This year I became a BIG English Premier League (aka “EPL” – the top professional football/soccer league in England). To make it fun, I gave myself 2 weeks to familiarize myself with the clubs, then I had to adopt a club as my own. Just as everyone here hates the Yankees, I decided I just couldn’t choose either Manchester United or Chelsea. In fact, choosing any of the “Big 4” seemed less interesting to me than choosing a team that would really have to “earn it”. You see, the big 4 (ManU, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool) are always at the top of the EPL, they spend more on their teams than anyone else, and have many of the all stars from around the world on their rosters. Except when they play each other, those 4 are almost always the favored team in every match they enter.

As someone who loves rooting for the underdog, this didn’t seem as much fun for me, so I knew I ruled them out. For various reasons, I weeded out some other clubs, and then chose the one I “liked” the most out of the rest – which lead me to Everton FC.

Everton’s arch rivals are crosstown foes Liverpool and when I say “crosstown”, literally, the stadiums are a few hundred yards apart (or meters since it is in England)!

So today was the last day of the season and Everton gave me a fun ride – some ups and downs, some tough injuries, hard loses, and wonderful wins. They finished in 5th place this year. While most of the time people don’t cheer for 5th place, it was a better finish than most predicted, and left Everton with the title of “Best of the Rest” (since the Big 4 predictably finished in the top 4) and earned a spot in the UEFA Champions League.

Good job boys, I look forward to next year.