Pubs + beer + smoke + 10 wild Finns =

an amateur's insight into hockey World Championships 2007


Did you come to CzechRepublic not knowing much, and not giving a damn about hockey? –  Big mistake. Here hockey is one of the most popular sport disciplines to follow, and almost every Czech person has a favorite team to cheer for. Having said that, imagine an amateur, who had never seen any hockey game at all before coming to Czech Republic, following her first hockey World Championships. The scenario would be something like this:


Place? Any smoky, loud, packed bar with cheap beer and a screen to follow the game, where you can hardly breathe because of the smoke. Company? Ten Finnish fans cheering for their team, drinking hectoliters of beer, smoking like dragons, and swearing like hell. Me? The only non-beer drinking (sipping her ridiculous tea or juice), non-Finnish speaking, and almost the only non-shouting and non-swearing companion of this group. The experience among those normally pretty calm and reserved people, almost born in their skates in a country where winter (and night) last from November to April,[1] releasing their wild emotions after the n-number of beers, was pretty interesting.


      One place where we watched the quarter-finals (when Finland won with the U.S.), called Parachuters-something (sorry… forgot the Czech version… Located on

Resslova street
near Karlovo Namesti) has a really good and cheap food selection. Although, for one of the Finns, it was not attractive anyway, as he pointed at his beer and groaned: "As if I would eat something else!". True… I watched with amazement the hectoliters of beer they were pouring into themselves. Another bar, El Paso at Vinohradska, was pretty funny with his drunk owner and older chubby waitresses that suddenly started dancing, for whatever reason. The Finnish group also seemed to raise some interest in the "local" bar population, especially the elderly and drunk-looking one, who either tried to talk to us, or was looking very irritated at the top-of-their-lungs shouting girls.


      The teams of semi-final were: Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Canada. After a really tense and tough game, Finland won with Russia, and Canadabet Sweden. However, the Canadians were unbeatable in the final game, and won 4:2 with Finland.

[1] See the book of Roman Shatz  "From Finland with Love"

T. Jukka