By Josh Martin, Sports Editor
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to experience my very first Whitecaps game on a Wednesday night when the Vancouver team faced off against David Beckham and the LA Galaxy. Not being a huge soccer fan to begin with, I was surprisingly excited to embark on this eventful night for a friend’s birthday party.
It was electrifying. Before the match had even begun, it was a party outside BC Place, with different activities and booths set up, along with a motorcycle booth where you could wait in line to rev up the engine. The ecstatic energy left me reminiscent of the 2010 Olympics. Everyone united as one cheering for the same team. The only thing different this time around was that it was sunny and summery, rather than a Vancouver winter.
Row L, seat 6 was the ticket that was handed to me—a damn good one. We were sitting close enough to almost see the players’ sweat drip down their faces. It only cost $40 for the ticket and two $5 food vouchers, which were part of the package for buying the tickets in advance.
Finding our seats was easy, and after we sat down and realized how good our seats were, I took a look around. The place was packed. Apparently 21,000 crazy fans were there to not only cheer on their home team, but to come and see soccer superstar David Beckham.
Who is this guy anyway?
Prior to the game all I knew about this Beckham character was that he’s married to Posh Spice, his name was in the movie, Bend it Like Beckham, he’s making a boodle of money playing in the MLS after coming overseas, and that he’s supposedly really good. But honestly how good can a soccer player be? How much impact can one player do in soccer? It’s not as fast paced as any other sport.
Man, oh man, was I wrong. This player was as good as it gets, if I’ve ever seen one. Beckham was everywhere on the field, making perfect passes, corner kicks that had ridiculous curves, nifty plays and dekes around players, a pair of pink cleats, and even a goal late in the game. I finally understood why there was so much hype and excitement just to see this guy. Dozens of fans were wearing his jersey and the other thousands of people booed as the Jumbotron showed his face at the beginning ceremonies. It was quite the scene.
And when the Caps’ scored their two goals, BC Place exploded. Everyone jumped to their feet in excitement and my friends and I clapped our inflatable balloon stick clappers.
Just before halftime, me and my friends decided to take the smart route and duck out for food and beat the rush. I read the menu and a “JUMBO” hotdog and beer intrigued my interests. “That’ll be $13.74 please.”
Now, we’re not just talking a regular size beer, we’re talking a tiny plastic cup full of Budweiser and a regular size hotdog. Jumbo my ass.
Expensive, yes. But what are you going to do? The good thing was we each had a $10 food voucher, so it wasn’t a game changer.
After the game came to a 2–2 tie, including an extra four minutes of overtime the match ended and the players walked back into their respective dressing rooms. The electrifying atmosphere faded into the streets and me and my friends parted our ways. A great time at my first Whitecaps experience.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out a game or two before the season ends!
PQ: “Prior to the game all I knew about this Beckham character was that he’s married to Posh Spice, his name was in the movie, Bend it Like Beckham, he’s making a boodle of money playing in the MLS after coming overseas, and that he’s supposedly really good.”