As I wasn't born into a family holding season tickets to any of England's clubs, big or otherwise, I had the pleasure of choosing my own football club. After much agonizing, and plenty of time spent pouring over uniforms, I settled on Aston Villa. A non-Big Four team with a solid history, a lovely color scheme and a romantic-sounding name. Perhaps not the best way of selecting a club, but I'm the type that falls hard and fast, and I quickly fell in love with Aston Villa.
But how easily it could have gone another way. While much of this story will be fleshed out in the week leading up to the Chelsea match, as I pull out a bunch of self-centered writings, for now I'll just leave it at this: had I waited another month, I would have chosen Chelsea. And wow, what a different life that would be.
Imagine it: watching matches with no stomach ache. Not waking up with that dreadful feeling that a loss is inevitable. Watching a team score and then anticipating another goal rather than waiting for the other side to come back and take the lead. Not worrying about wins, but worrying when your club scores just two, rather than four or six. Anticipating that your team will lift not one but two trophies at the end of the season.
That's not the way of life of a Villa fan, but at the same time, there's no way I'm giving up my claret and blue. They might make my stomach upset, but at the same time, the victories manage to be that much sweeter when they're unexpected. If I were a Chelsea fan, and Drogba scored, I'd shrug and think, "yep, seems about right." But as a Villan, when Emile Heskey throws off a defender or pirouettes a header into the net, I'm up from my seat, screaming with absolute joy.
Besides, no one hates me for being a Villa fan. Except for Birmingham City fans, but they barely count.