Maloney’s Magic

This post is going to be short and sweet…Just wanted to share with everyone one of my favorite moments of this trip so far!

Those of you that know me know that I LOVE sports. I grew up playing soccer and volleyball and I cherish my memories of  watching the University of Iowa football team throughout the years. I live for the Olympics and the World Cup. I watch the movie Miracle every year and may or may not cry every time the US team takes down the Soviets. Needless to say, I’ve really missed being in Kinnick Stadium this past fall, watching the Hawks, win or lose. It wasn’t until Glasgow that I got my sports fix.

When I think of classic rivalries in sports, the big ones come to mind- The Red Sox and the Yankees, Duke and North Carolina, the Packers and the Bears. Scotland and Ireland didn’t really come to mind, until now. Katie and I were walking in Glasgow when we saw a sign at a pub informing us that there was a football (soccer to us Americans) game on that night! It wasn’t just any old football match, but Scotland versus Ireland in the European Championship Qualifying round and the game was being played in Glasgow!! Unfortunately, we couldn’t get tickets to the match because it was later that night and completely and utterly sold out. We decided to catch the match at the pub down the street- they were offering a free pint to everyone if Scotland won!

We arrived later that night to a very crowded pub full of Scots, with a gender ratio that was definitely male dominated. It was pretty clear we were the odd ones out, but despite the weird looks here and there we ended up feeling right at home while watching the game. And what a game it was, all tied up for the longest time. Back and forth it went! Both teams had countless shots on goal, narrowly missing each time. Everyone in the pub was on the edge of their seat, not taking their eyes off the game, afraid to miss any major play. It was still tied at the half when Katie left to run back to our B&B. Still back and forth and back and forth. At the 76th minute, Scotland was blessed with a corner kick and Maloney exchanged passes with Scott Brown and finished with a phenomenal shot, everyone held their breath… GOAL!!!!!

The place erupted! Everyone went crazy, and in that moment I made a hundred new friends.  All we had to do was hold on until the end of the game. The Scots then really stepped up their defense and kept the score 1-0 until the final whistle blew and Scotland clinched the win! Katie returned minutes after the goal, missing the whole celebration, but don’t worry, I reenacted the entire thing to perfection.

It was only a short little moment in the large scheme of this trip, but it was definitely one of my favorites and one I just had to share!
-S

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