Karl's Corner - 10/25/2000

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...Today Rivers and I went to a soccer match between The USA National team and the Mexican National team, that took place at the USC Colosseum, near downtown LA. We went with several freinds including Justin (of Nerf Herder and Psoma), partially because we had heard some pretty foreboding tales of what we were getting ourselves into. The attendance of these games is over 85,000 people, 99.9 percent of which are Mexicans who live in LA, all of whom are fiercely proud of their excellent team. The US team is also very good now, but when you are surrounded by a huge crowd of people who want your team to lose, you tend not to want to show your loyalty too loudly. Nevertheless, We spotted several defiant US-supporters, several of which were 2 rows in front of us, dressed up like Uncle Sam! Now, what has to be understood is the atmosphere in the crowd: ROWDY and LOUD, and 98 percent spanish speaking. People blowing through these weird plastic trumpets, doing the wave, lighting up smoke bombs and chucking them to and fro (i kid you not), throwing their drinks and food at people walking by down below who were wearing USA shirts (or anyone who just looked up at them at all!), you name it, it was insane!!!

Now what has to be understood is that nobody there, even us, expected the US team to win. The Mexicans always win, and there is an occasional tie. The whistling (equivalent of booing) when the USA team took the field (or did anything good), was deafening, and I mean that literally. There was extreme confidence in a Mexico victory amongst the Mexican fans, and a slim hope of holding them to 1 or 2 goals from the US fans.

...Then USA scored first. Amazing. The level of play was phenomenal, and they fought hard for it. But the fans (except for us of course) were PISSED. (And by now "pissed" in the other sense, that is, drunk). I cannot describe the emotion in that stadium at that point, it was an intense place to be....

...And then USA scored again.

...By now, with a victory virtually guaranteed for the US (there was little time left), things got ugly. The "Uncle Sams", for all the game a target for various insults and "Coke-bombs" from above, were getting strafed with garbage, half filled beers, and food. Not to mention our gang, who everyone had figured out by then were definitely not Team Mexico supporters. After nearly getting killed by flying debris a few times (you'd be amazed the punch a half-filled cup of Coke and ice packs when thrown from 90 feet above...), we headed up the stands, to get above the "bombers". All over angry fights were breaking out, as people who WERE Mexico supporters were getting splashed by beers and cokes from above, and they were angry enough as it was that they were losing! Me and Rivers moved up about 15 rows, all the while people yelling at us to "go back!", as they didnt want to become the new targets by sitting near us! Then all hell broke loose and a REAL fight broke out only a few seats down our aisle. 10 guys all started pounding on each other and shoving each other into the seats. It looked like a rugby match, only on hard metal seats...brutal! Lots of guys rushed past us to join in, and me and Rivers decided to make a break for the very top of the stadium, to wait out the madness. Police arrived thereafter to break up what had become a large bloody brawl. In the end it was USA 2, Mexico 0, in an unheard of upset that left a lot of guys mad, and Rivers, Justin and I amazed and stoked (if a bit fearful for our lives...)

...that didnt have much to do with rock music, but it was quite an experience. The guys rehersed earlier today, working on some arrangements. Tomorrow (Thursday) they resume demo-recording. I intend on shooting video of this and putting up some new clips.