Sunday, May 16, 2010

16 May 2010 – Rambla de Caneletes

Before tonight, I have never lived anywhere that won a major sporting championship. True, the Twins did win a World Series nearly twenty years ago, but I was living 200 miles from the stadium...not to mention I fell asleep hours before the termination of Game 7. Even after living for eight years in Minneapolis—a city with four major professional sports teams—I can’t say I experienced much more than seeing some drunken college students burn a garbage can after some hockey games. I like college hockey, but outside of Minnesota, not many people care.

Tonight FC Barcelona won La Liga, Spain’s premiere soccer league. As a result of Barça winning with the most successful record in the league’s eighty year history, the citizens took to the streets by the thousands, ultimately converging at la Rambla de Caneletes to climb lamp posts, launch fireworks, and sing Cant del Barça. I, too, ventured out into the streets of my adopted city, following the crowds of revelers which stopped traffic at each intersection. None of these stalled drivers seemed to mind as they also partook in the excitement by enthusiastically waving Catalan flags from their windows and sunroofs while adding to the party’s clamor with incessant horn honking.

While the celebration was large in terms of people and noise, I was let down with my first major sporting celebration. First off, the party was not spontaneous. Apparently every major soccer city has a point where fans congregate after a big win; people know to go to Rambla de Caneletes. Not only is this hike to las Ramblas not spontaneous, but it also is not that unique. Last season, Barcelona won six different titles, all meriting street celebrations. How emotional can a party be if it can happen every other month, especially when everyone assumes beforehand that the team will win?

In other words, tonight’s party sucked. The people of Barcelona are fortunate to currently have one of the greatest sports teams of all time. Any win is expected, as is any celebration. If these people ever want to experience true elation after winning a championship, I would recommend that they move to Chicago, become die-hard Cubs fans, and hope they Cubbies win the Series sometime in the next lifetime. Perhaps this is why I wasn’t too sad to see the Vikings lose the NFC Championship this year…I didn’t want to miss a truly good party.

Bad photo from my phone of people waving their Blaugrana.