Monday, August 28, 2006

I wish I could tie you up in my shoes, make you feel unpretty too

It ain't easy being a Liverpool fan. There, I said it. "But why, Mr. Spinachdip, why? Your team won the Champions League in 2005, consistently finish in the top 5 of the league, has the biggest trophy room in all of England. How could that possibly be hard?"

I'll tell you why. Because I'm a cynical bastard who can't help but see the dark storm clouds around the silver lining. I'm generally easygoing, but when it comes to anything competitive, I focus on the negative. I don't remember much from my brief athletic career, but I can list all the mistakes I've made on the field since I was playing street soccer back at 7 years old, all the way up to Saturday night when I couldn't put a fucking top spin on the ball if the fate of the universe depended on keeping the cue ball out of the pocket.

But I digress.

I became a Liverpool supporter in August 1986 because I didn't know better. My family had just moved to London and the only English phrase I could say with any degree of confidence was "I need to use the loo." I turned on the TV to see a bunch of guys in red playing a bunch of guys in blue, all in varying combination of perms, mullets and mustaches. Right there and then, I decided I liked the team in red, Liverpool Football Club.

From that moment on, it seemed every sweet gulp of glory as Liverpool supporter came attached with the bitter taste of backwash. The ban from European competition that kept the team from competing with the best in the world. The Hillsborough tragedy. Losing the 1989 title in the dying seconds of the last match of the season to Arsenal, an event oh so painfully relived in the climax of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. Even the most glorious of glories, winning the 2005 Champions League required falling behind 0-3 before half time, and was followed by a summer-long controversy over Steven Gerrard would chase the money dangled by Chelsea.

Considering the history, it's not surprising that when Liverpool has better chance than ever to topple Chelsea from the top of the table, it has looked mighty unpretty, drawing lowly Sheffield United 1-1 while looking uninspired in a win and a draw against Maccabi Haifa to qualify for the Champions League.

So i'll take the 2-1 win against West Ham this weekend. It's not dominating stuff, but it's early in the season. There are injuries in key positions. And I take back all the mean, horrible, borderline racist things I've said about Danish people after this goal:

And this has been about the only thing pretty about this Liverpool so far in this young season.

As for the rest of the league, I hate to say I told you so, but what did I tell you? Chelsea stumbled out of the gate, picking up their first loss before the second weekend of the season while ManU are much, much better than anyone gave them credit for (albeit against possibly relegation-bound opponents). But what of Arsenal's dysfunction?

And apologies in many, many folds to our friend Slack for not responding to his thoughtful comments. Yeah, I'm an ass like that. Hey, next time I'm awake at 9 am on Saturday, let's go catch a game at the local. The first banger is on me.

Finally, Adam Spangler over at This Is American Soccer has a great piece on our favorite Yank, Clint Dempsey.

<< Home