Sunday, July 20, 2008

Capture the flag


I had an assignment for a soccer match today, but it wasn't Chivas USA versus the Revs. I was covering the Guatemala/El Salvador friendly for the Associated Press. It was my first AP assignment, and I was too nervous to even keep a running blog.
That's because this exhibition had no one taking stats like at MLS games, so I had to track everything myself. Turns out that there was only one main stat that mattered - 0 - as in zero goals. A scoreless draw.
But there was a little extra action in the match. At the start of the game, fans from both teams presented giant flags as part of the on-field ceremony. The flags were then sent into the stands to travel a bit before being displayed near the main fan sections so they could be called into service for celebration whenever either side scored.
That was the idea, at least, but the fan groups were very mixed and El Salvador's decided not to cooperate. They wouldn't pass the Guatemalan flag at all. It didn't get very far in the journey of the stands. The El Sal fans pulled it down and tried to stuff it under the seats. The PA announcer asked for people to pass the Guate flag back to the front so it could be displayed. A few Guate fans tried to transport it and were hit with beer cups for their efforts. The flag was also doused with a lot of beer by the Salvadoran fans. A big tug-of-war broke out for the flag and part of it tore. Finally, one guy just stuffed the entire flag into a huge pile and walked away with it. I still don't know if he was rescuing it, or taking it to burn in a bonfire or what. The Guatemalan flag didn't reappear, though. So while the match was a scoreless draw, the game of capture the flag had a clear winner, even if they won by being bad sports.
El Salvador flag


Both on display
The Guatemalan flag didn't survive much longer than this



8 comments:

Phillip said...

Where was this game? That looks like a huge crowd.

A.C. said...

It was in LA, at the Los Angeles Coliseum. It was a good crowd, too, over 40,000 easy.

FER said...

THE GUATEMALAN FLAG WAS HAPPILY CAPTURED BY A FAN AFTER THE MATCH WHO LEFT IT WITH A SECURITY GUARD.

THE FLAG DID HAVE A FEW WAR SCARS, BUT IT DID SURVIVE AFTER ALL.

A.C. said...

Well, that's good to know. I never saw it again, so I was wondering.

FER said...

DO YOU KNOW WHO TOOK THOSE PICTURES?
IS THERE A WAY TO GET A HOLD OF SOME COPIES?

A.C. said...

I took the pictures. Pretty much all the photos you see on this blog are taken by Luis and I.
People steal our pictures off the blog all the time, too. I'm not condoning that, but it happens. It would be nice if you could give us credit if you post the picture elsewhere. A link to our blog would be nice, too.

FER said...

Andrea: Is there a way to get a hold of those photos/buy them to blow them up, we worked at the game and would like to give those out to the Federations. My email is fernando@ptimegroup.com
Thanks

A.C. said...

Hi Fer, I emailed you the pictures I took. Please let me know if the email didn't go through or something.