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Something more…than soccer

The soccer match that we were going to was between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco and was being held in Dortmund which is just a few hours north of Frankfurt. We flew out Monday and arrived in Frankfurt early Tuesday. As you all know, Nate and I love to drive in Europe. So were rented a car and were good to go. If you have watched my Instagram stories, you know that Nate loves to drive on German freeways because you can drive as fast as you like in the left lane.  

Dortmund in on the western side of Germany near the Dutch boarder. It is an industrial town that has moved into technology. It really isn’t a tourist destination. There aren’t many hotels to choose from, so we picked the nicest one that we had points for that was walking distance from the soccer stadium. (the Dortmund stadium holds 80,000 people so being able to walk was huge.) When we pulled up, the Monaco team bus was in front of the hotel. I guess we made a good choice!! My 11 year old would have been beside himself. There were Monaco players and coaches wandering around the hotel the whole day, I don’t get star struck, but it was pretty cool. I even got to take a picture with their starting center back as the team was leaving for the match. Again, Samuel would have gone nuts.

This is where the whole story takes a turn
… We headed to the match. It took about 15 minutes to walk to the stadium. Soccer fans in Europe take sports fanaticism to the next level. Dortmund’s colors are yellow and black. Smartly, I was wearing all black. I think Nate may have been the only person in the crowd besides the handful of Monaco fans not wearing black or yellow. They chant, they scream, they sing. It’s awesome. Nate had left to go get some food and I was sitting in my seat waiting for the match to start. Suddenly, someone came on the PA system speaking in German. (Again, because this isn’t a tourist town, they don’t make announcements in English. In fact, most peoples’ English was pretty limited.) Right after the announcement, everyone groaned, got up and stared to leave. I had no. idea. what. the. heck. was. going. on!! Plus, Nate was still gone. I turned to the two guys sitting next to me and asked if they spoke English. One didn’t at all and the other did a little. He said that the Dortmund team bus was bombed and the game was cancelled. Just like that, super calm, not in a hurry to leave and mostly just annoyed.


What the heck!!?
You can imagine my surprise. First, everyone was calm and just walking out of the stadium. Second, I had a million questions. Should I be scared? Where did this happen? Was everyone ok? Were we in danger? Just then Nate came back and he had got the same information. We made our way back to our hotel, which was now under heavy security because the Monaco team was staying there and everyone was (obviously) taking extra precautions. We got more information once we were there, including that there were only minor injuries to one player and that they were rescheduling the game for the next night. We decided that we would stay and go to the match and then head to Amsterdam when it was done; later than expected.  

So here’s the cool part; as impassioned as Dortmund fans are about their soccer team, they opened their homes up to the fans from Monaco so that they could stay another night and watch the game. A social media campaign started up right away to help and all the Monaco fans were taken care of. Also, the Monaco fans showed their support for Dortmund by rallying behind their team and their city.   

Finally, the game did go on the next night. I’ll admit, I was really nervous to go. However, I’m so glad that I did. Prior to the match starting the fans sing a bunch of songs that mean something to their club. This is true for all European soccer clubs. One of the songs that they sing is called; You’ll Never Walk Alone and it was dedicated to the injured Dortmund Player. Here are the lyrics…

When you walk through a storm, 

hold your head up high

And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky


And the sweet, silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind

Walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone


You’ll never walk alone



In that moment, the stadium wasn’t filled with Dortmund fans or Monaco fans. They were just fans who came together because they loved soccer. Despite the terror in the world and on their doorstep, trying to stop this game from taking place, they choose to stand together. They stood and sang for a player and a team and a city. It’s something that I won’t forget and something that I’m so glad I got to be a part of…

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