I type with fingers filled with nostalgic memories of joy besmirched by pangs of sadness. May 20 is 25 years to the day since Everton last won silverware. The 1995 FA Cup over Manchester United 1-0. An anniversary which takes me back to a phenomenally boozy day spent day-drinking across the near north side of Chicago. There was a pub which showed the game. I do not remember its name, but this was back in the old days when football was so hard to watch in the United States they could charge you $20 just to step through the door. The place was heaving, mostly with United fans who expected to win by right. I had such little confidence Everton would savor glory that when Paul Rideout nodded home the only goal in the 30th minute, my dominant emotion was confusion rather than elation.
By the final whistle, I remember being overcome by an incapacitating numbness. An emotion that has come to serve me well over the course of the quarter-century filled with achingly barren seasons that has followed. So, this 25th anniversary also marks a somber moment. One in which I must confront a searing truth: I have now spent over half my life cheering with all my heart and soul for an Everton team who have given me no trophies back in return. Just eternal dreams, and their conjoined twin, Shattered Hope.
I turned to my wife and admitted that sheepishly this morning, and she said, “think what you have gotten out of it.”
I asked her what.
She said, “An anger and disappointment that make you feel alive.”
It is so true. I genuinely believe it is better to feel remorse than to experience nothing. To be honest, it is lovely to be able to control and compartmentalize failure. However the powerful collective memories I have made over the last 25 years with my wife, kids, Mum and Dad -- cheering for Tim Cahill, Thomas Gravesen and Leighton Baines, as well as Tony Hibbert, Cenk Tosun, and watching Theo Walcott dribble the ball straight out of bounds -- are some of the most reliably heartfelt, and I would not change them for anything.
3. Men in Blazers Active Geyser O’Crap Form Continues
i. SAM MEWIS TODAY. I can’t wait. I have long revered this World Cup Tower O’Power and her ability to enforce her will on opponents. We will rock it for Wednesday Budweiser Happy Hour at 5 p.m. ET Today on Instagram LIVE, breaking down all your questions about her approach to life, football, dog ownership and bar fights.
ii. Today, GFOP Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets GM and Arsenal fan, jumps on the pod to talk Football, NBA and showtunes.
iii. Essential Workers. We plan to honor you with another GFOP Zoom Happy Hour, kicking off Memorial Day Weekend. THIS THURSDAY. 4:30 p.m. ET. Any and all Essential Workers who are interested, EMAIL US HERE.