I watched Manchester United beat West Ham today at Old Trafford. It was a great experience, joining the cheering red masses at one of the most famous stadiums in the world. There's only one problem: I'm still not sure whether I saw a football game or a soccer game.
It seems like everyone except for Americans calls soccer "football." Of course, the reason why we can't call it soccer "football" is because we already call a different sport "football" that's far more popular in the US. And it's really too bad, because in American football, the players use their hands all the time. It could easily have a different name.
So obviously, I can't call it football back in the US. But can I call it football when I'm in England? I mean, it is the Manchester United Football Club. It just sounds so wrong to me… If I start saying football here, will "bloody" be next? It's a slippery slope. And then what if I start saying these things when I'm back home in New York next week…
Even though I'll never know if I saw a football game or a soccer game (or both!), I could appreciate the excellent design of the legendary Old Trafford stadium, aka The Theatre of Dreams. We were sitting in the second tier on the north side, and the third tier completely covered us from the rain. We had been dreading getting soaking wet, as it had been raining on and off all day and continued to rain intermittently throughout the game. I should have guessed they would have come up with a way to deal with the rain!