Low Lie the Fields of Athenry

Some of the world’s most famous soccer players were on display during Thursday’s Spain vs. Ireland game in the group stages of the Euros 2012, but late in the 4-0 Spain victory the attention turned to the stands.

The Irish supporters were all still there in the 90th minute and sang louder than any country’s fans have during the Euros, even down the four goals. The Irish faithful sang “The Fields of Athenry,” an Irish folk song from the mid-19th century, so loud you could clearly hear the words despite the announcers speaking over it. This wasn’t just a loss, this was an elimination game and the end of a dream, yet the faithful never lost their pride. It’s also noted that the Spaniards in the crowd we’re clapping along with the Irish as they make their bow out of the tournament.

It’s a tournament that has been ravaged by violence and racism from the supporters of Poland, Russia, ect… but the Irish have proven to be as levelheaded as they are passionate.  As a rumble between Croatian supporters and Poznan police broke out after the Ireland-Croatia match, a lone Irish fan can be seen trying to get between the two groups to calm everything down while bottles flew past his head and he was being hit with a baton.  This photo of two separate Irish fans was taken later that night as riot police stood in the Poznan city centre.

Irish supporters against hooliganism

Soccer is a sport that has long been associated with hooliganism and violence which has been brought to the forefront this summer. UEFA is imposing sanctions on teams as a result of their fans misbehavior, as they have on Russia with a fine and a six-point World Cup qualifying penalty after Russian fans beat up stadium ushers, but it will always be ultimately up to the fans themselves to define the beautiful game as being about pride and country over violence and thuggery.

While the Irish are the first team eliminated from the tournament and are extremely disappointed with their inability to compete with the rest of Europe, it’s their supporters that took the trip to Poland that the country can be proud of as they look towards their next goal – World Cup 2014 qualification.

Watch the Irish sing “The Fields of Athenry” in the closing moments of their loss to Spain.

The Week in TicketCity Search – The Beliebers Strike Back

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Jun. 4th
1 1 Justin Bieber
2 2 One Direction
3 4 Euro 2012
4 - Coldplay
5 - OKC Thunder
6 - Kenny Chesney
7 - Katy Perry
8 - Miami Heat
9 9 Jason Aldean
10 - Dallas Cowboys

BOOM! That was not pretty. One Direction, having held the top spot lo these many weeks, was de-throned by a margin that makes their previously impressive victories seem a mere trifle. The esteemed Mr. Bieber separated #1 and #2 by a nearly 5x margin, possibly setting a record for the number of searches in a week. My biggest concern now is that “Bieber” is not exactly a font of snappy title puns. While I was worried I’d run out with One Direction, I should have been concerned with who would replace them.

In the world outside of tween pop, we have Euro Cup hitting the #3 spot, which may be as high as the 2012 edition will be allowed to climb. Coldplay drops in at #4. They will be playing dates in Texas later this month and the smart money says that has something to do with their new-found chart success. The Thunder clenching a berth in the NBA Finals helped propel them to #5 in a bit of a “last minute” rush.

Kenny Chesney, no stranger to the countdown, returns to start the bottom five this week. He’s followed by someone who is a stranger to the countdown, Katy Perry. It seems as if her buzz may be due more to the upcoming release of a bio/concert film: Part of Me. As this one is going to be hitting your local multiplex, we won’t be selling tickets for it. She has said there’s a new album on the way, so no doubt Ms. Perry will be on the road again at some point in the future.

The Heat and the Celtics made a go of it, but seems Heat fans are the more optimistic this week. The NBA Finals match up will be set Saturday night on the Heat’s home turf. Speaking of optimism, the Dallas Cowboys peek in a the bottom of the countdown to bring things to a close this week.

The Week in TicketCity Search – You’ll Catch Up In That Direction

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
May. 28th
1 - One Direction
2 - Justin Bieber
3 - ACL Fest
4 - Euro 2012
5 - San Antonio Spurs
6 - Texas Rangers
7 - Miami Heat
8 - Jimmy Buffet
9 - Jason Aldean
10 - Belmont Stakes

Well, now it’s a fight. When last we left this little pop soap opera, the esteemed Mr. Bieber had been trailing One Direction for weeks. The Bieber partisans had put up impressive numbers considering he hadn’t actually released any tour dates. Now the Believe Tour is on the books for this Fall, and interest skyrocketed. Just not quite enough to dethrone the boys of One Direction this week. Mind, the gap between #1 and #2 has changed from “brutal trouncing” to single digits.

Despite not announcing headlining performances from either Justin Bieber or One Direction, the ACL Festival secures #3. That rather wide gap now separates it from second place, though. Fans will simply have to “make do” with the likes of Florence + The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, The Black Keys, Jack White and many others.

The Euro Cup, 2012 edition, lands in #4. Outside of the World Cup, this is one of international soccer’s biggest events. Hosted this year in Poland and Ukraine, 16 of the top European teams will compete, including Spain, who won the last Euro Cup and the last World Cup.

At #5 and #7, Spurs and Heat remind us the NBA finals are still in progress. These two are the favorites to meet in the Finals, though Boston and OKC still have a say in the matter.

Rounding things out in the bottom five we see the return of Jimmy Buffet and Jason Aldean this week. Buffet is on tour right now, and Aldean is part of the big Country Megaticket shows this summer with Luke Bryan.

Finally there’s a greater than usual interest in this year’s Belmont Stakes as enthusiasts buzz about the possibility of new Triple Crown winner. I’ll Have Another has won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and is set to race at Belmont. There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed captured it in 1978. If I’ll Have Another wins, it may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the lucky spectators.