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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Buffalo, buffalo!

Yesterday  night, AA Gent (a first class soccer team, residing in Ghent - East Flanders' main seat) surprised friend and enemy by placing itself for the 1/8 finals of the Champions League. Next time they'll play against Barcelona, Chelsea or Bayern München.

For years this was a rather unimportant club. But since the arrival of coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck they are playing very well and became champion of the first league in 2015. They play in blue and white and they are called 'the Buffalo's' by their supporters. When playing, the crowd go "Buffalo, Buffalo!"

But where does this name come from? Two possible theories are carried:

1) This is the first explanation. During the Olympic Games of 1920 in Antwerp, a couple of soccer players from Ghent were present. They were surprised of how the Americans cheered at their athletes, so they thought of the name 'Buffalo' for their own supporters to cheer when they were playing.

2) Another explanation goes back to Buffalo Bill. His Wild West show came twice to Ghent. The trailers of the group would have stood in the neighborhood of the Otten Stadium (where AA Gent plays, and which is now the Ghelamco Arena). In the 1906 show Bill Cody used a large herd of buffalo and the public was very much impressed by it. They had never seen such large animals. Further, Cody's riders did a sort of soccer match on horseback.

I suppose we'll never know which is the right explanation. But the Buffalo's are doing great, no doubt!

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