Today I went to a soccer game. I went with some other students to watch the Nagoya Grampus 8 team play the Shimizu S-Pulse team. These are J-League teams, the top teams within Japan. Grampus is an interesting name for a team. It is an English word, but I had to look it up. It is the name of a legendary killer whale.
The stadium was very nice, but is rarely used. It is located in the city of Toyota, which is where the company of the same name is also based. The stadium was made for the Japan-Korea World Cup matches a few years ago, but in the end none of the matches were played there. So Toyota bought the Nagoya team and plays about half the home matches there as a way to make sure the stadium gets some use.
We sat at one end (the Nagoya end). Everyone there was dressed in the red team jerseys and there was a cheering squad with loud speakers, flags, and drums.
The other end was where the Shimuzu team was at, all dressed in orange, and with a similar cheering squad. I think their cheering squad was better than the Nagoya squad. And, as it turns out, their team was also better, as the Nagoya team lost. I heard from a friend who went to a prior home game that they lost that game also. He said they are not that good a team.
I was surprised when the teams first came on the field, and the people on our side booed the other team. This is very different than the baseball game I had been to in Japan (click here for the write up), where the fans were very civilized. Maybe this is the norm for soccer? Or maybe because soccer is very popular in Brazil and many Brazilians have moved to Japan, it is the Brazilian culture coming out?
I have never been to a soccer match in the States or Europe, so can't compare to see what is different between Japanese style soccer and elsewhere.