Welcome to My Favorite Villa… a new series from the staff at 7500 to Holte! With no sport on as everyone stays at home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re sharing our favorite Villa teams, moments, players, kits, and anything else we can think of.
When people hear me sing, they know immediately I can’t carry a tune. It’s not that I don’t like singing. I’m just terrible. Epically bad. Tone deaf. Pitch imperfect. But when Villa fans find their voice, somehow so do I. Maybe the collective voices drown me out and give me false confidence. Or the sounds and rhythms draw me in. Either way, when the Villa boys from Aston get after it, I’m in the mix.
Aston Villa won promotion on May 27 this past summer. My birthday. I turned 43. The 2-1 win over Derby County secured next season in the top flight. But the entire day was about more than football. My family made the early morning trek down to our local supporters bar in Cincinnati, Ohio. My wife, two daughters, and son along with my new family — the Cincinnati Lions and the crew at rhinehaus — lived and died with every moment. They wanted to see what this Villa thing was all about. It only took moments for them to get it.
First, John McGinn’s headed goal early in the second half sent rhinehaus into delirium. The chant ripped through the bar:
WE’VE GOT MCGINN.SUPER JOHN MCGINN.I JUST DON’T THINK YOU UNDERSTAND.HE’S DEAN SMITH’S MAN.HE’S BETTER THAN ZIDANE.WE’VE GOT SUPER JOHN MCGINN.
In Ohio, the Championship Final runs on TV early. 10:00am early. So after the game and a few too many drinks celebrating Villa’s promotion, it was time for lunch. As we headed to a nearby restaurant closer to home, I heard from the back of the family minivan…
WE’VE GOT MCGINN.
Slowly, it got louder…
SUPER JOHN MCGINN.
Now it was three voices…
I JUST DON’T THINK YOU UNDERSTAND.
Suddenly, the entire car…
HE’S DEAN SMITH’S MAN.HE’S BETTER THAN ZIDANE.WE’VE GOT SUPER JOHN MCGINN.
I couldn’t have sung it any louder. A grown man. Singing like a kid.
When we headed to Minnesota in the summer, more of the same. I couldn’t get enough — both the newer chants and some older ones I’d never heard before. Birmingham was full of fun. Paul McGrath, My Lord. Holte Enders in the Sky.
But there is one I’ll never forget.