Inspired by Kirsten's close brush with fandom outside of Villa Park, I thought it might be interesting to see what blogs the 7500 community would be dwelling in if it weren't for our claret and blue. As always, I've included the answers of the writers here, and I hope you'll jump in down in the comments.
This week's question: If you hadn't become a Villan, who would be your #1 team to root for?
Aaron: It's tough for me to say. There are certainly other teams that I like more than others (Everton, Fulham, Spurs and Sunderland are all in that group.) But when I made a conscious effort to be more involved in following a team, none of them felt like a team I really wanted to care about all that much. The Premier League had always been something that I followed, but not especially closely. I knew who was good, watched a few games a year when they were on and went to the pub every now and again. No team ever really endeared themselves to me in the way Villa have. Maybe if I'd had a bit more time and opportunity to watch other teams regularly before falling for Villa it would have been different, I don't know. But I kind of doubt it. I think that, for me, it was a matter of right place, right time, right team.
Gareth: Birmingham City. JKLOLZ.
Like Kirsten, I was also close to picking Chelsea. It kind of made sense, since I support England in international tournaments that don't include Canada (which is pretty much all of them), to pick a club that featured England's captain and one of England's best players at the time. The pull of London was, and still is, pretty strong. I mean, chances are if I ever have the opportunity to be in England, I'll probably be in London. For the most part, I can see a certain degree of appeal for each club in London. Unfortunately, none of them really fit. Chelsea is too "nouveau riche", Fulham is too American (if we ever have a Friday Feedback about players we irrationally hate, Clint Dempsey's on my list), a lot of Arsenal supporters get on my nerves, Tottenham Hotspur employs Harry Redknapp, and West Ham has that whole unfortunate "hooligan element." So that's London ruled out.
Newcastle United fascinates me as well. That's a legitimately big club that just can't manage to catch a break. They've had some great players over the years, and the culture surrounding that club is just incredible. In all honesty, it would probably be them if it wasn't for Villa. Plus, they all have funny accents.
Kirsten: Quite frankly, I'm surprised I'm not a Chelsea fan. If I'd waited just a bit longer to choose a team, I would be a Blues fan. I watch every match of theirs anyway, and am usually subjected to the highlights as well. I love London, I love royal blue, I love Frank. I guess what I don't love is winning (hi Mariners! hi Senators; thank you for finally winning a game!). Choosing a team that is assumed to win on most of its outings would be just too weird for me.
If I were to pick a team this season, I'd pick Blackpool. Yeah, I know, everyone's got them tipped to go down, and having a relegated side is an entirely different cuppa if you're not in England. But I think they'll stay up, at least this year. Plus, they're a total blast. They step out at Anfield and start taking photos, for goodness sake. Their fans mock the opposition by telling them they haven't scored on Blackpool enough. Charlie Adam is pretty damn talented. And in conclusion: Tangerine.
Robert: Well, I had a close brush with being a Citeh fan after I followed the advice of commenter EnglishMariner over at LL. As I've said before, it's not his fault that his club has changed so much, but it just didn't end up being a good fit for me. (Also: I should have known better than to trust someone who chose to root for the Mariners)
But if I were given a chance now, I'd probably be an Arsenal fan. I'm not sure why, but I enjoy their style of play, and the fact that it's a club loaded with history. Also, since the mere existence of 7500 was a big part of my becoming a VIllan, it should be noted that The Short Fuse is one of my other favorite SBN soccer blogs, and probably weighs my decision that way.