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Soccer Fans, When Was The Last Time You Got Goose Bumps?

It has happened to all of us at one time or another. When we were so excited about something, whether it was soccer-related or not, we’ve gotten goose bumps. For me, the last time this happened was last week when I saw the Martin Tyler TV commercial on ESPN to promote the World Cup. I’ve seen the commercial (see video above) a half dozen times or more already, but watching it last week, it really sunk in and felt real because the World Cup is now just 84 days away. As soon as I saw it, goose bumps shot up across my arm.

If you’ll allow me, I thought it was interesting to get a description of what goose bumps are, what they’re called in other regions and why they happen:

Goose bumps, also called goose flesh, goose pimples, chill bumps, or the medical term cutis anserina, are the bumps on a person’s skin at the base of body hairs which may involuntarily develop when a person is cold or experiences strong emotions such as fear or awe. The reflex of producing goose bumps is known as horripilation, piloerection, or the pilomotor reflex. It occurs not only in humans but also in many other mammals; a prominent example are porcupines  which raise their quills when threatened, or sea otters when they encounter sharks or other predators.

Awe is definitely a good word to describe one of the triggers that causes goose bumps. There have been plenty of experiences in my life where soccer has given me goose bumps. Watching the national anthems being played before a World Cup game. Listening to supporters at Anfield singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Stepping inside the Orange Bowl in Miami to see 40,000 fans cheering on a friendly between Germany and Argentina. The list goes on and on.

I will note that as I get older, I get goose bumps less often than when I was younger. That’s probably because I’ve experienced a lot and there aren’t a ton of new experiences I have yet to see or feel. But it’s also probably because I’m more desensitized to things. I’m not sure if that’s because of being older (40) or living in a culture where so many of us live in our separate worlds and interact less.

But what about you? When was the last time you got goose bumps when it was related to soccer, and what caused it?

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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20 Responses to Soccer Fans, When Was The Last Time You Got Goose Bumps?

  1. chrisss says:

    Mine was the Michael Owen stoppage time winner against City this year.

  2. Joel says:

    Similarly, chrisss, mine was Macheda’s winner v. Villa.

  3. unclesand says:

    any of messi’s goals in the last four days. the second coming of maradonna, no question.

  4. Dustin says:

    Mine was after Clint Dempsey scored the second goal late in the Confederations Cup against mighty Spain.

    Man, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking of that moment.

  5. MB says:

    watching as a neutral, Saha’s goal in the first 30 seconds against chelsea in last year’s FA Cup final. Had such a buildup to the game with the pints flowing and the excitement of the anthems and starting lineups to be rewarded with the underdogs scoring an unlikely goal after blinking only a few times.

  6. barry says:

    Every damn time I watch this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqDrohstPUc

    But for the first time, it was precisely @ 3:06. Also, look at one of the latest comments: “just unbelievable, goosebumps everytime? i watch this video”.

    Can’t say I’ve actually gotten goosebumps (ever) while watching a football match. The closet would have been while I was at Australia v Uruguay in 2005 – by far and away the greatest game in Australian football history.

  7. Sam Davis says:

    I don’t want to choose only one, as the VDS penalty save in Moscow was at the top of the list for some time, but Mickey’s Fergie time winner against City was the last time I did.

  8. Cricketlover says:

    For me it’s definitely when the Anfield faithful sing You Never Walk Alone.

  9. Nate S says:

    Last years ucl quarter finals, chelsea v liverpool, when lampard sealed the 4-4 draw, or when donovan scored that great goal against brazil

  10. Ryan says:

    ESPN2 did the right thing this week when Portsmouth was visiting Anfield. They cut all their commentary and let “You’ll Never Walk Alone ” sing through the hearts of the Liverpool fans for much of the song.

    It was a timid crowd on Monday, but that moment did the trick for me.

    Being a newer supporter, every chance I get to connect to other fans like that gives me the ole ‘bumps.

    I hope something similar happens tonight!

  11. Raatzie says:

    Because my timing is awesome, I missed out on the three biggest Liverpool moments of this decade. (Olympiakos Dec ’04, Istanbul, ’06 FA Cup final). Watching clips gives me goosbumps, but obviously not the same.

    Clubwise, four Champions League moments: The second leg of the ’07 Champions League semi against Chelsea, the second leg of the ’08 Champions League quarter against Arsenal (exciting up and down game, plus ESPN delved into the atmosphere for a change: in my mind, I still hear Derek Rae saying “Tuesday night in the Champions League, and this . . . is Anfield” before shutting up for a jacked up version of YNWA), Torres’ goal in the second leg of the ’08 Champions League semi (I was absolutely convinced the game was going to PKs and Liverpool would make it through as they had in ’07; sadly, not to be), and the second leg of the ’09 Champions League quarter @ Chelsea (the ultimate emotional roller coaster). Each of this is even more nostalgic as I wonder when Liverpool will next return to the Champions League.

    International (U.S. edition): Dempsey’s goal against Spain. Spain’s my favorite non-U.S. team, but all American fans had to have goosebumps there.

    International (non-U.S. edition): Euro 2008 final.

    International (honorable mention): Rooney’s sending off in the 2006 World Cup. I didn’t get goosebumps, but would have if I understood the club allegiances at that point. (This World Cup is the reason I started watching international soccer.)

  12. man99utd says:

    As far goose bumps for a moment during a match, its Ronaldo’s 40 yard corker against Porto last year.

    But as far as goose bumps for a football moment altogether, it would have to be the 20th Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield last year.

  13. Izzy says:

    Bornstein’s equalizing header in the 95th min against Costa Rica and RFK exploding and then hearing Adrian Healey’s reactions “… and its been stolen away from Costa Rica!” “unbelieveble scenes at RFK” “its a tragedy for the ticos!” gave me the chills all over!

  14. Jack the Ripper says:

    Pavon’s pk miss against the US @ Honduras.

  15. MEmanuel says:

    Macheda’s and Owen’s match winners were definitely on my list (thanks for bringing those good memories back Chrisss and Joel), although I would have to say the last time would have been when Donovan scored what may or may not have been his farewell goal for Everton. The celebration was so genuine. I’ve noticed that often the celebrations after goals are what elicit goosebumps for me. The passion from the pitch to the stands is amazing…e.g., Adebayor’s goal against Arsenal. Even when not invested with a particular team, those moments are sure to bring about goosebumps.

  16. yoda says:

    when becks came on as a sub at old trafford last week. the reception he recieved was incredible. it was a touching moment and he appeared to be holding back tears there for a second

  17. Soccer Tips says:

    When zidane headbutt the materazzi in the world cup. LOL

  18. Eladio says:

    I was in Brussels on vacation in March 2006. I went down to a local pub to watch the 1st leg of Arsenal/Juventus, with the return of Viera. I went to the pub by myself, but within 10 minutes I had half a dozen new Gooner friends, none who could believe an American who followed real football. The last season of Highbury, Cesc coming of age, and the Arsenal coming on top with a 2-0 win, the entire night was fantastic. It may not sound like much, but for me it was thrilling.

  19. yank says:

    Hearing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” being sung at Anfield back in ’04.

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