The Doosan Bears

I’ve always been a big sports fan, and for my money, there are few better places in terms of atmosphere and excitement than a live sports match.

Now, I imagine that, along with most of the western world, I grew up watching American movies and TV shows. And even though I’ve never particularly enjoyed the sport of baseball, watching the game live at a ballpark has alway appealed to me, and seeing baseball games on TV or the movies just served to cement that fact. Blue sky, green grass, cold beer, hotdogs, big foam fingers and baseball caps, it’s always been something I’ve wanted to experience. If I could be picky, it would be the Yankees  at Yankee stadium in the Bronx, or the Chicago White Sox in, well Chicago naturally.

Life, as usual, as other plans. It turns out I would break my baseball duck, not in the US of A, but in Korea instead. Now, as with most things American, Koreans have embraced baseball in its entirity. A few months ago, I went to go watch the Doosan Bears take on Busan in the Jamsil Stadium, on the banks of the Seoul River . With the grass-green and the sky blue, the baseball dream was looking promising. unfortunately, the Bears were taught a lesson, going down 15 -1 (if memory serves correctly) and the game as a spectacle was over early.

Jamsil Staduim

It did give us time to watch a few of the more ‘Korean’ aspects of the game. As with soccer games, organised cheers and noise makers, orchestrated by hand and flag signals are all the rage. Interestingly, each side is given a turn for a song or chant. There is no booing, hissing, or trying to drown the opposition side out. All very civilised. hotdogs were, unfortunately in short supply. Instead, a staple Korean snack, dried squid is all the rage in the stands. A little chewy, and with a distinctive aroma (or just downright smelly depending on the wind direction) it does not hold a candle to a decent hot dog.

Ona  positive note, the beer was cold, and the atmosphere was grand. And until I find myself in NY or Chicago, the Bears will do nicely. I only hope they can up their game as the season progresses.

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Published in: on 06/07/2010 at 8:43 pm  Comments (3)  
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