At last, Manchester United has finally knocked Liverpool off their perch. The 19th title is finally theirs to brag about. (The Champions League is next!) My family decided to watch the Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United game with me—it was their first time to see me roar like a lion—and I think they were there either to get to know the players that I’ve been talking about every day, or to check my commitment to my team if I truly am a fan. Well, for whatever reason they watched, I’m just glad that we all learned a little something along the way.
I found out that we have a shared
hatred dislike for the sly and bellicose winger Nani. They also kept bashing lackadaisical goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak for his erratic and horrible performance, especially after carelessly failing to block Brett Emerton’s left-footed shot. Why did the goalkeeper make a howler? Get him out of there! On the positive side, I’ve converted my family into Chicharito fans. ¡Viva Chicharito! My father impatiently waited for the camera to focus on him. He kept yelling ‘Where’s Chicharito?” a hundred times that my sister told him to keep quiet. Both of them desperately wanted to see Chicharito score with a clinical finish (and so did I), but I knew that it just wasn’t his day. OK, so maybe they were disappointed that he didn’t score, and was surprised that he was even felled in the box by Paul Robinson (GK), but providentially, they saw something special in the Mexican (must be the scene when he just tied his laces instead of running to the referee after being fouled by Paul Robinson). Yo no soy el único fan Chicharito después de todo.
The Blackburn Rovers clash against Manchester United may have been one of those lackluster Premier League matches, but it surely gave me the opportunity to describe each player to my family. I explained the difference between the twins Rafael and Fabio. I told them the importance of yoga to the legendary 37-year-old Ryan Giggs, and how he has inspired me to take yoga classes. I introduced Dimitar Berbatov, Manchester United’s lazy striker and the top scorer of the Premier League, as Andy Garcia’s lookalike
as a form of comic relief. I pointed out Antonio Valencia’s brilliant footwork and selfless attitude that often lead to goalscoring opportunities. I proudly presented our Serbian defender and skipper Nemanja Vidic as someone to be feared because he will f*cking murder you. Of course, I also revealed that I get most of my football quotes from Sir Alex Ferguson. As for the match, my family’s reactions, in general, were absolutely understandable—ennui, love, annoyance, frustration, and excitement—but I was fascinated by my sister’s interest in Wayne Rooney. She was telling me that he seems likable, and kept pestering me with questions: “Where is Wayne Rooney?” “Why’s he called the Golden Boy?” “How old is he?” Looks like someone wants to join the Wazza fan club.
Amidst the triumph at Ewood Park, I was a bit ashamed of Manchester United’s performance that resulted in a forgettable 1-1 draw. I’ve never failed to praise my team and its players over dinner, and I wanted my family to understand my obsession through that match. Although my sister and father were trying to pattern their reactions after mine, I still spotted expressions that people would give to moribund football teams. I don’t think I was able to utterly convince my family that these are great players playing for a great football club (and Manchester United’s 174 consecutive passes only bored them out of their skulls). I guess they just have to take my word for it. At least at a fortunate time, winning had somehow found its way into my life, and my family was there to witness it. I couldn’t be happier. Maybe this is my second childhood.
“Never a blue, no need a gun, rather walk alone, and MANCHESTER IS RED!”