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Bobby’s Sports Banter

Glory, glory, Man United!

Football is in full swing. No, not that football, but the other football. You know, football, mate. (How about I call it soccer? Soccer is in full swing.) And I love it. I love the passion, the rivalries, the glory that comes with watching your club pull off an improbable extra-time win and when Hispanic announcers yell, “¡Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!”

Yes, there is just something about that sport. (Dreamy stare…) So you can imagine my elation at seeing fellow Cobbers don their respective club’s jerseys in a display of pride and passion. I was, however, less elated to see that those jerseys belong to clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Yuck! I’m going to lay it out there: I’m a Manchester United man, myself. So where is the support, Concordia?

The Greater Manchester area is where it’s at (and I’m not referring to those overpaid periwinkle blue blunder-boys, archrivals Manchester City). In the first six games of the English Premier League season, Man U has won every single outing but one (last week’s away draw to Stoke City). In fact, Manchester United has hardly lost since last spring, and is currently on an 18-game home winning streak. And in this season’s same span of six games, they have accumulated a whopping 22 goals while conceding only five. This currently means first place for the Red Devils.

Come the month of May and the conclusion to the season, I expect things to look the same. Meaning I expect the other 19 premier league teams to be looking at Manchester United’s arse-side all the way to their 20th top-division title. (I can say arse; it’s cultured.) And how can one argue? As Bill Cosby would say, “The proof is in the Jell-O.”

This was supposed to be an “old” team which lacked depth and had some of its important midfield and defensive stars retire. They quipped by signing several young standouts, including Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones. And don’t forget about last year’s astute signing of the young Mexican star Javier Hernandez, a.k.a. “Chícharito.” (That’s “little pea” in Spanish. But don’t laugh, the hombre can play.) Suddenly this old team has a spring in its step.

That is not to say they don’t have the proper mix of veteran talent and familiar faces, too. Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic (granted, when healthy) still anchor the strong back line of Man U. Luis Nani continues to be a creative force for the club. And I can’t forget Wayne Rooney… Ah, Wayne Rooney. I’m going to be upfront about another thing: I’ve got a man-crush on the bloke. Wayne epitomizes English soccer with his relentless forward attacks and fiery attitude. He currently leads the English Premier league with nine goals in five games, including two beautiful hat-trick showings. After slumping last year, and getting a hair transplant, he is spot-on once again.

So, the choice is yours. Root for whichever club you want. But I have a few questions. Do you like beautiful, forward-flowing soccer? But can you still appreciate a rock-solid defense? Do you like passionate play that leaves you breathless? Are you tired of being disappointed by that team? If you answered “yes” to these questions than Manchester United F.C. may be the club for you. So put away the Fernando Torres jersey, Chelsea fans. Store those club scarves where no one can find them, Arsenal Gooners (sorry, “Gunners”). We’ll all look better in a shade of Manchester United red, anyway. And we can stroll into the sunset of a 20th league title together while singing:

Glory, glory, Man United
Glory, glory, Man United
Glory, glory, Man United
And the Reds go marching on! On! On!

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