While most of you are happily anticipating spring break next week, mine started yesterday. This year, I decided to skip my midterms and go home a week early, in order to be able to spend more time with my family, whom otherwise would be busy working on the week I get off from school.
Or at least that is what I told my professors. Truth is, as most of you already know, I am an extremely passionate soccer-supporter, and my team is playing the most important game of the season tomorrow.
When I say “my team”, I am referring to F.C. Copenhagen, also known as “The Lions” or “The City’s Team”. Established in 1992, the year after I was born, and with their training facility located just a few blocks from my childhood home, I have always had a strong connection to the boys in white.
When I was younger, my mother got free tickets to the home-games through her work and it didn’t take long until I was screaming my lungs out in the stands. But it was one game in particular that got me hooked on the soccer drug more than anything else and have kept me looking for that same fix ever since.
It was June 10th, 2001 and F.C. Copenhagen was pursuing the second championship in the history of the club. We had won our first trophy our freshman year in the league in 1992, but the rest of the 90’s were a big letdown and our rivals, Brøndby I.F., had monopolized Danish soccer.
But with two games left in the league, we had the chance to secure our name in the history books, if we won against Brøndby. But if we were to lose the game, they would have the match point in the final round of the league, making it a nerve wrecking experience.
I was 10 years old at the time, and I honestly don’t remember much about our first goal. I don’t remember our goalkeeper kicking the ball up the field for the second one either. But Fernandez’s pass to Thorninger and Thorninger’s felt tip to Sibusiso Zuma will always be embedded in my brain. And so will the glorious motion of Zuma’s bicycle kick, looping it over Brøndby’s goalkeeper into the far corner of the goal, sending our national stadium into a complete state of ecstasy.
We won the game 3-1, and the trophy was ours. What followed was a glorious decade full of championship titles, cup titles, Champions League participation and lots of lots of beer. I have had so many euphoric experiences with this team, for instance, when we won against Manchester United in 2006 and when we became the first Danish team ever to go beyond the group stages in the Champions League just a few years after that.
I have also had a lot of terrible experiences, because in order for a triumph to be complete, there has to be obstacles. These obstacles though, have a way of ruining my mood for days, if not weeks and months. Yes, I am that dedicated. And that is why tomorrow is such an important game for me.
Having transformed into a borderline hooligan these past 15 years, my hatred for our rivals has only grown stronger each passing years. And people who know me know that I hate hard. I hate with a passion. And I do it loud.
Chances are, if you have me on any social media platform, tomorrow, there will be chanting outbursts of profanity at the yellow-blue bastards from the ghetto of the western suburbs. I am not going to apologize for it, because it is who I am. But I hope you will enjoy whatever video clips or photos are coming your way, as it shows me ungraciously indulging in my biggest passion.
Fair warning, I look ridiculous while being drunk and angry, but hopefully in 24 hours, I will be enthusiastically celebrating a very important win for my team. Either way, it’s going to be another emotional and spectacular experience at Parken Stadium, and no matter the outcome, I will be back for the next derby as well. Success is Temporary, Loyalty is Forever.