In the spirit of ’11, BallinEurope’ll call it “Occupy Euroleague.” CEO Jordi Bertomeu made official a Euroleague decree at the start of the 2011-12 season which banned the performance of national anthems before games. (BiE kinda agrees with this dictum, actually, as most rosters are stocked with Europeans while clubs are owned/controlled by corporations and private interests.) Nevertheless, fans in Lithuania have taken it upon themselves to perform a little defiance in response.
Since opening day, hometown fans in Kaunas have sung the Lithuanian national anthem “Tautiška giesmė” a cappella (or should that be “le cappelle”?) prior to tipoff of Žalgiris games. This new tradition culminated in a particularly rousing rendition in the leadup to the must-win week 10 match against KK Zagreb. What does 15,000 fans willing their team to homeland-inspired victory sound like? Well, like this:
And if you don’t believe the Tautiška giesmė-as-fight song is the basketball fan’s equivalent of the Haka war dance, BiE can tell you his ears are still ringing from standing amid the locals belting it out preceding Eurobasket 2011 games…
Thanks to reader Augustinas for the tip!