When adult men cry
Written by Playroom CEO Helge Wold
22.50 on 7th May 2019 will be forever be etched in my mind, as a moment filled with an explosion of emotions. I was one of over 50,000 people standing together and screaming as the final whistle blew and Liverpool had beaten Barcelona 4-0 to overturn a 0-3 defeat in the away leg. It was a miracle. Some cried big tears, others just laughed out loud. Most people were hugging the person next to them as if they have known each other for many years. It felt like everyone was in the same family.
I myself was standing there shouting for joy and jumping up and down with everyone else. I was also hugging all those around me. And most of all my friend Steffen, which is the only one I knew before I came to Anfield, who travelled with me from Norway for this special night. We all sing together "You Never Walk Alone" and the many great songs that no matter what nationality you are, all Liverpool fans know. Many sing in an dialect I do not understand at all, it is a dialect I heard a lot that day inside and outside the stadium, it is called “Scouse.” This is the local language of Liverpool. Interestingly, Scouse is actually an abbreviation of "lobscouse" or “lapskaus, as we would have said in Norway.
Steffen and I had talked a long time about traveling to Liverpool together. To experience the atmosphere at Anfield. To get to know a little about the culture this club has built up for over 127 years. We were just a bit lucky that it was this night that we finally got it together to go, and we could not have chosen a better time to be there – perhaps in the club’s entire and glorious history. Of course, I am glad we beat Barcelona 4-0 and we now get the opportunity to follow the final in Madrid on 1st June with great excitement and expectation, but I am incredibly grateful that I got to experience this evening. For the opportunity to throw out all my inhibitions. For the opportunity to let my emotions run free. It was lovely to cry tears of pleasure along with a whole bunch of adult men (yes, of course there were lots of women and children there too, but they were probably in the minority this time).
I think we need such experiences. And we need to share them with someone. Not just on Facebook or Snapchat. Fortunately, we still need to meet other people and these moments cannot be beaten. Others who believe the same as us. Others we can celebrate with and others we can cry with.
In Playroom we work every day to create such opportunities. For employees of a company, for participants at a conference, for guests for a kick off or for spectators at an event. This is why we love doing what we do.