Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Devon Derby: Plymouth Argyle v. Exeter City

Hey everyone,

So few weeks ago I told you all about my trip up to Grantham with Enactus Plymouth, and all the awesome things that I learned well I was there. But now it's time to tell you a different story, a story of hatred between two cities. Plymouth. Exeter. The Devon Derby. This is how I saw it and what I experienced in my first derby match.

I had gone to Home Park to see Argyle play, it was always a happy vibe everyone was welcome and everyone that walked into the stadium wanted to see how Argyle would do that weekend, but it was different this time. Just on the short walk up to the ground from my flat you could tell that every fan that you passed seemed on edge and wanted to get one over on Exeter. I walked up to the ticket booth to get my tickets and you could hear both groups of fans volleying back-and-forth with song after song.

The atmosphere was tense and you could tell that both sides wanted to win, and side that lost would lose their mind. Because of the the local Devon & Cornwall Police were out in full force and riot gear to make sure order was kept from kick off. But after walking by a legion of officers I made it into the park and taking my seat I sat there and took it all in. For these people, some of whom have supported Argyle from the day they were born wanted nothing but a clean game and and solid win over their rivals, for some this game was more important than going up to league one. You could feel the passion these fans had before the ball was even kicked.

Moments before the whistle we were all asked that if we have something under our seats to hold it up. I had never been apart of a tifo and I finally got a chance to. I held up my piece of green plastic and I started to sing with all of the green army to push the argyle boys. It is a moment I will not forget. The plastic went down and then the whistle blow and the game kicked off.

From that whistle you could tell that Argyle were on the back foot and went down 2 to null in the first half. The fans knew the the boys had something in them that they were not showing, and Derek Adams the manager needed to get the boys going. They clawed one back in the second half but it wasn't enough. Plymouth fell 2-1 against rivals Exeter. I felt as angry as some of the fans, but I put it aside knowing that it was only a game, but for some it's not just a game and for those people they had armored police on the pitch right after the match. I hurried out of the park to make sure that I wasn't going to get caught up in the violence if any was to happen, and made it home in one piece. But that game will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was by far the most passion match I've been to behind any USMNT games with the Outlaws, but the fans made the match. When they say football is nothing without the fans they mean it 100%.

Well that was the Devon Derby. I hope you found reading this as interesting as it was for me to be there. I want to take a second and just say thank you to everyone who has helped me get here. If it wasn't for you all I wouldn't be able to experience these amazing things, and I thank you all for that. I will be out of Plymouth for the holidays so I will keep you all updated on my whereabouts in the next few weeks. Till then, stay classy everyone!



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