When I look back on the 9 months or so that just passed, there’s quite a bit I will remember. I doubt very seriously I’ll dwell on the fact that Everton went out with a whimper and not a bang - I hope. So put the bleach down for a moment, turn off the running hot water, and pack away the razor blades temporarily.
Spirit of the BluesI don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun being an Evertonian as when we were Brazil in August and September and we were #1 in the table, the music charts, and the movie charts (Howard’s Way). Piss off Miley Cyrus. Twittertonia was actually a fun place to be for a while. A world in which I’d never thought I would live. It felt like the dawning of the Age of Aquarius was upon us. It wasn’t, but it was fun while it lasted. A lot of fun.
DCL Proved Me RightI always believed in the lad, and while he’s got a ways to go I was a little early on my predictions that he would become an England striker, but he got there eventually. Now, to be clear, I know little to nothing about football. Even after all these years. Most of you have forgotten more about the game than I’ll ever know. I’m at peace with that. But I know talent when I see it, and more importantly, I saw an attitude and demeanor about him that just screamed he was going to figure it out. When you combine natural gifts with humility and a will to achieve, it’s not really a matter of if, but when. Best of all, he’s easy to like. We’ve had players that I supported, but I wouldn’t be arsed investing in them if they didn’t play for us. But DCL is a player and person we can be proud of. That’s not nothing.
Voldemort is DeadIt’s over. The streak. The curse. The shame. Everton won at Anfield. I rarely cry anymore outside of a well-crafted commercial featuring old people or animals, but I’ll admit a salty discharge began to seep from my eyes in the hours after the game. I didn’t expect to feel that way. Probably because I never expected to win there ever in my lifetime. But Everton made me feel joy - real joy - that day. And I’m grateful for that. It may never happen again, or we might just make it Goodison South. Who knows? All I know is that it was the best moment I’ve had as a Blue. I hope it doesn’t remain the best moment, but for now, I’m not going to pass it by.
We Completed the SeasonHow many of us were afraid we’d not be able to get all the games in? Only the Man City game was postponed. That’s actually pretty incredible. At the end of the day, while we all want to win every match, ultimately Everton are just something to look forward to. Even when we aren’t really looking forward to it, we are. Otherwise why give a damn? It’s something that every week binds us all together. Regardless of our politics, our religion - or lack thereof, our gender, our marital status, our financial situation, we are at least united in one purpose, one common goal. We all want the same group of young men in an Everton kit to beat the other team. When they do we share the same joy (or relief). When they don’t, we share that feeling too. There are times when it feels like this is the only place left where that can happen.
As we edge towards some sort of “normal” post-covid future, on a personal level, I’m grateful that it didn’t do any serious harm to me or anyone I’m close to. You never take joy from the fact that it wasn’t your sibling or friend, or parent, but perspective is an awesome thing. If you have been affected, my heart goes out to you. I’ve survived the last year. In health, financially, and I’m still sane. It wasn’t easy. There were times when I wasn’t sure I could write that last sentence, to be honest - but I did. And if I don’t acknowledge - even focus - on that then it’s going to be a really long and unpleasant ride the rest of my life. That’s not how I roll though.
We weren’t half bad this year. 59 points is usually good enough for 7th or so in the league which would have meant Europe, but we ended up in 10th. We take a deep breath, try to enjoy the summer, and in August we go again. We don’t have a choice. As one of my favorite authors wrote: “I had discovered after the...game that loyalty, at least in football terms, was not a moral choice like bravery or kindness; it was more like a wart or a hump, something you were stuck with.” ― Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch.
Supporting Everton is a little like being married in the middle ages. Divorce isn’t an option. Only death can break that bond whether you like it or not.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Toffees Shop