Not that I'm paying attention or anything...
England and Russia fans rioted Saturday at the Old Port in Marseille and outside the city's Stade Velodrome before the two countries met in a soccer match at the European Championship.
It was the third straight day of violence in the Mediterranean port city, reviving bitter memories of clashes involving England fans at the 1998 World Cup.
Police fired tear gas and water cannons at rioters around the city to rein in violence that authorities said left at least five people injured. Some fans walked through the city bare-chested and with blood dripping from head wounds.
Amid the broken beer bottles and grey clouds of tear gas, families and tourists walked around the picturesque port, sometimes forced to skirt around lines of riot police leaning on their shields. Groups of people watched the chaos from the rear decks of two gleaming white yachts.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said one British citizen was "seriously injured" in the clashes.
"Once again, as over the last 30 years, an international football competition has been the scene of clashes between violent people claiming to be supporters of their national team," Cazeneuve said in a statement.
UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, also condemned the fans, saying "people engaging in such violent acts have no place in football."
TV footage showed fans throwing chairs yanked from restaurant terraces and scuffling on a staircase, where one man was seen kicking another one down the stairs. Shortly before the match kicked off, a group of Russia fans ran toward England supporters and started fighting outside the stadium. Riot police fired a water cannon at them and quickly broke up the scuffles.
There was no fighting among fans inside the stadium, where England fans vastly outnumbered Russians.
In the case of the current UEFA cup, there is one match that I think could provide plenty of fireworks. Apparently Poland is playing Germany on Thursday. And I cannot stop laughing at the idea.
As a result, the two sports diverge significantly in terms of fan bases and cultures. In American football, you have plenty of beered-up fans making lots of noise and generally acting silly, to be sure- but they do that inside the football stadium. And then they go home, because they've gotten their fill of vicariously watching athletes beat the crap out of each other on the field.
But in soccer, you have fans making a nuisance out of themselves both inside and outside the stadiums, because NOTHING EVER HAPPENS ON THE DAMN PITCH except watching 22 men running back, and forth, and back, and forth, and back, and forth, and- well, you get the idea.