How I Became A Manchester United Fan

Usually, a person’s fandom begins when they are young.  They develop their fandom like an inheritance from a parent or older sibling.  That is the deep-seated cradle to grave fandom that is always unending.  For me, that is my love of all things UNC.  I am a Tar Heel born and a Tar Heel bred (class of 1996).

Then there are the bandwagon fans.  You know them, the guy you work with who became a Duke fan when he was 30 because they won a national championship and they weren’t UNC.  These are the fans who simultaneously entertain and frustrate you.  When their team wins they strut like goofy peacocks and when they lose they disappear into the ether.

Another form of fan is the one who comes to team later in life is the one who because of an amazing game or mesmerizing player goes all in almost immediately.  That is how I became a Manchester United fan.

I just graduated high school and headed to college in 1992.  I had played soccer from fourth grade all the way through high school and finally invested in a Soccer America subscription.  This was years before FOX Soccer Channel and before ESPN started giving a damn about the game.  That was also the year Sir Alex signed “King Eric.”

By all rights, Eric Cantona is pretty close to insane, just Google his name and the list of indiscretions is as  long and entertaining as his often other-worldly play.  (The best is still him attacking a fan. After todays, derby and Rio Ferdinand getting cut by a thrown coin, I don’t blame the players sometimes.)  However, on the field, he was mesmerizing and regardless of what he was doing he always demanded to spot light.  He became the pivot point of just short of great Manu teams with a generation of young players who would define the club for the next 20 years:  Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, and of course David Beckham.

I fell in love with the club and its history because of Cantona’s ability to get me into the tent.  I stayed and I will always stay.  Even through crappy ownership and iffy player personnel decisions because this is the club that will always give you a win like today’s.  Here is RVP’s game winner.

Now onto, the Mountain Medley from Highland Brewery, pizza, and the Carolina Panthers.

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