The Manchester Derby is on Sunday, in case you haven’t heard. This match will be the joint biggest match of the season, along with the other derby match. I shouldn’t have to explain why this match is so huge, emotional, compelling, or anything else. But, I feel it is my duty as a non-Manc to explain to the members of this group why you should be at the Londoner Addison to watch the match with Blue Moon Dallas Sunday morning at 7:15 AM. I refer to myself as a non-Manc because even though I’m a rabid fan; I will likely never experience the emotions that our Mancunian brothers have gone through. First I will give you all a history lesson on the Manchester Derby, next I will attempt explain what the derby means to me, then I will explain why you should be at the pub to watch with us,and finally I will attempt to explain what I (along with some other members) believe that this Sunday will be a history making event in the area, and for the soccer community in the state (and dare I say country). So as always, grab a drink, get comfy, and let’s have a look at the Manchester Derby. Just a warning, this could get long winded, bear with me please, because I will probably never write another blog with as much heart as this.
12 November 1881. The day it all started. The day that would forever divide a city. Since that day there have been 163 meetings between the clubs, with Manchester United having won 63, City winning 45, and the teams splitting the spoils 50 times. In the first match up St. Mark’s (Citeh) would take on Newton Heath (rag twats). Heath would go on to win the match 3-0, in what was described as, “a pleasant game”, oh you Brits and your not wanting to offend everyone. City were thrashed three-nil and surely one of Howard Webb’s cunting relatives was the referee of the match. The first meeting of the teams at the highest level in England was in 1906, which saw the mighty Blues give it to United 3-0. Take it! During this time City were in the midst of a bit of a kerfuffle. You see friends; city had been making off-book payments to players, which led to 17 players being banned from playing for City ever again. Who hasn’t made some illegal payments to somebody before?! Am I right?! In the times leading up to WWI, many Mancs would watch City one week, and United the next. This seems vomit inducing to me, but it was another time I guess. All was well for a very long time, just simple matches between the two teams in the city, at least until the 70’s. The decade that changed the atmosphere of the derby. In December of 1970, that old drunk George Best broke Glynn Pardoe’s leg which almost led to the amputation of the defender’s leg. In ’71 Franny Lee accused Best of diving, which led to the referee flopping to the floor, a la Nani in every game he’s ever played in ever. ’73-’74 season saw a player from each team get red carded in the same match. Both refused to leave the pitch, and the referee sent the players to the locker rooms of Maine Road until the offending players accepted their sending off. The return fixture was “The Denis Law game.” 80 minutes gone, Lee plays the ball to ex-rag Denis Law, who backheels the ball past the keeper, and the goal meant that United were relegated. Law was subbed immediately after the goal and retired at season’s end. On to the rip-roaring 80’s. Bring on the Jordache, Bennetton, roller coaster City seasons, and a certain Scottish piece of trash. This decade saw a few draws, and too many United victories to talk about. 6 November 1986 was the date that a certain bacon faced, watch pointing, gum chewing, Scottish tit was appointed manager of the rags. The Citizens ended the decade on a high note with a 5-1 win over the reds! However, this would be their last derby win for 13 years. Fooking hell. The 1990’s were utter shit. I think that’s a fair enough assessment. Now for the 2000’s and beyond. Are you still awake? Because shit is about to get mighty interesting. Part of the decade can be described very simply, Roy Keane is a twat. I’m Irish and I hate him more than I hate cancer. 9 November 2002, City win for the first time in 13 years! City won this match 3-1 at Maine Road, with a brace from the Goat and a goal from Mr. Sulky himself, Nicolas Anelka. The first derby at Eastlands was a 4-1 victory to the Blues, with goals from Robbie Fowler, John Macken, Trevor Sinclair, and our kid Shaun Wright-Philips. In 2007-2008 we won both matches, including the first match being a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford. This game saw Darius Vassell and, wait for it, Benjani Mwaruwari (finally an opportunity to type that name) bag goals for City. More recently, 2010-present, our fortunes have been much better. After the transfer of Carlos Tevez to City in 2009 a billboard was erected that read, “Welcome to Manchester” with a picture of Carlitos. Shortly after the billboard was put up, that shit head Alex Ferguson called City “noisy neighbors,” a term that we would embrace whole heartedly. The ’09-’10 season saw one of the greatest/most deflating derbies of all time. A 4-3 victory to United, in which City equalized three times, only to see Michael Owen (yeah, that guy that can get off the toilet without tearing his hamstring) score the winner in the 95th. 2010-2011 saw United win their 19th title after topping City at Old Trafford. We would exact our revenge in the FA cup that same season, 1-0 in the semifinal. This was the day that Yaya Toure became a legend at City. The ’11-’12 season saw everyone’s favorite match. 6-1 to the Blues. (TAKE IT! TAKE IT! TAKE IT!) This match saw Jonny Evans get sent off for being a twat, and Mario Balotelli becoming a cult legend (why always him?). The return match at Eastlands saw City gut out a 1-0 win, with Vincent Kompany heading home the winner. Despite the score line, this match had tons of action. Roberto Mancini was almost involved in a fist fight with haggis breath on the touch line after Nigel de Jong did his thing against Danny (Kid n Play) Welbeck. City would go on to win the league (in Fergie time). And that brings us to today!
I’ve been a City fan for much longer than most people care to believe. Ever since we gained promotion in the playoff against Gillingham. I was young, 12 maybe, when by some strange turn of luck I saw highlights of the game and fell in love. I had been playing soccer since I was three, but I never had a favorite team until then. After that season, I tried my hardest to keep up with the club, but since the sport was very small in this country, it was quite difficult. Thank god for the internet!! After years of watching matches illegally online, the sport started getting shown in the States. Every once in a while a City game would pop up and I would be glue to the screen. Whether it was the never say die attitude of the players, or the sound of the Kippax at Maine Road I’m not sure, but I knew that this was my club. I would play FIFA against my friends and they would always question why I would choose a team like City with their low rankings. There was no way to explain to them why I would pick City, and for them to fully understand. In college, I would wake up at 6:30 in the morning after a long night of partying to watch City, much to the bemusement of my roommates. It was an addiction. I watched game after game, year after year under the assumption that I would never find any other City supporters in the U.S. That was until a year and a half ago. I bumped into Sean Dorwaldt at Churchill’s in McKinney on a Monday for the City v Swansea game. We were as shocked as anyone to see a City supporter in the States. We stayed in touch and eventually we started Blue Moon Dallas. Needless to say, City has been a part of my life for a long time. And although I may never experience the emotions that my Manc brothers have been through, I like to think that I have more passion than most fans will ever have. I have spent years screaming at my television and singing alone in my place or at pubs. I spent the QPR game alone at Churchill’s on the verge of suicide and I will never forget the joy I felt when we won. The match on Sunday is the culmination of years and years of emotion, hard work and determination, by the club, and me and Sean. This match for City is a circled date on a calendar. For Sean and I, this is a chance to see a City supporter’s group that started with two guys, turn into a phenomenon. A chance to show DFW, and America that there are more clubs than just Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. A chance to show people how to properly support a club. With passion, with our voices, and with an undying loyalty. Sunday is a turning point in my life, and win or lose; I am determined to put City and BMD on the map in this area.
That brings me to this Sunday and why YOU should come watch the match with us. The game is early, we will be outnumbered, and we will be battered with “where were you when you were shit chants” and I wouldn’t have it any other way. BMD is outnumbered any time we face a club with a supporter’s group, but we still out sing/embarrass them. It is truly a sight to see, when our “small group” blasts another group for 90+ minutes. We have a huge barrage of songs and chants, and win or lose we always have fun. BMD is not really a supporter’s group. It is a community. It is a family. We hug each other every week as if we have been away for years, and we sing in unison as if we live together. If you have never been to a BMD watching party, I promise you that this is the one to attend. If you have been to the BMD parties, I challenge you to step up and be the most vocal person in the group. I personally guarantee an amazing atmosphere, regardless of the result. So, please, show up and have fun with the best supporter’s group around. Fuck New York. Fuck Chicago. Blue Moon Dallas (and soon its sister branch out west) will take over this country to create a Blue Moon America. With YOUR continued support and enthusiasm, we can continue to grow this group into something truly special.
So far, I have given you a history lesson, a spilling of personal feelings, a plea to show up, and now I will tell you why this watching party will be different than any that this city, state, or country has ever seen for a foreign club. As most of you know, Blue Moon Dallas holds most of its watch parties at the Frisco location of the Londoner. We go to Addison for big matches that we know opposing supporter’s groups will be at. But Sunday is a whole different animal. Our ambush might have been ruined, but the Reds still have no clue what is about to hit them. WE WILL SING, CHANT, AND ANNOY FOR 90+ MINUTES. There’s no two ways about it. WE WILL SHOW EVERYONE WHAT BMD IS ALL ABOUT. Again, this is in black and white. We are a singing, chanting, drinking, fun loving, footy loving group like this country has never seen. We are smart, we know the sport, we know our team, we know that City will make our blood pressure go through the roof, and we couldn’t be happier with it. Our enemy, however, are notorious for being fair weather fans. They will only chant when they are winning or feeling confident. This Sunday, we plan to attack them verbally and psychologically. We will not have as many members as them, plain and simple. But we will be louder, more passionate, and more honest than they could ever be. We support our club, our players, our manager, and our owners. We are what other groups wish to be. We are multicultural, we come from different economic backgrounds, and we do not care. We love each other and are truly connected to each other like no other group is. This weekend I personally guarantee that you will see something like you have never seen before in this country. I will be arriving at 6:45, the pub won’t be open, but I will be there ready to sing and celebrate in the parking lot with whoever else is willing to be there. Once we are let in, and find our seats, we will sing, we will dance, and we will laugh. We will completely befuddle the rags. We will make Sunday the most memorable day in the history of U.S. supporter’s groups in this country. Sunday will be talked about for years as the day that City made an impact in the States, win or lose. With the assistance of video and audio, we can grow BMD into something much bigger and powerful than it currently is. Who hasn’t been locked in a YouTube loop of looking up City videos for hours at a time? If we can plug ourselves into one of those loops with video of our passion, and the rag’s dumbfoundment, we will become legends. You can feel that BMD is meant for big things, especially if you’ve attended some of the big watch parties (first game, Arsenal, Chelsea). So as I’ve said before, and will continue to say, please come to this watching party and enjoy what is sure to be an atmosphere like you have never seen in this country. So I will say for one final time in this blog, please come to the Londoner Addison on Sunday at 7:30 at the latest, and be a part of what will change most of our soccer lives forever.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and I hope to see all of your wonderful faces on Sunday!! As much of a nice guy as I may come across in these blogs, I am a total prick on match day, so be forewarned! If you enjoyed this, and enjoy witty thoughts on this nutty world we live in, go follow me on twitter @jtmccune. Until Sunday, I love you all for what you’ve added to my life and I hope to see you there!!
My father said to me one day, “is it red or blue for you?” and if it’s red you’re out the door and I’ll see you no more. And then one Saturday afternoon he took me to Moss Side. He said, “my son your time has come, and this is a lesson in pride. You see the scum, you never run, you stand and fight your ground! And when you’ve won on derby day, you’re sure to hear this sound!” HARK NOW HEAR, THE CITY SING, UNITED RAN AWAY! AND WE WILL FIGHT FOREVER MORE BECAUSE OF DERBY DAY!
Joey McCune (@jtmccune)