HOUSTON - On Thursday night, one the greatest rivalries in sports, Manchester United versus Manchester City, took place at NRG Stadium.
While the Bayou City may be in the international spotlight, how well do Houstonians know the lingo of the world’s most popular sport?
Most of the locals KHOU 11 spoke with on Thursday, even those that know nothing about the sport, at least know that “football” isn’t just the name of the game the Texans play at NRG Stadium.
While a surprising amount were well-versed in the sport, there’s still a bit of a learning curve for some.
The “Manchester Derby”, happening since 1881, is one of the biggest rivalries in the most popular sport, not only in England, but also in The Richmond Arms, a popular British pub in West Houston.
“We’ve had dozens and dozens of people that have come into town that were here yesterday and will be here today to see this game,” said owner Michael Holliday, who is originally from England and has lived in Houston for more than 30 years.
Holiday says he’s witnessed a huge growth in Houston’s fan base over that time period.
“It used to be just be just British people watching the games,” said Holliday. “Now half the people are American, and they know it just as well as some of the English people.”
Manchester United fan John Sisk travelled from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to attend Thursday’s Manchester Derby in Houston.
“Pretty excited, a little nervous,” said Sisk, who was at the Richmond Arms early Thursday afternoon. “I’ve got some friends that are (Manchester) City fans, and I just don’t want to have to hear it.”
Fans like Sisk and Holliday are well-versed in football’s lingo. When asked what the playing surface was called, Holliday quickly replied with the correct answer: the pitch.
Outside the pub walls, many Houstonians are learning. One man interviewed at Discovery Green correctly answered the question of what it’s called when one team plays another: a match.
Others still have a little bit of studying to do. A couple of Houstonians were stumped when asked what it’s called when both teams end the match with the same score: a draw, rather than a tie.
Then there’s what the players wear on the pitch: not a uniform, but instead, a kit.
Meanwhile, those players will be trying to keep the ball from going over the long white line on the side of the pitch, known as the touchline.
Also, the end of the match is called “full time”, and what other sports would call “overtime” is known as “extra time.” However, these terms are just scratching the surface of all of football’s unique terminology.
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