day of tolling away.