My beloved Manchester United is teasing me once again.
2017 was the last time the Reds won silver. Even though it was “only” the Europa League Cup and not one of the big three of a “treble.”
FA Cup. I love watching the Football Association Cup because it is like the old Indiana State High School Athletic Association. Every team in the Association has a chance to win. Kind of like in Hoosiers starring the magnificent Gene Hackman, a guy with plain looks that do not exactly scream leading man. Or as Karen would say, “He’s no Tom Selleck.” No offense Tom, but you don’t have the acting chops to compete with Mr. Hackman.
The story is one I personally can’t resist: the underdog vs. the favorite, David vs. Goliath, and in this case, Hickory vs. South Bend Central.
Except there is no Hickory; It is only a mythical place that lives in our minds forever.
Like a good book.
Premier League Championship.
This one means the most to British players, as this trophy is up for competition from the members of twenty teams competing for the Cup representing England and Wales. In addition to the powerful rivalries of cross-town clubs known as “derby’s,” the teams will face off at least twice a year and the streets of many towns are devoid of traffic, be it automotive or foot.
It can be downright creepy.
I mean every town’s businesses are closed so the owners can watch their teams play and besides, there are no customers to serve anyway.
Unless you own a pub.
And if you are watching the match in a pub with the rest of the crazies and I DO mean crazies.
I know I’m dating myself, but if you think a metal concert mosh pit is tough, go watch a West Ham-Millwall clash end with a disputed goal.
And then get out of the way.
Two mean bodies of fans made up of tough iron workers from London’s East End.
“Danger Will Robinson. Danger.”
The facts are that English players make up less than a THIRD of those playing in the EPL. They have changed the name of the league 4 times in 20 years, so it might be time to acknowledge the new multicultural international league the Premier has evolved into. It should also be noted that NO ENGLISH MANAGER has ever won the championship of England’s highest prize. The closest geographically speaking is the iconic Man United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Premier League was called the English Football League First Division back when I lived there. I remember watching in silence as I emerged from the dark concourse and first laid eyes on the pitch. Not a blade of grass that wasn’t perfectly trimmed and brilliant green. It had the same effect on me as being in church.
Same feeling of reverence.
I can still see hundreds of girls (“birds”) gathering in flocks, dressed in mini-skirts and go-go boots, chatting and then screaming for their man…..George Best as he took the hallowed ground of Old Trafford on matchday.
“Georgie, Georgie, Georgie”
European Champions League.
This is the highest aspiration an international club has. To get the opportunity to play the top teams on the planet, and the lucrative income and exposure that comes with it. You must finish Top Four in the Premier League to qualify.
So no matter who you root for remember: there are so many important things on this planet, Premier League Football is NOT life or death.
It’s bigger than that.