Experiencing American culture through sport!


One of the best ways to truly immerse yourself into the culture of the city you are traveling to is to go to the local sporting event.  In many countries, that involves going to a football (soccer to North Americans) match.  In Australia, it could include Aussie Rules Football.  In New Zealand and South Africa, it would be a rugby match.  In Canada, it is seeing a hockey game. In the USA, it is becoming more and more about going to an American Football game.  We, unfortunately, have only had the opportunity to do two of these experiences; watching a hockey game in Canada and seeing an American Football game.  Since we are Canadian, it is not really “immersing in another culture” to go to a hockey game, so we will focus on our American Football experience in this post.

We have been lucky enough to get this experience five times over the last five years in Seattle, Washington, where people flock to Century Link Field (formerly Qwest Field) to cheer on their beloved Seattle Seahawks Football team.  The experience has been amazing each time we have gone!!

Seattle - Century Link Field

The experience starts early every Sunday when you step out into the streets of Seattle.  Proud Seattleites are walking their streets in their Seahawks colours.  It is easy to get wrapped up in this right away, as cheers rain out on the streets of “Seahawks!” 

Seattle - Getting Ready for the Game

Getting Ready for the Game!

As we walk towards the stadium, there are larger and larger crowds of people wearing Seahawks blue and green.  Everyone is in great spirits in anticipation of another Seahawk game.  This is the best time of the week for everyone! 

Seattle - Seahawks' Fans Flocking to Field

Along the way we pass many people participating in what has become one of America’s new favourite pastimes, the tailgate party.  A tailgate party is where a large group of people (friends and strangers alike) come together and cook/barbecue up their favourite foods, drink some beer and hang out in the parking lot (way more fun than I can make it sound). 

Seattle - Tailgate Party

Pregame Tailgate Party

Once inside the stadium, the feeling is electric!!!  There is so much energy inside that there is an actual buzz in the stadium.  Even those who are not fans of the sport cannot help but get swept up in the excitement.  We are high fiving, chanting and cheering with complete strangers with every positive play for the Seahawks!  We are making as much noise as we can when the other team is on offence to try and force them to make mistakes (which the people of Seattle take great pride in doing).  The people of Seattle call the fans the twelfth man because they have an influence on the game.  At the beginning of the game they raise a 12th man flag to get the fans excited.  Man, what a wonderful time!! 

Seattle - Twelfth Man Flag

Twelfth Man Flag

Seattle - Game Time

Game Time!

Seattle - Go Seahawks!!!

Go Seahawks!!!

Our experiences have been so fantastic, that we really hope to go to some of other sports around the world where it is almost like a religion in the city.  It seems to us like the perfect way to experience the culture.  We think that there are some things in the world that just need to be experienced and we highly recommend including a sporting event on your next trip!  If you happen to be lucky enough to plan it, we also recommend going to see the Olympic Games in your travels, as this is a sports experience that is more exciting to see in person than any other.  You can read more about our Olympic Experience here.

What is the best sports experience you have ever had?


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4 Responses to Experiencing American culture through sport!

  1. Guys, this is actually a very interesting way of exploring the city or the country. I’m a big fan of football, so I’m planning to watch Spanish league next year :). You both look like proper sport fans!
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    Agness November 20, 2012 at 3:07 am Reply
    • Thanks, Agness. We really think you get a chance to know the people of the place your are visiting by going to a sporting event. Have fun in Spain – that sounds really fun! 🙂

      evan&tracy November 24, 2012 at 11:36 am Reply
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