Everton 2 0 Hull City

A fitting end to my first-ever season as a Blue. Its hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since I first decided to give English Football a try. After nearly 50 years of faithfully following Baseball, American Football, Hockey, Basketball, and seemingly every other sport under the sun, and with never having been a soccer fan, I decided to jump into following the BPL in order to see for myself just why English Football is widely considered the greatest sport on the planet.

Despite having sons that already supported Manchester City and Newcastle United, I did my homework, watched a bunch of matches, and ended up adopting Everton as the team I would support for the rest of my days.

The same sons, and some friends who already followed football, all ridiculed me. Everton? Why Everton? Of all the teams in the Premier League Everton? They all thought I was crazy.

It was hard to explain. After watching them a few times, and after reading all I could find, and after watching tons of online videos, and with not knowing any other Everton supporter personally I just knew that Everton was my football home.

What an amazing ride this first year has been. Even though I am the lone Everton supporter in my small Texas town, I have experienced the joys of yelling and screaming in joy after many a Blues victory, and have suffered alone in silence with the sickening pit in my stomach after a tough loss or draw.

Even though this was only my first year of English Football, I relished the excitement of a Champions League berth being within grasp of Everton for much of the season And felt the sad reality when I realized the Champions League would finish just out of our reach.

I was ecstatic when we beat our former manager, twice! And even though I knew virtually nothing of the man, I admit I was not unhappy when Moyes was finally sacked by Manchester United. In my eye, this is what he deserved for leaving a great team like Everton for the supposed greener pastures a bigger club.

Ive come to fully appreciate just how great English Football truly is. I love the traditions of the clubs and their supporters, the chants and singing of the crowds, the pleasure of watching clubs fight to their last breath in an attempt to avoid relegation, have marveled at the goals and the goalkeeping, and yes, have yelled and thrown things at the TV while watching ANY interview with Jose Mourinho. (Someone shut that fool up!)

Ive gone through a season of enduring endless reports of who we might gain in the off-season, and who we might lose. Im already trying to paint a picture of what our squad will look like for next season. We finished 5th. We finished with the most points in our Premier League history. By what I read over here, the team will be making a record amount of revenue this year. We should have money to spend. We already have a great team. We have the ability to be a world-class team.

Why not Everton?

Ive proudly worn my Everton home shirt out to MLS Soccer matches here at FC Dallas. Thus far, mine has been the only Everton shirt visible. I hope that changes in the near future. Most MLS fans here in the USA also have international teams that they support. I proudly wear my shirt because I support a great winning team in Everton. Hopefully with the continued growth of English Football here in the USA due to the new TV deals, others will discover the peoples team as well.

Today, my youngest son, the Man City fan, is celebrating his Championship. My oldest son, the Newcastle supporter, is looking ahead to next season. I am celebrating the end of a great first season as member of the Blues Family.

Me, Im already itching for this summer to fly past so that we can once again get out on the pitch and start our next drive for the Premier League Championship. Ive been watching Everton nearly every weekend since August of last year. Its going to be a long hot summer until the matches resume for the upcoming season.

Liverpool came ever so close this season. In my book, we are just as good as Liverpool. In reality, we are the better T-E-A-M.

Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester Utd, Etc. might have flashier superstar playersbut often the best TEAM will win in the end.

Why not Everton next season?

Great season, Blues! Cant wait till next year!

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Reader Comments (12)

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Simon Gilmovitch
1 Posted 12/05/2014 at 06:54:50
Welcome to the family, Mark.
Spragg Johnson
2 Posted 12/05/2014 at 07:24:34
Settle in and enjoy the ride ... It'll be bumpy at times ... But rewarding and wonderful. We are a proper football club - always have been, always will be. Welcome aboard.
Les Fitzpatrick
3 Posted 12/05/2014 at 08:19:39
Welcome to the gang.It's been a great season to be a Blue.

Images of Stevie me slip,and rat boys tears will stay with me forever. The chokers choked on their own bile ha ha... priceless. COYB

Zack Yusof
4 Posted 12/05/2014 at 09:04:06
Welcome to the family Mark. Not bad for a first season as a Blue eh? Fingers crossed, it's merely the start of many more amazing campaigns to come!
Norman Merrill
5 Posted 12/05/2014 at 11:15:15
Welcome Mark, I just hope your not alone for too long being a Blue.

I've got friends in New York who wear the EFC. Shirt with pride in the football mad bars, in downtown NY. So keep the faith.

Conn Prosser
6 Posted 12/05/2014 at 12:49:00
Good on you, Mark. You made the right choice, at the right time. You will be able to claim "I started supporting Everton before they started winning everything." You are the earliest of a new breed of Everton fan who only knows success.
Aaron Ford
7 Posted 12/05/2014 at 16:58:17
Hi Mark --

I'm a few hours down I35 from you and went through a near-identical discovery process 3 years ago. As an American, it was strange "picking" a team since for every other sport I was more or less geographically born into a team's fanbase. So glad I chose Everton, though, it has been an exhilarating ride so far. Quality team, great fans, great tradition!

Welcome aboard!

David Chait
8 Posted 12/05/2014 at 20:17:24
Mark .. Good to see your penmanship again.. It was great reading your first few articles but you went quiet... Glad you settled in for the season... Onwards and upwards !

Enjoy your first off season... If you are like us you will read ever more everton news in the hope to be the first to figure out who we are signing and who was pure gossip... It gets crazy and only the strongest can turn away..

Neil Humphreys
9 Posted 12/05/2014 at 22:38:34
Isn't Heathy at Austin in the MLS? That's a guy who can tell you about EFC?!
And my favourite Texas City by a mile too!
Gary Sedgwick
10 Posted 13/05/2014 at 02:13:01
Welcome Mark and hello to all Texan Evertonians. I was privvy to the class of the '80s and saw many games both home and away; Wembley for three of the four visits in the FA Cup final and the Charity Shield matches; missed THE Bayern game having been grounded for being drunk and disorderly as a 17-year-old (dad being a copper probably played a big part in that!). I miss those days and it is only this season that I have been really, really excited to watch the boys.

I now live in Harlingen just off the Mexican border and wouldn't you know it? There is a fricking Redshite supporter here. He not only works where I do but he was born in Preston... and I was born there! I can't wait until I see him again so I can.... commiserate with him with us both missing out on our goals but afterwards will be chuckling to myself!

Patrick Murphy
11 Posted 13/05/2014 at 12:22:30
Mark - Welcome to the family but be prepared for many ups and downs along the way. You must also bear in mind that the pundits at Sky (Carragher, Souness, Redknapp and Neville) seem to think that we should be lumped in with Southampton and Stoke judging by the 'Season Review' programme I watched last night. Pre-conceived ideas apparently are gospel and if you don't have massive pockets you should settle for top ten in the Premier League.

It really annoys me this constant undermining of Everton FC saying this is our best ever season - well it is in the Premier League - but I'm pretty sure we've won the Title on nine different occasions.

Anyway I'll have to learn to ignore this constant barrage of the deserving rich and the undeserving poor rhetoric and hope that Roberto enables the club to smash all and sundry in the coming seasons. But I'm sure that if we did win the Title again they would focus on those rich clubs who had under-performed and handed us the trophy on a plate.

Tom Moore
12 Posted 13/05/2014 at 13:15:40
Well in, Mark, lad. Read your original post when you explained how you came to 'choose' Everton having undertaken an exercise in due diligance. I think one TW member latterly explained that a love for the Blues (and not of the musical variety) was always within your DNA, it just needed awakening and it was you who was 'chosen'.

I am thrilled by how many of our US-based cousins have gradually come alive to what football (okay, soccer) is about and the 'one team for life' mentality. It's not just a British thing, it's the same all over the world although some 'plastic' footie fans are fickle and some will transfer allegiances from one team to another depending on the measure of success of a particular team at any given time. But to be touched by Everton is surely to be blessed because wherever we go to or come from in the world there is a unique bond that only Evertonians can truly understand.


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