Remember when you were just old enough to start to wander off at the grocery store by yourself... brave enough to not feel worried at all until you realized how big the store is and you didnt really pay much attention to where youd come from, people are buzzing all around you and you think for just a second, "What if I never find my mom?" Well, if not, thats sort of how I felt after the Palace game: lost, worried, maybe a little scared. Ive not posted much on TW so Ill let you in on why I was standing in this mire.

The 2011-12 season was just set to get under way when a couple friends asked who my EPL team was? At the time, I had only recently become obsessed with the little local league; the MLS and my team the Seattle Sounders. So, when they asked, I wasnt too sure what that was... and when they told me, I think I said, Oh they still do that or some other comment that could only be unique to American ignorance.

Anyway, I quickly read an article from ESPN on how to pick your EPL team that was dated from 1999 (so just a little out-dated) although some of the opinions did still hold true about certain teams. I came back the next day with a pick of Arsenal and of course the TV package that would let me see the lovely league I would soon switch my obsession to...

Needless to say, I watched any game they decided to show on TV. Now I had been able to really see styles and fans and management for what they were around the league and could gauge my team to others. It wasnt until the 2012-13 season that I became fed up with the self-serving whining that filtered down from the manager to the players to the fans which made me realize this just wasnt how I was familiar with rooting for a team because it turned me into that very kind of fan.

Im used to being a loyal fan of those loveable losers the Chicago Cubs which means I was very familiar with losing and rooting only because of passion not for trophies. So I decided to switch, and this may seem very hypocritical, and it was, but I am satisfied with the decision and feel it justified and right so there it is. Everton is everything I want from a team to support, and everything any team in any league should be.

So, after that Palace loss... oh, tie yeah, thats right... tie! and seeing Arsenal atop the table, it felt miserable. I have never seen a team that I supported in any sport that has won the Championship in anything EVER and it’s beginning to wear on my enthusiasm for sports in general. I realize now more than ever that unlike in American sports, where there is a draft and you can always come back from being the worst for a few years and have a good shot at winning something; its the cycle of American sports everyone will have a chance to get a chance that, unless you have money or maybe the favoritism of being in the big 4 or 5 or 6, you may well never win the league.

On Wednesday of last week, I came to and remembered how I found Everton, and how they found me, and my enthusiasm came back and along with it the nerves of the derby. I read a lot of comments on TW and didnt really respond so, when I saw probably wont even watch comments, I was pretty irritated, I just couldnt imagine having that outlook (maybe the American in me?) it seemed like the attitude of Mr Moyes had filtered down into the fans and maybe they didnt even know it, similar to the Arsenal way of whining.

Thanks for letting me share and youll probably see more of my uniquely American ignorance in the comments section. COYB!

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Mike Price
1 Posted 25/11/2013 at 06:37:42
People don't, not watch the derby because of some sort of weakness. When you've lived through multiple decades of pain, cheating and injustice, only then do you have any clue of what people feel with regard to Everton, especially in relation to the redshite.
It must be brilliant to just support and observe, without the deep rooted love and trauma that comes with a lifetime of being born this way!
Nick Entwistle
2 Posted 25/11/2013 at 09:00:16
Losing and rooting...
Dave Lynch
3 Posted 25/11/2013 at 09:32:00
How does the saying go ?

You can change anything in your life. Religion, wife, gender, nationality, sexual orientation and even your features in this day and age.

But can anyone on this site even contemplate following another team other than Everton ?

Answers on a postcard to.

Glory hunting footy fans Inc.

Tony J Williams
4 Posted 25/11/2013 at 09:52:24
Oh dear me! there is a potential for quite a long.... and somewhat angry thread here.

Sorry Dan, but you're irritated because some fellas don't like watching the derby? My arl fella was at the game with on Saturday and said after we scored the third, "It's about now that I turn the telly off!"

Some people are that ingrained with the team shitting on their emotions that enough is enough...... obviously proved correct as he had to watch the shite equalise.

Anto Byrne
5 Posted 25/11/2013 at 09:57:55
Everton is the other woman in my life, she can be adorable and she can be a bitch. My love affair goes back to the early sixties and 50+ years. Blue blood curses through my veins... there is something special about being an Evertonian and once you're afflicted there's no going back. All I can say Nick is welcome to the club. Down here in Aus we have another meaning for rooting.
Dave Lynch
6 Posted 25/11/2013 at 10:05:27
Yup.

You gotta love the difference in American attitude toward team sport to our own.

To them and correct me if I'm wrong, they do not have the tribalism we have here, they can have a team one minute and no team the next. Didn't the Oakland Raiders become the LA Raiders overnight?

Can you imagine what would happen here (AFC Wimbledon apart) if all of a sudden teams where relocated and renamed!

It matters deeply and emotionally to us, to the point where it hurts so bad that your whole life feels it's crumbling and falling apart. I don't know why we feel like that, after all.

It's only a game......

Barry Rathbone
7 Posted 25/11/2013 at 10:18:37
Dan

Honest and interesting piece (we say "draw" rather than "tie" here btw) and most welcome you are as a blue.

I am intriqued by the modern fan and fascinated how not being from the area affects what people say and their attitude and perspective - "out of the mouths of babes and innocents" often comes to mind.

Not that it's wrong ("vive la difference" I say) but most definitely different.

As pointed out the whole ethos of sport USA style goes out the window compared to the irrational "religious" aspect of footy.

But I reckon that is changing the days of clubs guaranteed "local" support are well on the way out and a more american model could well be the answer. But I'll be dead by then so bollocks to it.

You inadvertently ruffled a few feathers re fans not watching the derby the hint being not proper supporters - got that one wrong mate in fact quite the opposite it's because fans care so much. It's one thing being at the game being part of the torture you can chant, vent your spleen and try and support the lads through it and make no mistake if I could have been there I would.

Watching it on telly just gets the remote thrown across the room.

Conn Prosser
8 Posted 25/11/2013 at 11:51:23
I almost feel like I'm not a proper Everton fan for wanting to watch the derby. I sneaked into another room at a friend's 40th to watch it. That almost feels like treachery! Where's the deep-seated fear of being subjected to another tragedy? Do I even love my club for staying up till the wee hours to risk the possible shame, humiliation or larsony.

Those days are over gentlemen, we are watching the next derby, all of us, we will win. We will bleed on the pitch to destroy them on their own turf! Rise up all blue-hued hooters, our day has come! Tiocfaidh ar la!

Bill Gall
9 Posted 25/11/2013 at 14:42:29
Guess it is just fate that when watching football you just seem to be chosen to follow Everton. My fate was in 1952 when I played at Goodison Park as a schoolboy and changed in the home team dressing room. After that, it was the usual progression: getting in 20 mins from the end when they opened the gates... The Boys Pen... Gwladys Street End... and finally a season ticket holder.

One of the hardest things to do when I left for Canada was knowing I would be missing Everton; even after all the years gone by, I still get goosebumps when I hear Z-Cars being played at the start of a game.

Gerry Quinn
10 Posted 25/11/2013 at 15:25:25
I was thinking that I was lucky at 06:45 on Saturday morning - I had to drive from Mobile, Alabama, back to Houston - an 8 hour stint - as my plane had been cancelled the previous day!

The first 2 hours I managed to cover about 50 miles - no, not because of traffic, no, not because of weather, and no, I didn't even get lost!

Believe it or not, I kept having to stop at every turn off to log on to the ToffeeWeb Live Matchday Forum for updates! It was absolute hell for the first half, to the extent that I missed 3 turn-offs deliberately NOT wanting to know how bad it had got and dreading the remainder of the journey if passing a red coloured car!

Oh the elation and ecstacy when that 2nd Lukaku goal went in, with fellow travelers wondering why I'm pumping the air and grinning like a cheesy pervert. End result, open my suitcase in the boot (trunk) to get my Everton top on. Pride, joy, great to be blue.

Another 7 miles later and misery as the comments rolled up about Distin giving a foul away, more abuse, more cursing - tell me what happened FFS.

Gerry Quinn
11 Posted 25/11/2013 at 15:42:13
As I began to read the comments on how good we were in the match reports, etc., and how we had overrun them at times, the remainder of my journey became pleasant enough to keep my top on throughout. Pride. Passion. Love being a blue.

Would I deliberately not watch a derby match? I've said it before and I've written an article about it before - without the ToffeeWeb crack, it saves me from hiding behind my couch.

Gerry Quinn
12 Posted 25/11/2013 at 15:49:32
...and yes, before someone passes a comment, I refuse to pick up or look at the iPhone when I am driving and, unfortunately there are too many tossers here in the US of A that consider phoning and texting more important than driving a 1-ton weapon around!!!!
Gerry Quinn
13 Posted 25/11/2013 at 15:53:31
Dan, I forgot to say "welcome to the family" - hope your heart is in solid nick!
James Flynn
14 Posted 25/11/2013 at 18:31:51
Dave (113) - "To them and correct me if I’m wrong, they do not have the tribalism we have here"

Barry (129) - "As pointed out the whole ethos of sport USA style goes out the window compared to the irrational "religious" aspect of footy."

Good fun, the two of you. Had a laugh. Fucking Americans just don’t get it, is it? Keep em coming.

And could either of you help Gerry. Apparently he believes people in America are doing something, while driving, not happening all across England. Help him, would you. Judging by his posts here, he needs it.

Dave Lynch
15 Posted 25/11/2013 at 20:01:52
James.

You would have to experience the big game in person to understand what we mean.

I have had the privilege of attending a Mets baseball game and without wanting to sound condescending it appeared no more than a day out to eat drink and be merry, with the game coming secondary to the occasion.

I have also been to a Florida Gators game which I know is not on the same level as a Mets game but got the same impression.

Trust me when I say this, big game footy matches like the derby are totally different gravy.

Barry Rathbone
16 Posted 25/11/2013 at 20:19:57
James

Tut tut, think USA vs Russia Olympics 1980 ice hockey win.

The tension pre game and delirium of victory, I believe it's referred to as "the miracle on ice", THAT is the unthinking, irrational bonkers passion that footie fans in this country grow up with season after season

Brits would on the whole have been in support of the USA in that game but in a different way - locality, upbringing, culture, distance and tons of other stuff have a bearing it's just the way it is, crazy to get arsey over it.

Gerry Quinn
17 Posted 25/11/2013 at 20:46:12
James, despite it being against the law in the UK, there remain quite a few tossers there too that consider themselves so important to chat away that the law and common sense both get dumped!

Dave and Barry may have a point - unfortunately the Houston Texan fans have summed up a bad attitude to football here. They consider losing their remaining matches as imperative so that they grab first pick. WTF? Bring in promotion and relegation - I think that may improve their "Texans Forever" attitude.

Dave Lynch
18 Posted 25/11/2013 at 21:28:31
To give you another analogy James.

My wife is Irish, born and bred in Offaly and she and her family are Gaelic mad. Being married to her for 20 years ( she's a saint that woman ) I have been to a good number of GAA games both hurling and footy and have developed an affinity with her county.

When they get beat however my world does not fall apart, I don't refuse to switch on match of the GAA and I don't ban the Sunday papers from the house.

I do when Everton get beat though and it's the same with my wife. She goes to a fair few Everton games but never takes it as hard as me when we get beat.

During derby week especially she warns me in no uncertain terms to lay off the kids and think twice about what I'm saying as I'm totally unbearable the week before the game.

Paul Ferry
19 Posted 26/11/2013 at 02:09:45
James Flynn - 280 - you post from ignorance as you as you have told us have never been to The Old Lady and I suspect that I have spent a lot more time than you on both sides of the Atlantic.

Unlike you I have attended jeez several thousand Everton games home and away but also many US games - baseball, MLS, and College Hoops for the most part - and trust me nothing remotely resembles the passion, larger-than-life commitment, and when certain teams play us the utter hate-filled-air.

You have no idea. I've been to Yankees/Red Sox, Duke/UNC, Seattle/Portland games to name but three and there is absolutely no comaprison. Hunch, it might be because our cities are so much closer together.

And I love your star-spangled-banner rush to defend US drivers. I spend approximately 8 months each year in the US and four in Europe and again based on my more than yours experience of the things you pronounce on there is nothing quite like the US driver/texter/caller in say England. Sure you find them but I am talking about scope and scale.

You have a habit of pronouncing about things you know less about than the people you address and here you go again. And this site is hardly the pace to defend your US of A.

Gerry trust me does not need help. On the basis of what I have read on this thread there is one contributor who needs a fair bit of help to understand about something before he dashes on to his keys to rattle something off.

Guess who?

Jamie Crowley
20 Posted 26/11/2013 at 02:45:40
The main thing that drew me seven-and-a-half years ago to "soccer" was the passion of the fans.

It is, in my mind, unparalleled in sport.

I think an argument can be made that there are some in America who have close to this passion for their teams. Alabama Crimson Tide? Green Bay Packers? Boston Red Sox? But I have to concur with the sentiment by the English posters - footy fandom is on a different level.

And loyalty is another matter all together. Americans change teams like they change underwear - and it makes me sick to death. I despise it. Sports allegiances should be like a marriage. A bond never to be broken through good times and bad.

James, surely you can agree with this? The English have us completely and utterly dominated in this department.

Why the fuck would people watch, live, and die for Leyton Orient?

It's in their culture. And it's worth praising and admiring.

Jamie Sweet
21 Posted 26/11/2013 at 03:26:46
Well said Mr Crowley. Great to see that you get it. You're definitely in the Premier League for USA contributors on TW!
Paul Ferry
22 Posted 26/11/2013 at 03:35:52
Nice one Jamie - 345 - you often hit the nail on the head, but from BC right not these United States.

And nobody is saying that therefore North American sport is somehow this or that, this is a comment on what can I say the tribal passions I have met time and time again in English and European settings resulting in for this Ferry - but don't tell female Ferry she's squeamish and tender and american - nine hidings I think it is in five European countries following my beloved blues because sadly this rivalry is not just banter and again the point is surely that cities and countries are so close together on the euro side of the pond.

Danny Karlee
24 Posted 26/11/2013 at 03:33:30
I'm not so sure that what I wanted people to get from my post was that I think they are lesser of fans if they can't watch the game. From that sentence I just wanted to relate that I've been beaten over and over by the teams I grew up with (and never changed from, like underwear) but still line up eagerly for the slaughter knowing in the back of my mind what's coming. I don't think it describes a weaker mentality just a sort of willingness to hope for the impossible which seems to be bashed into our American heads.

I truly didn't mean to offend. Sports here are different and to the very very few it is met with as much passion as football fans which is why I love it so much, because I fit right in. Thanks to all who welcomed me, EFC is a club to fight for and die with which is what I wanted to say... How foolish and stupid I was for thinking any other club would deserve my passion and love.

Paul Ferry
25 Posted 26/11/2013 at 03:46:17
Sorry sorry, JC Florida, sorry mate.

And by the way the US game is to be applauded for the relative lack of fan violence.

Paul Ferry
26 Posted 26/11/2013 at 03:47:49
But Jamie mate we now need your view on texting and driving in the States!
Michael Sopt
27 Posted 26/11/2013 at 04:09:50
As a new American Evertonian (Year 2), it is the tribalism that makes the Premier League so intoxicating. The passion at Goodison is readily evident during the telecast. I envy those of you who have born into the traditions and history of the Toffees. Everton is an English run team, proudly punching above its weight. The billionaires don't like Everton, a pesky team that complicates their top 4 appearances.

The closest thing the US has is college football (the egg ball kind). Quite a passion here in Georgia. The NFL is a bore. But I'd rather watch proper football most days.

Michael Sopt
29 Posted 26/11/2013 at 05:00:02
I do hope you folks heard my screams of Yeeaahhh that followed Lukaku's goals from across the pond. I hope you didn't hear my profane howl at the 3rd redshite goal.
Albert Perkins
30 Posted 26/11/2013 at 04:02:53
A friend took me to the Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders play-off game. $130 tickets. 20,000 sell-out fans chanting the whole 100 plus minutes. Real fanatics and especially as they have been like this for the last 2 years when they were bottom. They played great. Scored 3 unanswered goals and the crowd was delirious. The team met the fans after the game and were totally in love with them.

They have this cool massive banner that is unfurled before the game putting down the opposition in a really punchy and funny way. During the game you see a guy walking round the ground revving a chainsaw. When they score he cuts off a slice of a huge tree and carries it round the ground urging the fans to cheer for it.

They have cool flags and some chants close to EPL standard. It was a great experience and I loved sharing it with my buddy, a real Timbers man.

He has adopted Everton as his second team and we watched the derby game together in his 'man-cave' on a huge TV.

He was stunned by the atmosphere, the commitment, the noise, the quality of play and the heart-stopping action. He was up high-fiving at each goal before I could get out of the lazy-boy.

I really enjoy supporting the Timbers with a genuine football fan, but there is nothing like being heart and soul with your Everton team during match time and the match day rituals. Only thing better is to be at the Old Lady on match day and revel in the experience with over 30,000 boisterous supporters. Oh, the banter, the chants (you don't get to hear on the TV) Z Cars.

The green, green grass of home. And to let out your excitement and frustrations like nowhere else on earth, standing behind the Gwladys Street goal.....

Darryl Ritchie
31 Posted 26/11/2013 at 05:22:55
The biggest difference between North American sporting events and the EPL isn't passion, it's geography. In Britain if you travel 50 miles in any direction, you'll come across 3 or 4 different football clubs; in 3 or 4 different leagues; all with a long history; all with fanatical supporters. Britain is a size small country ,with a size large population.

In Canada and the US, the fans don't travel to away games much. Its not because they don't care about their team, its just too damn far away.

Football(soccer) is trying to gain a following here, but it's tough sledding. Football(NFL, CFL, college), baseball, basketball and hockey are all established with large fan bases. For the most part, soccer is a game kids play.

Everton has become an important part of my psyche. One of my greatest wishes to get to Goodison for a home game. There's a YouTube clip called "Just hit the fucking thing". It's Jelavich's goal against City last year. Sheer bedlam... I want to be part of that.

Bill Gall
32 Posted 26/11/2013 at 14:19:49
The closest thing in Canada to finding supporters as fanatical as soccer supporters in England that can be found at home and away games regardless of distances are the Saskatchewan Roughriders fans.

Living in Saskatchewan for 10 years and going to the games, I can attest that the support does not just come from the city were they play but from all over the province and if anyone had seen the Grey Cup Final on Sunday, the fans who were interviewed came from all over Canada.

Being a Roughrider fan is like being an Everton fan: once you become a fan it is for life, even if like me you move from Everton to Saskatchewan and from Saskatchewan to New Brunswick.

Living in Canada with my accent, people ask me about were was I from and when I say Liverpool they say "Oh, you're a Liverpudlian?" and I politely reply "No, no, no I am an Evertonian."

Gerry Quinn
33 Posted 26/11/2013 at 15:57:33
Don't know if it sounds unreasonable, but all of us U.S. and U.S. based fans should try and get together and set a date for as many as possible to get over to Goodison for a match in, say 1 years time.

Do the Goodison tour, do the local bar tour before the match (mmmmm?) and then take a night match in to savour that Old Lady special atmosphere. I'm sure that quite a few U.S. fans, given that time period, could maybe save up enough to do it?

Maybe Michael and/or Lyndon could set some kind of a "visiting Goodison" page to help organize it on the ToffeeWeb site?

I, for one, would love to visit again, as it would be my first return for what is now far too many years ago!

Jamie Crowley
34 Posted 26/11/2013 at 16:52:58
Gerry -

That's an outstanding idea. My issue would be with 5 kids and a wife if I took all the available vacation money and spent it on traveling to England to see Everton... it'd be a small fortune and we'd be writing hot checks.

And for domestic bliss I'd absolutely have to take the family. My wife would be most unhappy if I saved money and went alone. She'd never allow it, and I haven't the stones to take her on with that one. We've got a retirement trip loosely planned in 15 to 20 years time that involves seeing multiple Everton games when the kids are grown. By then I hope we can afford it.

I often wondered why more TWers don't pick a spot in the country to meet for say the derby games. Think that'd be a blast. Find a good pub, good location, do it up the night before, watch the game the next morning. Much more affordable. Orlando is accessible (cheap flights), good weather, tons to do...

Just a thought.

But I think for those who can, a TW organized trip to see a game is an outstanding idea.

Some day Gerry I'll go... and I think after that game I'll look upwards and tell the Big Fella I'm ready...

Gerry Quinn
35 Posted 26/11/2013 at 17:41:51
Jamie,

Back in my Navy days I was Coxswain of a small Survey Ship named "HMS Woodlark" (ships company of 18). We found out there was a pub in Nottingham called the "Woodlark Inn", which we created an affiliation with. One year we looked after their visit to Plymouth by our families looking after their families for a few nights, and the next year for the visit to their pub in Nottingham, they arranged for us to be looked after by their local families. I am sure there could develop a situation whereby an Evertonian family would be more than happy to look after you whilst on Merseyside (much, much cheaper than hotels, and terrific fun trying to understand each others accents!!!!!). When Everton visit your area in the US of A, you have an option to return the favour.

That is why I feel we would need to set up of a webpage to try and arrange things like that together.

Unfortunately the flights would be the biggest cost, but there again, maybe a TW reader works for, or knows someone who works for a Travel Agent, or similar. I have booked flights for my family from Houston to Newark to Glasgow for less than $300 return each (yes, definitely not during school break when they shoot up in cost), so there are periods that really could facilitate a cheap option to go.

Not just America, but I'd love to be able to show Goodison Park to the world - COYB

Gerry Quinn
36 Posted 26/11/2013 at 19:53:12
And Jamie, 5 kids??? Do you not have a TV? :)
James Flynn
37 Posted 27/11/2013 at 13:50:28
Yikes, didn’t expect this to happen from what I posted as a response to Barry about sport supporters in America. So, let’s take a full-on Everton supporter and full-on baseball Red Sox supporter. At random, let’s call him Jamie Crowley.

How in God’s name could he retain his fanatical support of Everton, while retaining his fanatical support of the RS Henry Group’s Red Sox? Yet, here he is doing so. Fucking Crowley, if he only understood what true support of a club meant. Of course, like Jamie, I’m just an American only all-in Everton these last few years. Barry, enlighten me on what I lack as a supporter.

Jamie (345) "And loyalty is another matter all together. Americans change teams like they change underwear and it makes me sick to death. I despise it. Sports allegiances should be like a marriage. A bond never to be broken through good times and bad."

So, at the end of the 2012 season, you dumped your Red Sox? C’mon Jamie. And you and all the other Boston Bruins fans switch allegiance based on how the club is doing? You know that’s not so. Not to mention, you at the Boston Gardens and me at MSG when the roofs barely stayed intact at the fans trying to lift them?

Jamie, c’mon. Nothing going on in the EPL, supporter-wise, the two of us haven’t grown up on.

Gerry Quinn
38 Posted 27/11/2013 at 17:32:11
James, nothing wrong with rattling a few cages now and then and having my own cage rattled isn't new that is what makes TW so much fun and interesting day by day!

Even after over 55 years of following Everton, and when topics like this get argued about, these are the words I always remember... "

Evertonians are born, not manufactured,
We do not choose we are chosen,
Those who understand need no explanation,
Those who don't understand do not matter.

Barry Rathbone
39 Posted 27/11/2013 at 16:27:58
James.

You don't "LACK" anything you're a blue and moreover you got on board during the crappiest period in our illustrious history; no glory hunting for you that's front line troop stuff right there.

Look, rightly or wrongly, the perception of American sport over here is it's more a "day out" akin to the cinema or theatre experience; the fanatical lunacy built up over a century that pervades English football just seems absent.

The differences betwixt you and me are of the "you say tomarto, I say tomayto" sorta thing it's not a "better or worse" or "lack of" argument, it's just different.

It's Moyes's fault anyway.

James Flynn
40 Posted 27/11/2013 at 18:29:43
Barry - Spoken fairly.

"It’s Moyes’s fault anyway". Haha. It’s been some time since our last back and forth. Appreciate, then as now, that you have a sense of humor about posting on this discussion board. Particularly about Moyes.

However, anything in here or anywhere that proposes American sport fans are less passionate than England footy fans? Wrong.

Gerry Quinn
41 Posted 27/11/2013 at 22:54:06
About time Hibbo got the blame - he'll be feeling left out!

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