19 Sep What It Means…
…to Be Chelsea in America.
It’s a secret few people share. A club with very few members. It’s most times being the only guy cheering Chelsea at the pub, vastly outnumbered by those bandwagon-jumping muppets known ‘round the world as Man U supporters (there’s always one or two lurking in the shadows, it seems). It’s a knowing nod and a smile to the rare stranger on the street in a Blues shirt. It’s pride. Joy. Excitement. Walking on air after a win. Week-long bouts of depression when we lose. Wearing a jersey to work every day leading up to big games—and having said jersey occasionally mistaken for a NASCAR shirt (“Who in the hell is Lampard and why’s he got Dale Jr’s number?!”)
It’s sometimes waking up at 7:45 in the morning to watch the match in a postage-stamp-sized window on my computer. In Turkish. That cuts in and out every five seconds. But still being able to tell who’s who on the pitch because of how they run and move. It’s having the opening credits of Blue Revolution on my laptop dock so I can launch it anytime I feel the urge, which is probably way too often considering I’m usually at work when I use my laptop. It’s obsessively memorizing the fixtures so I know what days I can watch the match delayed, and when I’ll have to take a day off altogether to make sure I don’t miss anything—with all the dates kept on a color-coded calendar tacked up on the wall at my desk, just underneath my framed autographed photo of Super Frank (Thanks, Mick!).
It’s having more Chelsea gear than everyday clothes, including just about every home and away jersey from the past six years. It’s going beyond just buying both the Millenniums and the NUAs—it’s making sure every pair of sneakers I buy are Adidas and have some form of Chelsea blue in them so they match all those damn shirts and jackets. It’s teaching my kids the Chelsea chants and songs (with a few choice edits of course). Getting my wife to come along to a game, and watching her get so sucked into the atmosphere that she actually sings the “Celery Song.” About a hundred times. With a great big smile on her face.
From Stamford Bridge to Louisville, I’ll be keeping the blue flag flying high, don’t you worry. Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m pretty sure there’s a Chelsea episode of Classic English League Soccer about to start that I’ve just got see again. Cheers!