Well that was a heck of a welcome to seriously cheering for an EPL team. There's no need for me to recap what's already been covered, and that's not even the point of this all. Instead: what's it like for the new fan in the first week? Well, I was shocked by how much I was into the match. I knew I'd be rooting for Villa, but I didn't realize how hard I had already fallen for the team. I was ecstatic about the win, and each goal brought cheers and celebration anew from me.
I was especially ecstatic to see that early frontrunner for my favorite player (Stewart Downing) scored the first goal. Sure, it was a bit of a clunker, but that didn't make me any less excited. The best part is that it was the second goalkeeping gaffe by Green that I've gotten to see benefit "my" team this summer. That lad is a champ. But I thought the high point of the day was Milner scoring. Here's a guy I hadn't had a chance to get to watch. Over the past month he's been nearly vilified by the fans, and yet I couldn't see why. I was glad to see him in the starting XI on Saturday, as my simple-minded thought was: put the best guys on the pitch. And he was clearly one of our best. So to see him work like mad and get rewarded with a solid goal and a standing ovation was really quite nice. I'm glad I got the chance to see some of what made him a hero.
A few other notes from week one: I found out the one main problem with viewing games. It's not the games, it's the girlfriend. She's a lovely girl, and enjoys sports in general, but loathes soccer. Also, I've won my first bit of Villa swag, nabbing an awesome 1982 European Champions scarf on EBay. Now to get a kit.
But the weekend was better than I could have imagined. I cannot wait for Europa play tomorrow, and I've fallen for this team hook, line, and sinker. This is going to be a great season.