City Blogger: Signing off.
- 01 May 2014 09:33
- Posted by @Vic_Bird
It has been an honour to be a member of the City Blogger team and digitally pen this blog each month, and I am sad to be writing my final piece as the season comes to a close.
But what a season it has been! It’s like the old school First Division, with those battling for the title and those fighting relegation changing almost weekly and, as we move into the final leg, with matches against Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham, the Premier League title is within our grasp.
I recently passed my six year anniversary in Chicago, which is an amazing city to live in – despite the -40°c temperatures we endured this winter thanks to the polar vortex – but expat life is transient by nature. Not everyone that moves overseas for work ends up staying in one place for the long-term. I knew this would be a factor when I made the decision to settle in Chicago, but waving farewell to friends made along the way will never get any easier.
What has become a salve to this is, what I now refer to as, my MCFC Family. When I first arrived in Chicago I would go to The Globe Pub alone, sit in a corner, order a pint and watch the match on my tod. Now we have a dedicated group that attends every game come rain, shine, arctic blizzard or 6.45am kickoffs; and we regularly welcome travelling City fans who are visiting Chicago too. I have found a slice of sky blue heaven here in Chicago with people whom I share a love of a football team with, but who I also can now rely on as close, trusted friends.
However, my MCFC Family extends further than Chicago – as well as everyone from “back home”, of course – the family tree includes City supporters from Austin, Dallas, Denver, Hollywood, New Orleans, New York and Toronto (and like any aging Auntie, I know I’m missing someone, so please forgive me). We collectively call ourselves “Mancs & Yanks & Canucks” and we’ll have attendees representing City at each of the matches in the Guinness International Champions Cup this summer in the US. We’ll also have a group of 35 of us flying into Manchester for the last match of the season.
This is the level of dedication you can expect from City fans who live outside the UK. Whilst we can’t physically attend every match played at the Etihad, in England, or Europe, you can guarantee we’re watching from a pub somewhere and it’s probably the crack of dawn - or late at night for those in the southern hemisphere - one thing a non-UK-based supporter of an English football club needs to come to terms with is sleep deprivation (and a serious lack of decent bacon, but that’s fodder for a whole other blog).
As we near the end of a rollercoaster season we must remember that “City ‘Til I Die” isn’t just a moniker to bandy about when the mood suits – it’s the belief system that saw our unwavering support maintained during the dark days of the second division, and now we must continue to be the 12th man and support our boys until the end. Pride in Battle. Pride in City. Pride in our MCFC Family. I’ll be in the BT City Square on Sunday 11th May and look forward to spending the day with my sky blue brethren. I’ll be the one wearing blue, if anyone wants to buy me a pint.
And so, as I sign off on my final City Blog of the season I want to send a very sincere thanks to you, my fellow Blues, for taking the time to read my musings this season and also to those of you who keep in touch with me via “the twitters”. The pleasure, the privilege, is mine.