Imagine if at last year's Super Bowl all the Patriots fans flew into Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport before being bussed over to a holding pen where they were forced to hang out for ten hours until kickoff. Then imagine all the Giants fans flying into the Tucson airport and being bussed to a seperate holding pen for the same treatment. If this sounds like fun to you, then maybe you should be headed to the Champions League final in Moscow Wednesday.
A perfect storm has come together to basically suck all the fun and festivity out of the biggest game in European club football. When you combine the city of Moscow, two teams from a country sadled with a reputation for fan violence, and lingering uneasiness from the mayhem at last week's UEFA Cup Final, you can see why UEFA and Moscow officials are taking great pains to get fans in, keep them apart, and get them out.
But still, the scenes that are being described by the English media sound like something out of a World War II prison camp. Russian officials are defending the practice by saying a group of visiting penguins would receive the same treatment. Let's hope the fans at least get a good game for their troubles.