So 2022 came roaring in and, over the Holidays, I had a very wonderful thing occur.
Numerous folks on this lovely site known as ToffeeWeb reached out to me via email or Facebook and asked if I was okay, and if everything was well. I'd not been on TW in weeks and months, and they were concerned so they were reaching out.
It truly warmed my heart. What a nice gesture. There's seriously some really wonderful people on this site.
All's well at the Crowley Compound. We're all healthy, everyone has gotten Covid and been just fine. Of course, the only exception to that is myself as I am unvaccinated and have yet to contract Covid. I'm considering licking a Covid Petri dish just to stick a middle finger up to the Covid gods and see if I can actually get the damn thing, but I digress. [For those of you who've lost loved ones to Covid, the aforementioned was a joke only, and believe me I mourn your loss and ask you to find your dark sense of humo(u)r]
Over the mid and tail end of 2022, I built a backyard pub on a 16-ft x 20-ft deck, replete with bar, glasses, liquor bottles everywhere, two mounted TVs, etc. It's an open-air concept with a roof and a finished back wall to let all the Florida warmth just blow through its three open sides, north, east, and west. It's brilliant, quite honestly!
An Everton flag flies proudly from the ceiling in the very center of the bar. I'm very proud of the pub, as I built the whole damn thing myself, sans the bar I bought second hand, which is just amazing. My family and I spent hours upon hours out there over the Holidays watching College Football ('Merican style) and the NFL. Drinks with the Mrs and the boys late into the night, discussing all manner of topics: life, God, politics, sports, all of it.
Why do I mention "Cuigear Mac", our "Five Sons Pub" just outside the very door I pen this submission to TW?
We didn't bother going outside to watch Everton in our pub. Not a single time did we feel arsed to "open" the pub and watch our beloved Everton where our family heart now shines and family time runs rampant. The games were on, when played, but they were on inside, almost as background noise. Why?
I can't be arsed. It's all so "Meh".
The season started with hope. We travelled to Orlando to see Everton play pre-season. I met Dr France and his wife Elizabeth, Lyndon, Kristian Boyce, Jay Harris, it was a fantastic day (albeit hot as fuck!) and should have been a springboard into a new season full of hope. But it was not to be, and the little voice in the back of my head told me it was all in vain.
We're a fucking mess right now. And when we hired that red bloke, we just ransomed our pride. We could have hired anyone else, but no, we hired Rafa the Red after Carlo fucked us off to tag his Mistress, Real Madrid. I was furious. And after the anger came the complacency.
How do you get excited with an ownership group who settles for a safe pair of hands to protect their stadium investment, and that safe pair of hands came from the Eternal Enemy?
Everton - Liverpool is one of the biggest rivalries in world sport. It's not the biggest overall, thanks to humanity's seemingly insatiable desire to bandwagon jump to the big teams, but I'd argue it means the most, and is the most dear to its supporters. And we fucking hired the manager from their club after an elite manager left us to fuck the mistress.
Good God, do we really have such little pride in ourselves? Such debasement and lack of self-worth I can't remember in any hiring in any sport in my entire lifetime. Our owners should be ashamed. They sold out, and fucked every single supporter, for the investment at Bramley-Moore Dock. I get it. They need to protect their investment!
But they could have hired a multitude of other safe hands to do so.
Then, we screwed our future and fired Marcel Brands.
Yes, there's many who didn't like him and didn't want him. But in Marcel Brands we had a real chance to change the approach and ethos of the club and go "straight Ajax". Buy young, play young, sell high, make money, and then, by making money, be able to compete more with those other "big" clubs. I honestly put so much hope in a new recruitment policy, à la Ajax via Marcel Brands, that would over the longer years, see us push up to compete. But we then ran his ass out of town, to the long-term detriment and future of Everton in my opinion.
And if you disagree with that last paragraph, that's just fine! I understand your argument and fully recognize your stance. But let's look a bit closer at the situation, and this one stings. Everton pushed Marcel out and put Rafa in charge of recruitment completely. They've doubled down on Rafa the Red.
Hope springs eternal. Rafa's signed some younger players that I pray come good in a big, big way! He's also run Digne out of town, and played Seamus – my Everton all-time hero and all-around loyal, fantastic Blue – at left-back, due to a grudge.
Ah, fuck hope. Meh.
For the next 2-3 years, we will see midtable mediocrity in the red fella's safe hands while that big 21st-Century pyramid known as the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is built, to ensure the owner's investment, and to create what they really crave: profitability.
And it's the profitability they want, 'cause they ain't got any fuckin' pride – that's for damn sure! That or they just don't give a shit about the supporters. Pick whichever is worse and just run with it. Or pick both, I don't care.
I watch the games. I lurk on TW. I love you all.
I dream of Dunc running down the touchline and hugging the ballboy. God above, that made my heart sing and joy runneth over.
Happy 2022. May things improve quickly.
"Once Everton has touched you, nothing will be the same."
Up The Fucking Toffees!!! The sun still shines. My family is healthy and wonderful. I'm here, I lurk. I can't leave, Everton and TW are heroin and I'm an addict. Best thing to ever happen to me outside of personal life, despite the roiling dark clouds that beset this great club at present.
Reader Comments (19)
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1 Posted 10/01/2022 at 16:22:53
I did try to summarise as a explaination this past two years in a post, but found like you it all quite cracked. Put the previous 25 to the back of my mind.
I can only conclude it is so cracked some good might come out of it. To be a Evertonian is to be a optimism. Those guys in Egypt where unbelieveable optimists.
Enjoy the world beyond in your new palace.
2 Posted 10/01/2022 at 16:43:37
3 Posted 10/01/2022 at 16:55:11
It's so good to have you back again. I was going to ask where you okay but saw you on the Live Forum.
Hope you and the family are all doing well. I've got Covid for the second time despite having had the jabs. My brother refuses to get jabbed and has not had it at all. I respect everybody's opinion and right to choose, same as some of the opinions on here ranging from "burn Rafa at the stake" to "get behind him, he will sort out the chaos at the club".
It is all so depressing as you say, especially when you look at the Sky favourites and the media support and bias they get.
But hey, I've been following the Blues for over 60 years and have seen some bad times too, especially in the '90s but I've always believed that redemption comes from adversity so I hoping we get back on the up-cycle soon.
Best wishes to you and all the Crowley clan for a safe and productive 2022.
5 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:07:47
I dream that one day soon we will need the booze for much happier occasions, but in the meantime Im abstaining, although it was lovely to hear from you Jamie, mate!
6 Posted 10/01/2022 at 18:48:46
That moment with Duncan and the ballboy had my goosebumps on overdrive that day, I know exactly what you mean. It is moments such as these that this season is crying out for. Personally I can't warm to Benitez, in a similar way to how I couldn't warm to Koeman.
Everton as a club though will always be more important than anyone who owns or manages it. The 'once a blue, always a blue' mantra is as true now as it ever has been. You can't get this club out of your system no matter how hard you try. It's for life.
Great to have you back in the LF again. The prodigal Floridian returns!
7 Posted 10/01/2022 at 19:25:07
When this club finally gives you some news worth celebrating at least you've planned ahead for a spot to celebrate it. Sounds boss that la, absolutely amazing. (I built my bar underneath our high set house, but your post has me thinking of a way to convince the Other Half to redo it. deck beers sound brilliant TBH)
We've all suffered significant damage to our throats screaming forlornly at this lot, especially in the very recent past. But there's safety in numbers mate, and a certain type of healing occurs when you're surrounded by fellow survivors.
Here's hoping for better news soon to christen Club Crowley proper, and that you're not too busy to put your head in here a little more often as well. Regardless, thanks for the update, you were definitely missed by many. Stay well!
(And maybe pivot to the second half of the hockey season in that drinking den of yours? Take care mate!)
8 Posted 10/01/2022 at 19:51:51
I thought we may have to get the sniffer dogs out for you.
Good to see you enjoying life with the Mrs and the boys. I would be doing the same if my Mrs wasnt sick to death of me fretting over this Circus of a club and it wasnt freezing, wet and dark here....At lunch time.
Looking for a lodger ?
9 Posted 11/01/2022 at 07:48:24
Couldn't build a wooden box, me, never mind an entire fecking alehouse. Any chance of a bevvy one day; decent wine-selection, by any chance?
I feel exactly the same: when we score I smile and tap the sofa with tepid passion; when one of ours is mutilated by an opponent I mumble 'referee' and stay motionless on the sofa; and when Gray, Pickford, or Anthony do something ace I tap the sofa with a few fingers rather than pounding it with my hit fist.
The passion is seeping, but it never did in the naughty Britpop 90s. I end with a whimper not a bang.
It will come back but right now the only things that make me raise the old decibels and pump fist, as it were, are seeing 'him' on the touchline or 'luvvy' in the stand, reading team-sheets, sobbing at subs, looking spellbound at the away support, and reading Darren's (H) passion and feel for the club and Kirkdale/Scotty.
I was, however, interested to hear that some geezer in Maryland got a pig's heart today and that FSW (fat shitbag wanker) Bozzo had another garden knees-up when we all should have been tucked up indoors.
All the best to plucky ToffeeWebbers everywhere with special thoughts for Crowley's boozer.
10 Posted 11/01/2022 at 19:26:29
We are all feeling a bit meh at the moment. Best wishes to you and your family.
11 Posted 11/01/2022 at 20:18:48
Anyway, best wishes for 2022. See you for Delph's testimonial in the summer!
12 Posted 11/01/2022 at 21:14:25
I really enjoyed this read and get where you are coming from, especially regarding Benitez.
I also have a soft spot for Florida and its people, having worked in Sarasota and subsequently a regular holidaymaker to Anna-Marie Island.
13 Posted 11/01/2022 at 21:25:51
Meh God be with you and your family.
14 Posted 11/01/2022 at 21:45:50
15 Posted 12/01/2022 at 03:11:06
I have tried really hard to look at some of the positives when it came to Benitez, but irrespective of his background, and not because of it, I have decided I just don't like the guy. Period. I could expand, but whats the point? Which brings me to another..
ToffeeWeb. Best go to place on the web, infact a bit like your pub for all things Blue! But I confess I feel a bit out of touch with the views of many these days, to the point of feeling an insignificance, whats the point sort of thing, I post but few respond, which leaves one with the feeling of being out of step with the body of opinion on here. So "Meh" is actually a good and complete analysis at the moment!
The bar will get some good use I have no doubt, don't call it "Cheers" call it "Meh"
Nice to see you out and about Jamie!
16 Posted 12/01/2022 at 04:06:24
The bar sounds awesome. Have you considered renting it out to tired ToffeeWebbers who need some sun? Air BNB (Bevvy and Breakfast) in Florida sounds ace. It would be a great wellness retreat for beleaguered Blues.
While you were away, I am pleased to say that Benitez has been able to repeat the job he did at Newcastle - by turning us into Newcastle.
17 Posted 13/01/2022 at 13:36:33
Jerome - I do enjoy the palace pub, it's lovely. Nice to hear from you
Brent mate - I'd pay good money to have that happen in my back yard!
Jay - Great to hear from you! I hope you're doing well and 60 years dwarfs my journey, so hopefully redemption from adversity.
Tony - I'll have one for you while you abstain.
Julian - We're on the same page, as I'd frankly expect after all these years!
Derek - The playoff hockey season will DEFO be at the pub, sure as death and taxes!
Darren - if this CV19 nonsense ever fucking ends, I'll swap homes with ya for a few weeks. You come take care of my pub and I'll go take care of Everton.
18 Posted 13/01/2022 at 13:43:04
Des - the pub would survive and I'd be streaming Championship games. ;0)
Ian - Sarasota is a great area, and Anna-Marie is brilliant. If you get to FL, LMK and maybe we can watch a game? Cheers
Dale - Meh the Lord be with you as well. :0)
Dave "Godfather" - I sincerely hope the best for you in 2022, and really hope things turn around for Everton, as you're one I often think, "What must poor Dave think about this situation, having seen such heights and now this." All my best, Dave.
Christine - it is all a bit 'meh'. Be assured every single post you write that I see, I read. Don't always comment, but ALWAYS read it. Your name is like a stop light while scrolling. Take care, be well, UTFT.
Steve-o - Newcastle were better. ;0)
Cheers to all.
19 Posted 13/01/2022 at 15:09:23
20 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:22:01
Even rich footballers are human after all
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