Allez l’OL!

Saturday was my 23rd Birthday. To celebrate, I along with 2 of my roommates went to Lyon to watch a football (soccer) match. Lyon’s Olympique Lyonnais took on Stade Rennes. Both teams play in Ligue 1, France’s top football league. Going into the game, Lyon was ranked 3rd and Rennes 2nd, so we expected good performances from both teams. Lyon had also just been eliminated from the Champions League after a devastating 3-0 loss to Real Madrid, so we knew they had to bring their A-game to this match. We had also purchased tickets in the “hooligan” section, so we knew it would be a good game 😉

To prepare ourselves for the crowd, we practised some of the official cheers posted on the team’s website.

My favourite:

J’étais saoul hier
Je suis saoul ce soir
Et si tout va bien, je serais saoul demain matin


I was very drunk yesterday
I am very drunk tonight
And if everything goes well, I will be very drunk tomorrow morning

I guess the hooligans weren’t very intoxicated that evening, nor the one prior, because to my disappointment they didn’t sing this cheer. 😦 One that was repeated throughout the game wasn’t nearly as good, but it was rather easy to learn, and I guess by the end, it did grow on me 😛 :

Supporter lyonnais
C’est le moment de chanter
Encourageons l’équipe aimée
Avec nous elle va gagner


Support lyonnais
It’s time to sing
Cheer for the beloved team
With us they’ll win

Half-frozen (it was a cool night) at half-time, we decided to buy OL scarves, and just like that, we became Olympique Lyonnais fans! Our students will be so proud of us!! 🙂

The game had passed the 80 minute mark, and with the score being 1-0 in Lyon’s favour, things were looking good for the home team. Then, with just 5 minutes left on the clock, and much to the dismay of the 35,504 Lyonnais fans at Stade Gerland, Rennes scored 😦

The game ended in a 1-1 tie, and although the team didn’t lose, they did let 2 points slide and I was expecting the crowd to be, to put it lightly, a little verbal. But, to my surprise, the crowd exiting the stadium was rather tame and well-behaved.

It would have been nice if Lyon had picked up the win, it being my Birthday and all, but I guess I can settle for a tie… 😉 I never thought I’d actually attend a football match in Europe, but I’m glad that I did; it is definitely something worth experiencing. And if you thought the crowds were loud on tv, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet! 😛 The vibe from the crowd is absolutely incredible, and when it comes to the cheers, those crazy football fans have us hockey people beat!

Hear for yourself: Here’s a video I took of the crowd chanting the “Supporter lyonnais” cheer…

All in all, it was an amazing Birthday, and I have two very amazing people to thank for it: THANK YOU JENNY & CORINA!! 😀


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