I promise, after this, I'm done with posts that are deep and soul-searching. After this, it'll be vuvuzela photoshops I find around the Internet. But I've got one more left in me. I came out for the US Men's National Team earlier, and now I'm coming out for Aston Villa. But I'm going to need your (a general your directed at the 7500 community) help.
I tried to get into EPL soccer in middle school (12+ years ago) where my best friend at the time was actually British. He was a Man U. fan and I tried following them. Luckily, I never got too into it since I didn't have the wherewithal to watch games. Thank god for that, because now I pretty much abhor Man U. More recently, I decided last year to give the EPL another chance. I really do want to like soccer and I don't care about any of the other leagues. "If I do this," I thought, "it's going to be an English side."
So I went in an Off-Topic post on Lookout Landing and was advised by a frequenter of these parts (English Mariner) to choose Man City. It made sense for me: lash out at the team that I had grown to hate from my youth, and pick a building team that has some real promise. And then I did my reading, and my following: Man City had become the New York Yankees of soccer. Their owner was attempting to buy a championship in anything. Now, I certainly can't hold a grudge against old City fans, but I want nothing to do with a team like that. I also had another problem: it was nearly impossible to keep up with the team I had chosen. There weren't any blogs that I really liked for it, and in lieu of being able to watch every game, I need a great source of commentary.
That brings me to this summer. I'm still searching for an EPL team, and the soccer bug has bitten me hard. So what are my requirements? Well, a team with hope, but not a team that has hope solely based on money. But even more than that, I want to be a part of a good community. When I saw Aaron and Kirsten had started a Villa blog, I started leaning towards this. I knew there'd be people here I "knew" from Lookout Landing, and I knew that the quality of writing would be high. And then, through Kirsten and Aaron's twitter feeds, I found Aston Villa Central. There, I had it. Two great blogs. One with a good community built up and a perspective that matches mine (I know Aaron and Kirsten did what I am doing now in the not-so-distant past). And one that's been at it for a while and seems (I might be wrong) to be a Villa lifer.
So, I'm choosing Villa. I'm not going back. I love the community, and I've gotten one of my best friends to choose Villa too. It'll give me someone to talk to outside of here. It's perfect. Now, here's where I need your help. What do I need to know? I'm sure I'll figure out some traditions as I go, but I want to avoid being that annoying guy; a bandwagon rider. Can I rush right out and get a kit? Is it a faux-pas to have a nameless kit? Is there an mlb.tv equivalent for the EPL? What's the best way to keep up with matches if I can't get to a pub to watch them? Are there traditions I need to know about right away, or are they all things I can learn. So please, use this thread as a way to not only educate me, but to talk about Villa fandom in general. What is it that you love about Villa? For those of you who came to the club later in life, what drew you? I'm excited to hear the stories, and I can't wait for the season to start. Through thick and thin, I'm now Villa 'til I die!