One or two people raised their eyebrows when I mentioned that I was paying good money to watch women's football. But I must say that as a non-expert, the skill level in the USA v France game seemed pretty high. It was certainly an exhilarating watch - France took an early 2-0 lead, only for the US to come back to win 4-2.
You may have heard that there was then a slight interruption before the second game. There was, of course, no official explanation - we were just told that "the delay is due to a behind the scenes issue, which we are working to resolve". One or two people next to me started muttering that it must have something to do with Kim Jong-Il, apparently unaware that the Dear Leader is no longer with us. Someone else suggested that we might be in for a repeat of the Scotland v Estonia scenario from 1996, with one team taking to the pitch, kicking the ball for three seconds, and then punching the air with the joy of victory.
The crowd (or at least the hardy minority who stuck around) amused themselves during the unexpected hiatus by booing, hissing, doing the conga, booing, hissing, doing a Mexican wave, booing, hissing, singing Flower of Scotland, booing and hissing. For my part, I passed some of the time by taking a couple of 'self-portraits'. I include one in the collection of photos below, mainly in fond tribute to my new cap, which is now very much my old cap, because I later contrived to lose it during the short walk back to Mount Florida railway station (God knows how).
There were two little clues as to what was really going on. The announcer read out the names of the North Korean team approximately seventeen thousand times for no apparent reason, and the big screen featured a fixed picture of the (real) North Korean flag for about half an hour - presumably the thinking was "OK, we'll keep it up there for the rest of the bloody night if you want, now will you play?". Once the game finally got under way, the neutrals seemed to take their revenge by getting firmly behind Colombia - there were plenty of Come On Colombias from just behind me. I was sorely tempted to scream Come On The Democratic People's Republic of Korea! at the top of my voice, but I thought better of it.
At the start of the session, there was a pre-recorded message from Alex Salmond. He received warm cheers from the American and French supporters after wishing them well, but I winced slightly when he declared himself delighted that an Olympic event was taking place in Scotland for the first time ever. I may be wrong, but I seem to recall looking at the Official Report from the 1908 London Olympics, and spotting that the sailing event took place on the Clyde.
Actually, when I first got broadband internet, just about the first thing I did was download some of the Olympic Reports from years gone by (dial-up could never handle the job). I've always had a fascination for the Games, and that brings me to what I was doing at Hampden. I yield to no-one in my cynicism towards LOCOG, Lord Coe and the Brit Nat zealots at the BOA, but the Olympic movement is bigger than all of them. And with a little slice of the Olympics taking place in Scotland for the first time in 104 years, I think I was probably always going to be tempted to buy a ticket - even if Egypt v Belarus U23s had been the only thing on offer.
(Click the photos to enlarge)