Why Chelsea? I asked.
“I was 11. Man United won a title and the day after all my friends in school were Man United fans. I went home that day and told my father ‘I like Manchester United.’ My father looked at me and said ‘No, you like Chelsea!'”
And Daniel does like Chelsea to this day. I would like to meet his father; Daniels’ reply to my question is of the kind I am after. He comes to Montreal from Sweden, to study. He quickly found other Chelsea fans (see Jason) and watches the games with them. Daniel calls Montreal his temporary home but you never know with this city. He might just stay here. Regardless, welcome to Montreal Daniel Isaksson.
Why Man United? I asked.
“I like Rooney.”
I might not like Rooney but I understand how a kid growing up in the last decade would start supporting Man United, considering all the success the club has had. Kiernan plays hockey, and plays it well, but he also follows soccer. I would never swap my shirt with him but I would definitely trade my hair for his.
Why Chelsea? I asked.
“Back in school days, my French teacher was a Chelsea fan, and somehow I got into supporting them as well.”
This Sunday I walked into a local pub to watch Chelsea-Liverpool. There was already a group of guys with the same idea, some in LFC and some in Chelsea shirts. It was a particular pleasure, at halftime, after Maxi gave Liverpool a lead, to get out for a smoke with a Chelsea fan. Jason’s started Chelsea supporter’s club here in Montreal and goes to watch a game at Stamford Bridge twice a year. He was born in Montreal but his parents come from elsewhere. His mother is from Croatia and Jason described his father’s roots as ‘Irish/English’. And just as it happens often, Liverpool beat Chelsea, and David Luiz, Jason’s favourite player, didn’t really have a great match.
Why Spurs? I asked.
“It’s my team and I like the shirt.”
I found the answer a bit odd since once you like the club you must love the shirt regardless of how ugly, or beautiful, it could be. But there was no opportunity to talk about Andrew’s motives a bit further. He, just like the rest of this Chicago crew shows up every Saturday morning at 7h30, throughout the year, to play. Respect! And he is my first Tottenham fan. I have to admit though, watching them play from afar, I thought the guy was running around the left wing in a Lazio shirt.
Why Inter? I asked.
“I lived in Milano when Ronaldo played for Inter and I started supporting the club.”
Yes, the real Ronaldo (not that other guy) was a great player and I can see how one could become Internazionale fan in his days. Zain studies physics and coaches a hockey team for which my son plays. He proudly wears his Movember moustache. While the moustaches are temporary, this jersey has been with him for many years, which became obvious as soon as he turned his back to the camera.
Why Juventus? I asked.
“I played for an Italian team here in Chicago when I was younger.”
So it could have been any other Italian team jersey. The guys get together every Saturday at 7h30, throughout the year, to play. This time it was a beautiful November morning but that’s going to change soon; they will keep coming though. I was there to watch, my torn ACLs, in both knees, kept me away from joining them. All I could do is kick the ball back to them when it gets out of play.