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The Road to Anfield: Are We There Yet?

This guest post is by Rob, my husband who always makes me laugh. As any true German does, Rob loves soccer. Yesterday, Rob described what we had to go through before actually getting tickets. Today, he tells the story of cheering against his favorite team twice and a morning full of international phone calls.

So here we were: Dressed in the red and white of Liverpool, but ultimately, hoping for them to lose. We weren’t going to support the teams they played against, but our fingers were crossed for them to lose just one time. Hopefully, that time would during be their game against Havant & Waterlooville, a team that plays in the sixth English league, which consists mostly of taxi drivers and high school teachers playing soccer part time. If Liverpool were to lose this game, then they would be out of the FA Cup and our game would happen for sure. The 2:2 tie at halftime was much more than I expected, but in the second half, Liverpool showed their strength and scored two more times, making the final score 4:2 for Liverpool. Can’t they lose just one time? For us?

Ok, so our next chance was against Barnsley FC, a team from the second English league. Odds were against Barnsley, who not only played a league below Liverpool, but also were last in that lower league. On top of that, they had to play Liverpool at Anfield Road, which makes it at least twice as difficult to beat the LFC.

To no surprise, the halftime score was 1:0 for Liverpool, but hope always dies last. We sat in our apartment, refreshing Kicker.de every minute to see the up-to-date results. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. And then we couldn’t believe our eyes! Barnsley tied the game and our hopes soared. We refreshed and refreshed some more, but the score stayed tied even ten to fifteen minutes after the game should have been over. Something was wrong.

In the FA Cup, games tied after 90 minutes of play do not go to overtime. Instead, the teams face each other in a new game to break the tie. Then Linden had the genius idea of checking the official Liverpool FC site. Unbelievably, the headline gave us great news: “Liverpool knocked out of the FA CUP by a late goal of Barnsley FC. Final Score 1-2!!” We looked at each other in awe, then jumped up and started dancing in a circle. Yea, I know we probably looked really stupid, but who cares! Now it was final: Liverpool and Newcastle would face off on March 8. All we needed to do was get tickets.

Easier said than done!!!

The tickets went on sale at 8:30 A.M. on February 25, and we had 2 alarms set. At 8:29 A.M., I dialed 0004-844-844-0844 for the first time. After I got through the menu of instructions, I was told that I would be put in the queue for tickets. But then a nice voice came on and told me that all lines are busy and I should please try again in a few minutes. This was just the first of many times we heard that voice tell us exactly that, and after an hour, she didn’t sound so nice anymore.

We dialed that number about once every minute, getting the same response over and over. Linden took over after a while. Finally, after two and half hours (see the phone bill), Linden heard a nice gentleman announce, “You are number 59 in the queue!” It was a sexy, amazingly intelligent voice, but first and foremost, it was a voice of relief. When we were first in line, Linden handed the phone to me.

A friendly young woman answered the phone and said, “How can I help you today?”

“What?! Bitch, you crazy? I want some freaking tickets to the game! What else would I be calling for?” Of course I didn’t say that to her. It would have been the worst thing to piss off the ticket lady, the Liverpudlian who holds our Liverpool FC tickets in her probably well-manicure hands. So I said calmly, “I would like some tickets for the big game, please Ma’am.” I only requested that she give us two seats together somewhere in that beautiful stadium. She found them, took our credit card information, and gave me a confirmation code. Linden and I danced around in a circle and all we had to do now was get our butts over the canal and get to the stadium.


One thought on “The Road to Anfield: Are We There Yet?

  1. Beth

    29 Mar on 2008 at 16:03

    That phone bill is CRAZY! What happened to being able to buy tickets online?? It’s 2008 for crying out loud…