Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why Chelsea?

How does someone end up supporting a premier league club? If you are in the UK, the choice of whom to support may not be that difficult. You could live in Manchester and support Man City or live in Merseyside and support Everton or your family could be supporting a certain club which you grow up watching and supporting. Mostly, you could start supporting a club even before you can start appreciating football.

  For the premier league fans outside UK, there should be a trigger to start supporting a club. What could be that trigger? It could be the club's continued success, your favorite player in a club, a bunch of players from your nationality in the club, the playing style of the team etc. For the people outside of the UK, especially in Asia, sometimes people do need a reason to support a club. This might sound strange for the fans in the UK. I should first talk a little bit about football in India and then explain you "why Chelsea".

In India, football was almost obscure but for some presence in certain pockets. The nation is so cricket-crazy that the fans and media had no time or money for any other sport. It is only after the satellite channels started televising the premier league and la liga matches, the game really caught on in India. When football started featuring in the Indian television channels, it was Man Utd who were ‘the’ team. It was their era of dominance. It’s natural to find a lot of Man Utd fans in India who are in their 30s and 40s. In India, you find a lot of people who follow certain sports when there is an event. When the world cup was there, lot of them would appear to be fan. Once the event is over, they might have no idea of what’s happening in the football world.

  I started watching football only when we got satellite television coverage.So then, I started watching the weekend football matches on TV. Normally, they would show all matches of Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal. They show the matches of the other teams only if the slots did not clash with that of the top three. Being an internet freak, I started following the game through the web world. Following as in, reading the news and rumours, not those streaming match videos. I generally have this tendency to support teams/players that are not the best or not the widely supported ones. Like the rest of the world, I did take notice of this young, fiery Jose Mourinho. I truly admired him, still admire him. It was because of Jose Mourinho, I started following Chelsea. And then I started supporting Chelsea. I do not know from which moment on, though. I seriously do not know.

 You know you've become a fan of a team, when you feel upset like hell after a defeat. You know you’ve become a fan of a team, when you get into never-before superstitions for a team to hold on to that lead. You know you've become a fan of a team when you defend a team to death, though having different opinions in your mind, which you never bring on to the argument. All these things started happening to me with Chelsea. Without even knowing from when, I had become a thorough Chelsea fan. Very soon, everything about me turned Chelsea. The wallpapers, the passwords, the pillows, the car hangings – everything turned Chelsea. Sometimes, it got a bit too much that it even pissed off folks around me.

I did talk about the need to have a reason to follow a club. The crucial point is, if you're a real fan, the reason need not continue to exist.  Similarly, my reason – Jose Mourinho, left Chelsea. That's not changed me a bit. Even though Mourinho left, my feelings for Chelsea did not change. I think it's a bit difficult to express what makes you a fan and why. It’s a form of a love – it's about how we feel inside – the joy and the pain – that defines our love for our team/club.

 Why did I start this blog? I love football, I love Chelsea, I love internet and I love writing. Add up all this, you get a Chelsea blog. There were/are not too many Chelsea blogs around. I don’t think I'm better at football or writing than those guys over at Chelseablog. But what I think that I bring though this blog, is just my personal views and opinions on the game and on Chelsea. I'm no expert but I'm just one of you. It’s just that I happen to own a blog and write in it. For me, this blog has been great and I hope you like it too!