I'm so happy that SBNation has decided to supplement its excellent roster of team-based communities with a blog dedicated to Manchester City.
I've been a frequent visitor to Pension Plan Puppets, the SBNation site devoted to the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs for about two years now. One of the best features of the SBNation blogging platform is the Fanpost and Fanshot capability; I thought I'd break the ice and make the first Fanpost here because I would like to encourage those of you who know more about football and Manchester City than I do (and that would be everybody here, as I'll explain in a moment) to make use of this excellent feature to discuss some topics of interest.
As I mentioned above, I'm a fan of the NHL's Maple Leafs. I'm a Canadian living in Paris - a little town in southwestern Ontario, not the worldwide epicentre for Gauloise-smoking afficionados of Edith Piaf. I only recently decided to begin following English Premier League football in general and the Blues in particular. I chose the Citizens after a discussion that I had via Twitter with some of the other community members over at Pension Plan Puppets, namely "Godd Till", "MattBlack" and "PPP". I have gotten to know those folks as well as you get to know anyone that you've only met via screen quips over the last couple of years, and their interest in EPL football sparked my own. In the end, when it came time to choose a team to follow, I sought out their advice about which side would likely be a good fit for me. My Dad had suggested that I consider supporting Chelsea because (as a Maple Leafs fan), I had a strong predisposition towards any club whose colours are blue and white. My discussion with the folks from the Pension Plan Puppets community, though, had me convinced that Manchester City's history and fanbase were much more likely to be familiar to me*. I also wanted to adopt a team that had a great song or two, and GoddTill (himself a City man) filled me in on Blue Moon. My decision was made, and here I am.
The point of the story above is really less about how I came to be a City supporter (though I'm sure that is a topic of immense interest throughout the world), and more about the friendships I've managed to establish through another SBNation community because of the way these places are set up. I'm looking forward to meeting the folks who come here, and I'm looking forward to learning about the history of the team and the mechanics of the game from all of you. Very soon after I decided to support City, I went looking for a virtual community dedicated to the team because I wanted to be able to learn about the team and the game from its most dedicated students, the fans.
I've found SBNation sites to be universally entertaining and informative, while at the same time remaining generally free of the inane crap that so often clutters chat rooms and message boards in other corners of the Internet. In these places, I've found, discussion is encouraged, differences of opinion are tolerated, and there are always a few laughs to be had. Some of the most insightful things I've read about hockey and the Maple Leafs have been written either at the Pension Plan Puppets site, or by bloggers who frequent the site and participate in the ongoing discussion.
Consequently, I'm looking forward to the writing that all of you will contribute on the site. I'm asking for your help in getting up to speed as a City fan - GoddTill and another PPP member Clawson have been terrific in helping me along so far, but I need all the help I can get. So help me out, here people, I'd really like to see some fanposts on the following topics:
- What are the top 5 moments in Manchester City history? Five events (they don't have to be matches) that every self-respecting Manchester City fan must know about?
- What is the most important tradition for a new Blues fan to be aware of?
- What is the most revered City team of all time? (When I used to be a baseball fan, I followed the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers started the 1984 season 35-5, led the American League wire to wire and to the surprise of no one won the World Series that year, but to real Tigers fans, that team has always been second in their hearts to the '68 squad. Is there a comparable universally-loved City team, and if so, why?)
- I've only watched a few matches so far. I've been very impressed with Tevez and I quite like Craig Bellamy too; how does the current squad match up, talent-wise, with the other clubs in the EPL and how realistic are City's present hopes for a championship of some kind?
I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with. Remember, take it easy on me - I'm a hockey fan trying to learn what I can.
*As I understand it, there are some broad parallels between City and the Maple Leafs. In both cases, a significant period of time has elapsed since the club last drank from the cup of victory, and each has a red-and-white clad major rival that has enjoyed an infuriating relative excess of success, the frustration of which is only exacerbated by the arrogance of their fans. In Canada, any Saturday night on which the Maple Leafs square off against the hated Canadiens is a guaranteed ratings success for the broadcaster because the fans of each club despise the other.