WED, 2:45PM ET
LIV0
REAL3
WED, 2:45PM ET
AND1
ARS2
WED, 2:45PM ET
OLY1
JUV0
WED, 2:45PM ET
GAL0
BVB4
WED, 2:45PM ET
ATL5
MAL0
WED, 2:45PM ET
LEV2
ZEN0

How I Fell In Love With Everton F.C.


300428705 2c0a0686c9 How I Fell In Love With Everton F.C.

Photo by The Gaffer

I sat on my couch soon after the United States’ loss to Ghana in the World Cup, wondering what to do next. Despite knowing little to nothing about football, I had devoted myself completely to the team’s emotional World Cup run, and I couldn’t just wait for Brazil in four years. So I opened up my laptop and pulled up the 2009-10 Premier League table, intent on finding a team. Little did I know that this near-random picking of a name would have a large impact on the next nine months of my life.

I wanted to avoid the “Big Three” because that would make me a bandwagoner; Manchester City seemed too much like the New York Yankees so they were out. However, I at least wanted a team that would be on TV occasionally and fight for a Champions League spot, so my choices came down to Liverpool, Everton, and Tottenham. From there I eliminated Liverpool (too strange a situation) and was left with Everton and Tottenham. Not knowing anyone outside World Cup players, I chose Everton due to having more people I knew and liked, such as Tim Howard, Yakubu, Tim Cahill, and, ironically, Steven Pienaar.

From there my focus turned to learning as much as I could about the club and its players. After reading countless articles about the team, I went into the opener at Blackburn confident in our chances to challenge for the Champions League. As August turned to September without a league win, these hopes started to be revised to Europa League qualification. But a strange thing happened as I continued to watch every minute of these disappointing results: I became extremely loyal to Everton. Their pain was my pain, but their joy was also mine. I was practically delirious at the comeback draw against Man United and the dominating 2-0 win over Liverpool. Despite not knowing anyone from either the red or blue side of Liverpool, I hate Liverpool with a passion and to take four points from them has been one of the highlights of the season.

I have even become familiar with much of Everton’s history. Despite the fact that I had not even been born, much less become an Everton supporter, I’m somewhat annoyed that England’s European ban denied Everton’s chance at the European Cup title. Multiple viewings of Everton’s penalty kicks win over Man United at Wembley (2008-09 FA Cup semifinal) gave me even more of an appreciation of the team’s epic win over Chelsea.

Looking back at my pick of a Premier League team in July, logic states that I made a poor decision. Tottenham plays an electric style of football with likable players and a thrilling run in Europe. They have more money, a bigger and newer stadium, and more points in the table than Everton. A Tottenham fan would not have had to watch the atrocity that was the FA Cup match between Everton versus Reading, which is a plus unto itself.

But I have no regrets as I can’t imagine rooting for anyone but Everton. Tottenham doesn’t have the grit of a Tim Cahill or the brilliance of a David Moyes (yes, he still has my full support.). They don’t have the undying support of fans who always sing their support in the old but beautiful Goodison Park. They don’t have the perfect atmosphere that is Arteta and Howard and Coleman walking out to Z Cars on a mid afternoon in Merseyside. Tottenham are simply not my team.

In the era of the Internet, home loyalties are not as important. As a seventeen year old in Florida, I am a diehard supporter of my hometown Buccaneers American football team, but I am not limited by my town. If I want to pick an English football team, I can pick whoever I want and have their games available to me. Money and school have prevented me from going to see the Toffees in action, but this does not make me less of a supporter when I have been able to watch nearly every match. We are in an era where you can pick your team rather than the other way around, and if that offers times like I have had with Everton, it is certainly a good thing.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to How I Fell In Love With Everton F.C.

  1. DPW says:

    It’s sad that you consider hating Liverpool so much to be a quality of your support for Everton. I still miss the days when I could support my club from a crowd of Everton fans and face nothing more than a bit of banter.

    • David Reed says:

      I think I threw out the term “hate” too easily in the piece. A good friend of mine with whom I’ve watched multiple matches this season also happens to support Liverpool. I’ve happily taunted him- and vice versa- about results this season, but always in the “bantering” way you mentioned. I certainly didn’t mean that I run around hoping to beat up Liverpool fans; I have just developed a dislike for many of their players. That tends to happen when supporting a team as it faces a rival, and I don’t feel that it is negative for the sport at all. On the contrary, it just adds more excitement to the matches.

      • Joe H says:

        I started supporting Everton around 6 years ago when I when to Uni in Liverpool. One of my flatmates was a blue and so I went to a few games and got “hooked”.
        I always thought the relationship between Everton and Liverpool fans was really strange compared to other rivals. When I was younger I’d hear all the horror stories of how rival fans of rival teams would end up in masive fights irrespective of the result e.g. Sunderland & Newcastle, Glasgow & Celtic, etc.
        However, Liverpool and Everton fans don’t really care who you support (as long as you’re not a Manc :D). Someone’s mum could be a blue and their dad could be a red and nothing would come of it until derby day. There will always be banter between the two sets of fans but it’s all good natured. The Merseyside Derby is known as the friendliest off the pitch and the most ruthless on it!

    • John Connor says:

      Hey David welome to the roller coaster ride and passion that is EFC !!! I am an exiled Evertonian now living in New Jersey.. Believe it or not Everton choose You not vice versa ..Red $#/+& Fans are usually bandwagoners from Sweden and the surrounding countries ‘FACT’ go into any of Their outlet stores and try to find anyone speaking with an English/scouse accent it is near IMPOSSIBLE !!…So David EFC is now in Your blood stream via I.V…No going back ..I also can not believe Your maturity level for a 17 year old,,but I was once seventeen and tot ally understand Your zealousness ..spread the word David ..And if You know Your history its enough to make Your heart go………..

  2. Earl Reed says:

    Great article, I still haven’t decided!

  3. Norfolk Enchants says:

    Tottenham has become the biggest bandwagon pick in sports.

    Nice choice.

  4. MCHobbit says:

    “Manchester City seemed too much like the New York Yankees so they were out.”

    That’s an odd comparison . . . given that City hasn’t won anything in over 40 years.

    • Corey says:

      yeah gotta agree here… wouldn’t Man U be a more suitable comparison to the Yankees?

      • spark says:

        i think he compared Man City to the Yankees due to them being the richest club and attempting to buy their way to the top, not their history of success. City would probably better be compared to the NY Mets, a team that spends a lot with little to show for it, and trying desperately to compete with their crosstown rivals.

        • David Reed says:

          Sorry about the confusion with that comparison. At the time I picked my team, I knew nothing about Manchester City except for the ridiculous amount of money they had spent. This reminded me of the Yankees, so I bypassed them. As I have truly followed the sport, I have gained a certain respect for City fans due to their loyalty to a long title drought. However, I would still prefer a team like Everton that builds through youth players and bargain signings than one like City. Great comparison from spark though, much more appropriate than mine!

          • MCHobbit says:

            Fair enough – I can see from the outside how it would look like that, when in reality it was/is quite a different situation.

            The Mets comparison probably works – for now. Though comparing money situations in a capped sport (OK, baseball isn’t REALLY capped like the NFL, NBA, etc) is also problematic as well.

            Here’s hoping that the next few seasons bring a change in the silverware fortunes of City.

            CTID!

          • Keith says:

            I think of Man City as the pre-2004. They spend like mad but our still second in their region (NYY = Man U) in success. Of course that comparison has disappeared since then. (Chelsea fits the post-2004 Red Sox comparison better now.)

            Also, MC are new rich and BoSox have always been rich. If any team fits the description best in the US it’d have to be the Miami Heat. Both teams have recently become the “it” team but they haven’t been put to the test yet.

      • trickybrkn says:

        Maybe its the fact that both have bottomless pits to pay players…

    • King Eric says:

      35 and counting to be precise :)

      • MCHobbit says:

        My bad! I wasn’t counting the League Cup ;) Always hear the 40′s tossed around (believe 42 now for FA, League title, or Europe, no?), and just defaulted to it.

    • James says:

      Speaking as a City fan (before the money), we are NOT the Yankees. The red side of Manchester is the Yankee equivalent. I too became a City fan after the 2006 World Cup. Claudio Reyna was our captain and he was playing for City at the time. I too was heartbroken by a loss to Ghana. I too hoped for a European qualification and only got a 14th place finish I believe. Then one day, God made City the richest club in the world. I am the luckiest guy alive!!!

  5. Clampdown says:

    You’ve been watching English football for nine months, you’re an American, and you “hate Liverpool with a passion.”

    Give me an f’in break.

    Tottenham don’t have the undying support of their fans? That is utterly stupid and incorrect.

    Besides all that, you don’t pick a team, it picks you. Keep watching. It may remain Everton, and it may not.

    • dmm says:

      Superb choice.. and to that guy clampdown, thats what passion does to you, it evokes quite often extreme emotion.. my hatred for liverpool isnt based on the fans that im friends with.. because im friends with a lot so i dont hate them.. its the team and players and club that i hate.. and im sure lots of other fans.. regardless of if they support anyone or for how long, feel the same.

      I would rather have a fan like this.. one that cares about a team and understands us, than the fans that liverpool or man utd get.. who go the match every week for a business day out, or because they win things.

      USA! USA! USA!

      • Clampdown says:

        “I would rather have a fan like this.. one that cares about a team and understands us, than the fans that liverpool or man utd get.. who go the match every week for a business day out, or because they win things.”

        Yeah, the fans of Liverpool and Man United just don’t get it, man, do they? Only fans of Everton and the like really understand.

        Got to a match at either Anfield or Old Trafford. The you’ll realize how stupid that comment is.

        • Ian munro says:

          You only have to see the number of camera flashes all over the stadium at the Redsh**e or the Manure to realise most of the fans are on an expences paid business day out or as a famous ex captain likes to call them the prawn sandwich brigade or they are on a tourist trip from Scandanavia for the weekend. As for Mr Clampdown, if he doesn’t understand about the emotions of rival football teams then he can’t call himself a true fan. Great article mate from one blue to another.

    • David Reed says:

      Thanks for the support Ian and dmm. Dmm, you summed up my “hate” for Liverpool perfectly. Obviously growing up in America I can’t have the true rivalry that stems from growing up near both sides, but avidly following the team has naturally drawn me to a certain extent into the passion around the derby.

      I didn’t mean to say that Tottenham don’t have good fans; I was really just making a point about my affection for the loyalty of the Everton supporters. In fact, I’d love to see a match at both venues and compare.

      And to your final comment, Clampdown, part of my point was that in an odd way, Everton have picked me. Yes, my original pick was basically random, but since then I’ve been drawn completely into supporting them. I certainly had plenty of opportunities to take the easy route and find a “better” team after tough losses. But everything about Everton- their stadium, history, players, work ethic, and even colors (not counting the atrocious pink away kits)- are right for me. The point I’m trying to make is that with the technology available to me, I’ve been able to enjoy Everton just as much as someone living in England, short of visiting Goodison. After watching week in and week out, I feel as passionate as anyone about my club. I can truly call myself an Everton supporter for life, and my American citizenship doesn’t change that.

  6. Ragnar says:

    Great article. My story is similar although I’m twice your age. Everton’s pain is my pain.

    I just want to correct one error in your article. Tottenham’s stadium is not bigger than Everton’s Goodison Park. White Hart Lane has a capacity of 36,310 while Goodison Park has 40,158.

    • Dave C says:

      Also, saying Tottenham’s stadium is “newer” than Everton’s stadium is like saying that the Roman Collosseum is newer than the Athenian Parthenon. Technically correct, but they’re both so ancient that it really doesn’t matter which is newest.

    • David Reed says:

      Sorry about that, good point! Sadly, that’s what I get for not visiting…

  7. Heithem El-Hodiri says:

    Nice essay . . . I have met others who have done the same (oddly, one was also an Everton fan) and I think more people should try this. I think a lot of people have done exactly what you did after the World Cup. I adopted Liverpool when I didn’t want to stop watching soccer after the 2006 World Cup, although I started out by watching with friends, several of whom were Liverpool fans, and I truly think the club chose me. I was a little disappointed about the hating the Reds comment. I have a couple of English fellow Reds and I have come to the conclusion that in my 3 – 4 years of fandom from afar, I yet can’t possibly understand the depth or complexity of how they feel about rivalries, especially when I share a footy bond with a US or Crew fan and then find out they support a rival team. Should I start hating them than? I don’t think so. We just rib each other and gloat or commiserate as appropriate. Anyway – thanks for the piece – I hope more people read it and start following a club team.

    • David Reed says:

      Again, sorry about the misunderstanding there. It actually seems like we have similar feelings on the rivalry. Though that doesn’t stop me from rooting against Liverpool, as I’m still delusional enough to think we can overtake you for sixth!

  8. Brian says:

    Welcome aboard! What has been your favorite Everton match thus far?

    • David Reed says:

      The FA Cup win over Chelsea is a no-brainer for me in terms of pure excitement, but it would have been better if it led to a trip to Wembley. Out of the league games, my two favorites would have to be the 2-1 win away at Man City and the 5-3 win against Blackpool. The Man City win was great just for the grit we showed in defending a lead for thirty minutes, a man down away facing all of those star players. And the Blackpool win was just a great match, not always well played but highly entertaining. Despite all the injuries, Saha is well worth having for performances like that one. How about you?

      • Brian says:

        My first thought was definitely the 5-3 win against Blackpool (not sure because it was fairly recent or b/c it was such a wild, back-and-forth match) but also the win against Liverpool and the first half of this past weekend was highly entertaining (just had the feeling that the two teams were fairly equal and complementary, in a weird way)

  9. kevin skelhorn says:

    Good choice young man!It really is easy these days to jump on the bandwagon , if only we could get some money injected into the club can you imagine where we would be?We have one of the best managers in the world operating on a shoestring budget, get in touch with me and i will send you some memorabilia. Iam an ex pat living in fl for 25 yrs ( ONCE A BLUE ALWAYS A BLUE) remember that Mr ROONEY !!!!!!!

  10. PR says:

    That’s a great piece you’ve written… It is very similar to my own story of starting to follow the Blues, a few years ago in Australia. My brother-in-law is a born and raised Evertonian, and he’s made me even more passionate about the team!

    These days I live in London and can travel up to Liverpool to watch the occasional game (this season, including the derby win, and 3-3 comeback against United), and try to attend as many away games as I can. I was exceptionally lucky to go to the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and WOW that was an AMAZING experience… one that only a true, one-eyed, blue blooded fan could fully appreciate. I hope you get to see all that one day soon. ;-)

    Like you say, we’ve ridden the lows fairly regularly at Everton this season… but we battle through and despite all the failings of this season, we’re 10th! And still in a position to shoot for Europe. COYB!! :-)

  11. spark says:

    My story is almost identical. After the World Cup, I wanted to follow the EPL after determining it would be easier to keep up with than the Spanish, German or Italian Leagues due to the language barrier. I eliminated the traditional top 4 due to bandwagon tendencies. I wanted a team that was up & coming and had at least one player I was familiar with. I ended up choosing Man City because I read they had a rich owner (although I had no idea how rich). Also, I had been a fan of Brazillian soccer for many years, so I liked the fact they had Robinho. But the clincher for me was that I’m a New York Jets fan and the City refrain “Typical City” is almost identical to the Jets’ “Same Ole Jets”. I figured Jets fans & City fans were kindred spirits, never seeming to win the big game when they need to. So, now I’m City for Life. I’m hoping they come to the US again this summer so I can get to see them in person.

    • James says:

      Wow! I became a city fan after the 2006 world cup when we were not at all rich. Good to hear you’re a city fan but that won’t go well for you in Manchester. I mean, joining when we’ve got the money really IS bandwagoning. Plus Robinho’s not here anymore mate. ;)

  12. James says:

    Similiar story in my situation, though I chose Blackburn after the 02 World Cup mainly due to Brad Friedel. I still like Friedel, but I’ve stuck with Rovers, good and bad.

  13. Gary says:

    I’m a Spurs fan who enjoys a little Everton now and again. I have to wonder if you didn’t put the horse before the cart? Why commit to Everton without having enjoyed the EPL as a neutral and letting your choice develop organically? Now you’re stuck! Everton’s not the worst team to be stuck with, though. You could have chosen Chelsea! Or Liverpool, gross. I’d encourage you not to let you’re new-found passion get in the way of enjoying some of the great football played around the league.
    COYS all day, particularly this wednesday at The Lane. Stupid Italian donkeys!
    And come on you gooners as well, I hope you fill the Nou Camp with the tears of one hundred thousand Catalans!
    Yeah, yeah, up the Toffees, too.

  14. Bobby Sheen says:

    Everton have a great history, they’ve spent the most seasons in the top division, more than any other club. And have won the league nine times. But they also have a crazy history, like winning the league title before it was cancelled in World War 1 AND World War 2. Which ironically means that they have been champions of England for 19 years. i.e they won the league in 1939 and actually only defended the title in 1947.

    And Yes they also won the league at the same time of the English ban in Europe.
    Everton have also lost the most FA Cup finals with 8. And have been in 25 Semi-finals, only Manchester United and Arsenal beat that by 1.

    Chelsea and Man City might be big, but history wise they are not as big as Everton. Traditionaly Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa are the biggest and most successful clubs in England. (arguably in that order)

  15. Matt says:

    My story is very similar to yours. My wife is a Chelski supporter. At least we can both hate the Red Shite together. COYB!!!

  16. Jamie says:

    Hi there. Welcome to the Everton family, the People’s Club and all that.

    It’s never straightforward being an Everton fan. I was born just over 31 years ago with the Toffees in the midst of a period of transition (in other words, we were just pretty poor as Gordon Lee’s time managing the club drew to a close). 1960s midfield icon Howard Kendall arrived as a young up and coming manager, not unlike David Moyes back in the spring of 2002 in terms of his potential and burgeoning managerial reputation. Things did not kick off brilliantly and there were further alarming dips in form, attendance at Goodison (an incredible venue for the beautiful game to be played, do your best to visit someday before she falls down or is taken away from us, whichever comes first!). Finally Kendall’s magic began to work, signings like Peter Reid and Andy Gray gelled with young home grown talent like Kevin Ratcliffe and Gary Stevens. We had a young Neville Southall, the greatest goalkeeper of all time growing in stature by the game and the glory years were a whisper away.

    I was a little boy as the boys in blue swept all aside in the mid-1980s. I felt so lucky to support the best team in the world as far as I could tell. My dad, his brother and their uncle were all die-hards, as opposed to all of my mother’s family who were (and remain) reds. Everton just felt right. They always have, I never had a decision to make, I was born to be blue as one of the songs goes.

    Since the last title win in 1987 it has been a long, hard ride. Bright interludes have occurred, the Joe Royle inspired FA Cup win in ’95 was a triumph against adversity. Duncan Ferguson (on the rare occasions he remained fit or out of trouble) was a hero to a teenage me and many others through the mainly dark days of the 1990s. Andrei Kanchelskis and Anders Limpar thrilled for brief spells, youngsters have appeared (Danny Cadamarteri, Michael Ball, Francis Jeffers, etc) and disappeared without trace. Then came Wayne Rooney. And off he went again in the wink of an eye.

    Recent good times include a good run and plenty of great football in the Europa League a couple of years ago. Decent league standings have been achieved under David Moyes, a good man, who has done an honest shift in difficult circumstances. He’s achieved a great deal with a little, but I can’t help think lacks the extra sparkle (be it guts, inspiration or luck) to drag the club that extra yard to the holy grail of silverware. I hope I’m wrong and the 2009 FA Cup run was a joy to behold until the limp fist of the Final itself. Saha’s early goal will live with me forever, a brilliant, brilliant moment amongst 1000s of Blues in bars right outside Wembley who didn’t manage to get tickets (hope the Corporate brigade enjoyed themselves!).

    This season has been a let down. Great moments (Liverpool, Man City away) followed by utter frustration (Reading, draws vs all sorts of average teams at Goodison). We just haven’t performed. Moyes’ lack of a ‘Plan B’ time and again exposes him and the team.

    I love the club with all my heart, I won’t ever stop believing that one day we’ll be “BACK”. Properly, not by selling out along the nonsense Monopoly money investment route, by playing great football, working hard and doing what we do better than any other Premiership side on our day – play as a team, to our strengths, all for one and one for all.

    Enjoy the good times with all your heart and soul, but be warned: keep something unbreakable and kickable across the room close by at all times where Everton FC are concerned. You’ll need it mate! :-)

    COYB!

  17. Nut says:

    Nice read. I think this happens a lot for us Yanks. Personally, I became a Red after being wowed by a magical 18 year old in the ’98 World Cup, one Michael Owen. Though he has since long gone, the club ‘had me at hello’ as they say. And even though a lot of Reds have a healthy amount of contempt for Owen, I’ll be forever grateful to him if for no other reason than introducing me to the greatest football club in the world!

    I respect your choice in Everton, though I don’t share your reciprocal hatred. ManU on the other hand….

  18. Kristen says:

    Great article! I was surprised to read the author is only 17, good for him. I too do not understand the Man City ref, maybe he meant Man U, and I don’t understand why Liverpool got thrown out of the running, but I’m biased there as a Liverpool fan. I felt the same after the WC and was drawn to Liverpool bc of a friend f/ there and his undying (and uncontrollable) love and support for the club – it was the only thing that could fill the void left after the WC was over. And now that Luis Suarez is on the team, as a USA fan, I’m stoked. (still supportin’ the hand ball, not his fault Ghana can’t make a PK)

    The only thing that sucks about being a football fan in the States (who can’t afford more than basic cable) is having to watch a Fox channel to see games – such a contradiction in so many ways! :)

  19. Drew M. says:

    Heh. Same boat as you, except I ended up with Liverpool. What can I say? I’m a bit of a drama-prone person and the Reds have certainly provided that over this past season. I first started paying attention during the Mascherano spat – he was on my fantasy team – and kept watching during the decline. It was like the second act of a movie, where everything goes wrong for the hero and the woes just pile up and up. Now it seems the corner has been turned.

    After the disastrous start to the season, I feel that Liverpool has that underdog quality that Americans desire, but without the necessity of being an actual underdog (no team that can splash out 35 mil for flashy if untested striker with a hamstring injury can ever really be an underdog). Plus I live in Boston, so the chance of seeing some version of the team play at Fenway is pretty good.

  20. Blue Peter says:

    You have chosen wisely. I’ve had a lifelong (30yr) love affair with the ‘peoples club’. Not one regret and my times at Goodison Park have been the best of my life. The Atmosphere is really alive and the ‘big three’ hate coming to our place because we boss the field and play the real game. The Liverpool hatred is a natural development in your understanding of the game. At Everton we don’t wear our hearts on our sleeves so much and we value an honesty and integrity that’s sadly missing across Stanley Park. So welcome to footballing royalty at the home of one of the Finest founder members of the English football league. COYB

  21. Welcome to the club!

    I hope you realise what you have let yourself in for- It never is or will be easy supporting the Toffees, but when they do win it is all worthwhile!

    Ignore some of the angry responses under your post…actually don’t… ‘banter’ with supporters of other teams is what it is all about. Even with that Red lot from across the park ;-)

    COYB!

  22. Sam says:

    Good article man, my story is similar as well but I fell in love after euro 08 when i was 16, and being memorized by the little croatian wizard luka modric. Natuarally when he went to spurs I started following them, researced the team and robbie keane is one of my favorite players, theres only one keano in my heart still.

    Naturally though this coincided with that most dreadful of starts under ramos and I found myself regretting the choice but I stuck with it, the appiontment of good ol ‘arry, the thrilling comeback against the gooners that year and our near qualification for europe after that start.

    But last year topped it off, we started with the win vs liverpool to start the season and went on a torrid run for a little, but when crouchie nodded home against mercenary city, I went crazy, i was a lilywhite till I died ad nothing would change it, no matter what happens or who wants to question my choice one day I will be at the Lane chanting with the rest of us.

    I find myself also liking newcastle, not wanting them to go down that year because of their history, I followed them last year too with lovenkrands eing a huge factor and im glad theyre back now.

  23. tonyspeed says:

    You made the right choice. Liverpool fans tend to me arrogant, uncouth scum bags IMHO…

  24. El Tri 2014 says:

    Excellent article! I enjoyed the World Cups since 94 USA! Though I preferred to watch the Mexican League and La Liga. Never bothered much with PL until I watched Javier Hernandez’s last season with Chivas and then his surprise signing with Man Utd. prior to the WC, then followed with a good showing at the 2010 World Cup. Next came the MLS All-Star game in Houston when Javier was subbed in to loud applause only to score. A few days later, Chivas de Guadalajara opened their new stadium, OmniLife, with Chicharito starting for Chivas in the first half, scoring the first goal in the stadium against his current team Man Utd. and then starting the 2nd half for the true Reds. I’m not a bandwagoner, but followed a favorite player to a fantastic team. Along the way, I’ve learned to dispise some PL teams, admire others and even like quite a few more (Spurs, Everton, Blackpool…players like Phil Neville, Cahill, the Magical Bale, Charlie Adam and even Luis Suarez who dealt us an ugly hand or foot recently and many others.) In all, I’m glad to have found the PL this season and I’m having great time, not only watching Chicharito and Man Utd. but watching other great clashes during the weekend and weekday.

  25. Nelson says:

    This article seems very contrived and it’s laughable to me when fans like this manufacture false “love” and “hate” in such a short time. As an American soccer fan, I have a couple of teams I really enjoy watching, but to force tears when they lose and talk trash to an opponent’s fans is just nonsense. Just enjoy watching the sport with honesty and don’t force the emotions.

    • tonyspeed says:

      I would have you notice this man’s use of the term “football” in the preceding article. Obviously this is a man that jumps headlong into things and envelops himself completely in the emotions and feelings of others. He does not hold the sport aloof like other Americans who view the beautiful game as a foreign sport. The fact that he chose to use the word football means it has gone to his heart is no longer just something to pass the time.

      • Nelson says:

        I didn’t say he wasn’t a real fan of the sport. I love ‘football’ as well and watch every weekend. I’m just saying that you can’t all of the sudden have a lifetime’s worth of passion in your blood in nine months because you picked an EPL team at random. That’s just silly.

        • jakobscalpel says:

          He is 17. A passionate age and I envy it through distant memory. Even though I agree the article feels a bit contrived let him have his passion while he can. You and I can be the sober football watching fools.

  26. Heithem says:

    I’m coming back for a second comment because the more I think about your article, the more I like it! There are a lot of people (not everyone, of course) who are fans during the World Cup and I bet they would keep watching soccer if they followed a team. So how to choose a team to follow? These stories have some good suggestions: watch for a while and see who strikes your fancy, eliminate some or types of teams and read about others and make a choice . . . I could add go watch a few games at a soccer pub and see how you feel about the teams and the fans (if pubs are your thing . . .) . . . if you’re in an MLS city, see how your fellow local supporters feel (and behave) when it comes to their favorite EPL team. Lots of possibilities. One woman I met worked for an Englishman who, to do some team-building, etc, required/encouraged his employees to choose an EPL team to support for the year with the stipulation that it not be a “top four” team . . . she grew into an EPL fan (coincidentally, Everton). I have several friends who chose a team to support because a particular player moved there . . . a couple of them later switched when another team chose them. I have friends who support teams in the Championship in addition to an EPL team and enjoy keeping track of promotion/relegation battles. All cool.

  27. Maybee says:

    I’m a relatively new Liverpool supporter, but still I’ve supported Liverpool twice as long as you’ve supported Everton. I don’t understand the “passionate hatred”, or how that can be acquired in 9 months. I have no love for Everton, but I’ve yet to muster up anything stronger than mild dislike of them, and that was only when I heard them taunting Steven Gerrard by signing “the baby’s not yours” – disgusting! I’m all for taunting opponent, but the dead and a player’s children should be off limits. Classless.

    • JonBlue says:

      Before you start bringing up classless chants, you want to think about the Liverpool fans spitting on Neville’s back when taking a throw in and singing about his disabled daughter, along with Lee Carsley who also had a disabled daughter.

      Gerard gets what he gets because he is a thug who beat up an old man in a bar over his music choice.

      • Maybee says:

        See my post 2 down for a response about the chanting about children.

        As for Gerrard, although I worship the ground he walks on, I know he’s no angel. And I understand that he is fair game as a person and a player. I’m saying that his children – and every other players children – should be off limits. End of.

        • Damon Murphy says:

          Reds singing about the Munich air disaster to Manure fans is classy then?

          The chants to specific players are inbred into the fabric of football fans all over England. They may be tasteless sometimes, but they are not unique to Everton.

          The bile thrown at Gerrard was more focussed than usual this year given he escaped scot free after beating someone up in a bar over an argument over music. He also has tried to break a few legs over the years in derbies. He is not liked.

          Neville however gets spat on, and equally distasteful chants thrown at him by Liverpool fans purely because he used to play for Manure.

          Should also be mentioned at the FA Cup final, Everton fans had a banner out which read “Justice for the 96″ in support of Liverpool fans fighting for full transparency over the Hillsborough disaster.

          Despite the rivalry and the chanting, families are still blue and red over here.

  28. Bluejohn says:

    “when I heard them taunting Steven Gerrard by signing “the baby’s not yours” – disgusting! I’m all for taunting opponent, but the dead and a player’s children should be off limits. Classless.”
    Yeah right!, I seem to remember Liverpool fans singing about Phil Neville’s and Lee Carsley’s children. So get off your high-horse and stop throwing stones from your glass house. Every club has it’s share of idiots, don’t label one team as “classless”, when the team you follow has fans to be ashamed of too.

    • Maybee says:

      I still find it disgusting and classless no matter who is doing it. I fully realize that every club, without exception – including my beloved Liverpool – has classless fans, and their behavior can’t be attributed to the entire club and all its fans. And if you read my entire comment, I said that when I heard those chants, it was the only time I felt “mild dislike” for Everton, most of the time I can’t be bothered to fell one way or the other about them.

  29. Connjam says:

    Well in kid. I was/am a disgruntled evertonian. Caught up in the clamour fir new ownership and money and not renewing my season tkt and after reading your article it’s made me realise I love what we’ve got. I love that we strive to build. And one things for sure about our club and that is we’re an honest club with honest fans. Not the nouveau riche of Chelsea , spurs or man city who leave their fans and club values behind in search of the stars.

    • Why? says:

      So let me get this straight, your saying if new (rich) owners buy Everton that the fans and club won’t be honest any more? How do the clubs mentioned leave the fans and club values behind and behind where or what? Just wondering.

  30. Cameron says:

    Tottenham have a smaller stadium than Everton. Just saying. Good article though

  31. TX Bill says:

    David,

    You didn’t pick Everton, Everton picked you.

    You’ll figure that one out, as I did, in a very short amount of time. Oh, and I didn’t quite get all the contempt for LFC supporters either. I figured that one out in a short amount of time as well.

  32. Ryan says:

    Love this article because this was precisely me at the beginning of the 2008/09 campaign. Your words ring true and through all the ups and downs it’s a great club to support.

  33. lewis says:

    how on earth can u be in love with everton after 9 months, how can you know the goodison park atmosphere compared to white hart lane if you have never been to either? this is the most redicolous article ive ever read. and by the way, Harry is 20 times the manager david moyes is, and no im not a spurs fan. come back in 6 years or so.

    • Matt says:

      Lewis, Redknapp is only as good as the cash he can splash. Read “Broken Dreams” by Tom Bower – he has a whole chapter on Harry’s dodgy dealing. Here’s how it goes-get someone to leak to the press that he has inquired about a player. Denies it when asked by the press but states, if the player were available, he would be interested, therefore unsettling the player and alerting said players agent to the possibility of a pay day. Agent approaches player and the wheels are set in motion. He is a bung-taking, dishonest tw@t of the highest order.

      “how can you know the goodison park atmosphere compared to white hart lane if you have never been to either?” You’re right, it is impossible to know anything except from personal experience. I’ve been reading books and the internet all these years for nothing. Darn

      • lewis says:

        So what if Redknapp makes dodgy dealings, its called doing what you have to do, football isn’t about being a nice person and hoping you’re not gonna be called a twat. at the end of the day its a business.if you ask me, right now id say business for harry is extremely good.

        Looking at the cash he has splashed, i would say he hasn’t done too bad since he has been there. Defoe and Palacios the only buys that have been over 10 million, disregarding Robbie Keane, who in which he sold for 19 and resigned 6 months later for 12. Other than that what cash has he splashed? Kranjcar and Crouch for 11 million. Both subsidized by the sale of Darren Bent. Zakora left for 7.5. He has since bought who else, Bassong, Peinarr, Sandro,VDV. Remember they qualified for the champions league, and finished 4th in the premiership, both of which would have got them quite a good amount of money. Whatever way you look at it, he is absolutely unreal in the transfer window, and you cannot deny that , even if he is a so called ‘Tw*t”

        i’m not saying you cant learn anything from the internet, but you seriously have no idea of the atmosphere in football stadium, and honestly i do hope you get to experience it someday, because you will see how no book or internet article can explain it.
        As you said, last june you knew ‘little to nothing’ about football, now you’re a die hard fan, i seriously find that hard to believe. Im assuming you don’t even play the sport.

        Now don’t get me wrong im not saying you cant support Everton or like football, just saying that i think you’re perceptions are a little skewed to say the least.

  34. Thomas says:

    Good pick of a club.

    I’m stuck with Fulham.

  35. Daniel says:

    I think most American’s (myself included) will have a similar — arbitrary — method for picking an EPL team they like. A dozen-or-so years ago I chose Tottenham after stumbling across an odd Spurs/Liverpool match and thinking they had a great kit — I also liked that they were a mid-table team. Kind of the underdog that might-turn-good (which they have, finally, in the past 2 years). In the end, without any family ties to a place how do you choose a team (without just choosing the biggest team around).

    Of all the Everton players, the three I’d be most jealous of (for Tottenham to pickup) would be — in this order — Baines, Jagielka, Heitinga. I was kind of surprised you didn’t mention them and that you did mention Howard (I’m American too, but he’s been FAR from consistent for a while now).
    Everton and Tottenham are actually fairly comparable in a couple of ways: both have crap forwards (Saha, Defoe, etc, CAN occasionally score but not with consistency) and excellent midfields (I’d hand it to Tottenham here, with VDV>Cahill, Modric>Arteta, but then we have Bale and Lennon who just need an excellent forward to make their crosses count!)

    Anyway, congrats on finding a team and sticking with them; I’m sick of people either choosing one of the top 2 or switching every time their team loses.

    About that comment that Spurs are the new bandwagon, maybe so, but not when I got on in the 90′s. What makes them exciting (open, fast play) is also what keeps them from winning (won’t shore up and grind-out a win — see Wolves this past weekend).

  36. Marty says:

    Good read that mate, if you’re looking for an Everton forum to share your views on the blues come over to http://www.nsno.co.uk/forums/index.php/board,2.0.html and sign up! Been a bit of talk about this article already!

  37. Aious says:

    So………
    You have never been to Everton
    You have never actually seen, heard, or smelt the grounds that your so-called team plays?
    You have never actually met a single Everton player?

    I mean, how people can consider themselves fans without even visiting the pitch that their team plays at is beyond me

    You do not get the sense of hatred that a team plays w/o actually going and seeing it and hearing it….you dont get the sense of joy without having seen it first hand there

    This “I picked a team one day and hated another” fandom is an absolute joke

  38. Brian says:

    @Aious,

    I have to disagree with you here, while nothing replicates the experience of seeing your favorite team at their own ground, you can be drawn into a team anways. First EPL game I ever saw was April 20, 2005 when Duncan Ferguson essentially sealed a 4th place finish for Everton. I felt a pull after that game that now about 6 years later is stronger than ever, yet I have never visited Goodison park, or even Liverpool. Even in today’s age it would cost $1100 dollars minimum to travel from the US to Goodison Park to see a game. I know I am finally getting a chance to visit this coming May, but it is something a lot of people do not have a chance to do much in their lifetime, and to discredit their fanhood because of it is wrong.

    @David, Welcome aboard, you are in for a long hard ride that will be both exciting and frustrating. Buckle up and COYB!

  39. Art J says:

    Hi David

    I really enjoyed reading your article , I’ve been going to Goodison now for over 40 years so I suppose my tale is a bit different to yours :) It’s pieces like your story that remind me of a little ditty known to all blues …

    EVERTONIANS ARE BORN, NOT MANUFACTURED,

    WE DO NOT CHOOSE, WE ARE CHOSEN,

    THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND NEED NO EXPLANATION,

    THOSE WHO DON’T…DON’T MATTER

    I think young David , without knowing it , you have been chosen !
    Cherish your gift :)

  40. Matt H says:

    I have done the exact same thing as you have done, although i started a year before you did. The 2009 FA Cup final was my first ever Everton game as a supporter. I have also became a big supporter of them and will continue for as long as possible. There’s nothing like putting everything in a team and living with their defeats and victories. All we can do now is hope we have a strong end to the season which it looks like we will. Go Toffees!

  41. Zach says:

    Good read. I’m pretty much the exact same way. Started following Everton around the same time for many of the same reasons. I can’t say I hate Liverpool though. I loved watching them topple Man Utd last weekend with some superb play from Suarez and Kuyt and can appreciate their team despite their rivalry with EFC. Man City is really the only premier league team that I cannot tolerate.

    • James says:

      Wow, a blue cheering on Liverpool. Yeah, you’re a real diehard aren’t ya? And on behalf of City, we are a club with heart. When we were in the 3rd division we averaged 30,000 fans a game. And we still hate United!

  42. Damon Murphy says:

    Just to let you in on a secret here David, Everton fans don’t choose, they are chosen. You may have thought flicking through the table you were picking the team, but in actual fact the team was picking you.

    It happened to me in the early 80s when I was living in Wakefield, with no local team that I liked, I stumbled across Everton on a fortnightly game on TV and instantly fell in love.

    Theres going to be hard times ahead for you supporting Everton, there is for all of us when we start out. But in the end its worth it. Its a grand old team.

    Great article David, hope you bring us some of your Florida sunshine someday. ;)

  43. Brian says:

    So you immediately dismissed the top clubs because it would be too easy, yet you demanded a club that would appear on TV and probably in European competition? Talk about a joke of a bargaining tool, you’re no better than the idiots who sit at the pub and cheer on Barcelona after cheering on United.

    You fall in love with a club, you don’t pick one – doubt you’ll be following them in a decade’s time.

  44. Ethan says:

    As a Gooner, I may be biased, but I think it’s ignorant to throw out Arsenal for the sake of their popularity. We don’t buy our way to success by any means, we have a rich history, a strict philosophy, and so on and so forth. I’m not saying you should have picked them, but I just think it’s a tad judgmental to throw them out straight away.

    • Why? says:

      I’m sorry but when you have had succses you have bought it!! I mean how much for Lauren, Henry, Bergkamp and Edu To name just a few of your title winning side? While Arsenal were spending huge sums on players like these most other clubs record player’s costsomthing like £1.5m-£4m with the exception of the top 4 etc. Spending on this scale has only slowed because they are in debt for a new ground. The youth players they have are mostly also big money signings to not from there acadamy (as they like to think)but bought at high prices from other clubs all over Europe at a young age.

  45. Ian says:

    Great article. I think most North American fans have a story behind why they choose a particular team. Mine happens to be with Wolves and how I got to see them play at the Molineux then meet Robert Plant.

    Seeing my first EPL match has been one of the best days of my life!

  46. John charles says:

    Good article… Interest comments though… I seethe kopite sense of entitlement is alive and kicking!! Kopites are gobsh^tes in every manner of the word!

    Oh, aren’t they due an open top parade this week because they beat the ‘scum’ cringe! Cringe! Cringe!!
    COYB!!

  47. Steve says:

    I am an Evertonian living in South Africa, and the number of wannabe fans here is ridiculous. Man u, Chelsea especially. I appreciate you taking the time to find out more about the history of Everton, believe me your love of the club will grow into an obsession.

    Its never easy supporting the toffees though…

  48. COYB says:

    Could you not of used a more appropriate word to describe your feelings towards the redsh*ite (club not fans as I am from a split blue red family) along the lines of detest, dispise. I feel ‘hate’ on its own does not do the job! Keep the faith… COYB

  49. dave bootle says:

    As the great Alan Ball Said, Once Touched by Everton nothin else is the same. C.O.Y.B

  50. Pakapala says:

    It’s a great article no doubt. It’s always good to hear from new fans of the game. However I fear that choosing a team out of the gate to root for is kinda trying to force yourself onto the game. If I were you I would not worry about picking a team so early. I would follow the different leagues, and feel which one I get drawn to first. Then feel which team in that league get any feeling out of you. I think you’re trying to catch up in 9 months the feelings of a lifetime of support for a club, which is impossible. Let the game come to you, and the team you root for will follow.

    • John says:

      It’s not so easy for someone from America with little understanding of football to love the game for the sake of the game. It is nuanced and beautiful once the layers of understanding start to unfold, but for me, a rooting interest was necessary before I could sit and watch too much of it. Your approach probably would have driven me from a sport I’ve come to love. Just a possible explanation.

  51. David Moyes XXIIIVVIIIXXX says:

    Well, from my expert opinion as a player from Everton, this article is utter rubbish. Aside from the article being poorly written, the premise of your ‘love story’ for Everton is drawn on trivial facts, lacking a legitimate reason for favoring Everton. I conclude that you are ‘bandwaggoner’ and should have no affiliation with Everton. Evertonians are born, not manufactured. You were neither born an Everton fan nor been manufactured an Everton fan. You are an excuse for a real Everton fan.

  52. Paul, North Jersey says:

    Who needs to have a Premier league side? Why stop there? Let’s all pick a random favorite team from every league in the world and then front like we live and die with every pass.

    Just watch the games and stop trying to belong.

  53. TGov says:

    “I’m stuck with Fulham.”

    Haha, me too. Somedays the heartburn inflicted by them is worse than others, but they always seem to be a leading cause of it ;)

    There must be something wrong with me as a Yank, as the two teams I was drawn to 5 years ago were Fulham and Reading…..

  54. Keith says:

    I started watching the EPL after the 2006 World Cup and I didn’t choose my team as eventually fall for them. My favorite team in the world is the Detroit Red Wings and I love how this team develops late draft picks and slowly (very slowly) moves them from their amateur club to the minors to being a part time player to become a niche player to then becoming a star. In contrast to teams like NYY and the BoSox I wanted to like a team that developed and found talent. So I started watching Arsenal but over the course of the season I started to like Chelsea more and more. I loved Mourinho and his cockiness, I loved the Cole-Lampard-Robben left side and the fantastic midfield play of Essien, Lamps and Ballack. And I loved the sheer depth the team had. I didn’t know much about football but even I could appreciate that Chelsea could sub off Robben and Joe Cole and bring on SWP or Kalou. But even more I loved watching the smooth calm Makelele calm everything down.

    With that being said I still love Arsenal’s development and I’d love nothing more than to have Nasri and Walcott on this team. Yes, I know it’s weird a Chelsea fan that doesn’t hate Arsenal but with the exception of Wenger’s superiority complex I can’t find anything I hate about that team. And I know I’m going to get loads of flack for saying this but ON THE FIELD Ashely Cole is my favorite player. Just look at the beginning of this season when Chelsea got back-to-back 6-0 results and you can see how amazing a healthy and angry Cole is. Sadly he’s a prat off the field (partly because he’s just dumb and partly because any guy who cheats on Cheryl Cole deserves shitty karma for their life) and he’s clearly not close to 100%. Still, I love the role that he more or less created (LWB attacking but back at LB) and I can’t help but enjoy watching him play when he’s fit.

  55. Donovan Reed says:

    I like soccer too!

  56. Justin says:

    Amazing… You seriously could have written this for me as every word of it was my story! What forum do you frequent?

  57. John says:

    I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your article. Like many of the above posters, my story was very similar. Given that I’ve been a die hard Chicago Cubs fan from Louisiana since I was a kid; the long range loyalty thing is not hard. I also find one of the reasons I love Everton is their striking similarity to the Cubs.

    Both are rich in history but poor in present. This state lends itself to a fanatical hunger for a success which will be incredible once this hunger is sated. This I imagine you know from the Buccaneers’ recent Superbowl. The other great similarity is the stadium situation. Seeing Goodison on television reminds me of the baseball cathedral that is Wrigley. They are both in disrepair, but they are still so damn venerable. I cannot wait to go to Goodison, and I know that it will be every bit the hallowed space that Wrigley is.

    As to your hatred of Liverpool, everyone should be given the freedom of dramatic overstatement. I understand it completely. We don’t hate so much as wish for their utter failure and relegation. This I feel for both the Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. I also hope your Bucs do well again next year but don’t get crazily excluded from the playoffs again. This I also hope from the wells of my sport loyalty so that my Saints can beat your team twice a year from here to posterity and be perceived as a better team for it. I wish us both luck with our fairly random and now utterly ingrained loyalty for Everton. COYB.

  58. Denmattali says:

    I recall reading the saying:
    “You don’t pick your team, your team picks you” but eventually support with your heart and not your head. That’s what football is all about, tribal loyalties. I am a Manchester City fan and there was just something that attracted me to them in 1965 when they were in the old second division.
    No point in fighting against it as you might as well deny your existence.
    We Blues have no choice, it’s in your blood and that is why we are all CITD – ‘City til I die’ – full stop.
    Choose wisely because once you are there, it’s a life sentence and everything that f=goes with it.

  59. VJ says:

    Great article, I can relate whole-heartedly as I’m a yank and a Portsmouth fan for 4 years now.

    To fans like Aious,
    “You do not get the sense of hatred that a team plays w/o actually going and seeing it and hearing it….you dont get the sense of joy without having seen it first hand there”

    …you’re right I can’t match your intangible love of the EPL team you grew up with but most Americans have our own inborn home-town teams here and most of us share the essence of the passion. If a Brit was to tell me he was following the Philadelphia Eagles fan and was to match my hatred of the Dallas Cowboys I’d be skeptical, but if he was going to demonstrate passion for my team itself, why would I push him away? Americans may not know soccer like Europeans but we know sports passion the same. I’m not looking to start a debate of whether NFL support outweighs EPL fandom, let’s just call it even.

    Now after all that, to probably write myself off in some eyes….my beloved Pompey is struggling in the championship which is never on TV here, so I’ve gone through the same process as the author and was attracted to Everton AND Liverpool, all along the way realizing full well the dilemma this presents. Until I can watch Pompey soar again (always in my heart), is it possible to support the Blues and Reds at the same time and just pray for a draw in the Merseyside Derby matches twice a year?? OR DID I JUST BLASPHEME?!?!

  60. Spealppecylop says:

    Odessa-born Hildigunnur Mcabee is simply hooked on canada goose outlet audio books, tombstone rubbing. Last but not least she gets empowered by following an Pittsburgh penguins ice-hockey match in real life. 22 year old Farrier Hildigunnur Mcabee is addicted to canada goose outlet yoga andfitness, astrology. The things that she value the most is chilling with her fantastic friends. ,Internet marketer Hildigunnur Mcabee is thoroughly hooked on canada goose jackets family history,genealogy and cloud watching. She also really loves discovering different towns, cities and countries for example, Safat. Publisher Hildigunnur surely enjoys canada goose outlet collectible goods and photography. More or less all her enthusiasm arises from relaxing with her superior friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>