Being a soccer fan in the United States can be trying. Until the 2014 World Cup performance, the crowd will be mostly people from other countries or descendants getting together and bothering whoever was watching something else at the bar. Thankfully, in the past few years, the sport has been getting some traction, even becoming the second most popular sport for ages 12-24. And I couldn’t see it clearer that when I attended the Remezcla’s Bud Light Barra Centenario event on Saturday night to watch the Colombia vs USMNT game. To see such a wonderful experience being formed in front of me, in celebration of what is arguably the best sport in the world, was a game changer.
The place was packed, full of amazing hispanic food and a rapid flow of cold beers. Different activities were spread out through the inside area to encourage people to immerse themselves more in the sport. Outside, where the food was, felt like a communal space where people could go eat and escape the craziness that was inside. There you could sit on one of the picnic tables, and enjoy typical dishes from the Caribbean and South America.
Before the game even started, the people were getting riled up. Hosted by DJ Ennuff and ESPN’s Sarina Morales, the music was getting everyone ready for the rest of the night. DJ sets from Venus X and Que Bajo?! made sure people were pumped, and the street art around completed an atmosphere that was a dream to soccer fans everywhere. Once the game started, after a riveting performance by Princess Nokia, everyone’s attention turned to the screens. Nobody moved their eyes until halftime was over, and Puerto Rico’s Hip Hop legend Tego Calderon took the stage for a hot set that had everyone dancing. By the time the game ended, you couldn’t help but smile.
If they wanted to create a football experience like no other in the USA, they succeeded tremendously. To see so many fans together, from different countries, celebrating each other’s cultures, and getting together to watch a game is all that fútbol/soccer is about. The beautiful game is coming strong into our sporting landscape and nights like this show me that. The fact that everyone got along, no matter race or nationality, was nice to see, especially in these times. Thank you Remezcla and Bud Light for giving us such a special evening. As a huge fan, I appreciate it.
Twisted Talk: Are you a soccer fan? What team do you root for? Discuss below!