Forever Everton: An American’s First Year as a Toffee

Saturday, 21 May, 2022 36comments  |  Jump to last
Bryan James Henry picked quite the year to become an Evertonian! Read his story at Medium

» Read the full article at Medium


Reader Comments (36)

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Gerry Morrison
1 Posted 21/05/2022 at 02:58:51
Great read, Bryan, welcome to the family. Expect a lifetime of misery punctuated by moments of unimaginable ecstasy.
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 21/05/2022 at 03:06:56
Now THAT is a great read.

PS... we Yanks are absolutely fucking nuts.

Jamie Crowley
3 Posted 21/05/2022 at 03:40:09
Fucking brilliant.

'MERICA!

[as you're a liberal Dem Mr. Bryan James Henry, just go with it 'mate'. Luv from FL, melting pot rules]

'Merica Link:

Link

Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 21/05/2022 at 03:43:29
Like Bryan, I also bought the new shirt before the Florida Cup. Sadly it was a tad small but that was okay, my summer diet would sort that before August.

Just retrieved it from the closet. It seems even smaller...

Jamie Crowley
5 Posted 21/05/2022 at 03:46:49
Kieran -

Ground turkey. Cut butter. Lift.

Done.

Tom Fazal
6 Posted 21/05/2022 at 03:48:49
Great read but feel I must correct you. You had been chosen to be one of us, you just didn't become aware of it until later in your life.

That's okay, welcome to the family, there is no better place to be. Only a true blue could have felt what you felt.

Jamie Crowley
7 Posted 21/05/2022 at 04:00:28
Hey Bryan, quite seriously, if you go to Baltimore, let's meet up.

I'd love to meet you and indoctrinate you in all ways "right".

Your criteria for adopting Everton are so, so similar to mine from circa 2007.

If you make an appearance at Baltimore, get my contact info from Lyndon. We'll have a few pops.

I also have a son that lives in Austin and I visit 1-2 times a year. We can take in a game if you're near Austin, TX. As a self-prescribed Lib, you're probably living smack dab in downtown Austin. We'll show the world politics are just background noise, human beings shine outside of tribalistic spectrums.

Especially in 'Merica.

Great read. Welcome. Your submission / article brought a huge smile to my face. You joined the cause at the best time.

Cheers.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 21/05/2022 at 04:59:22
Jamie

I'd love to get out there too with you Bryan Lyndon etc. I'm trying to get my wife to agree to a trip to Baltimore for that game. She hates football but loves The Wire.

My selling point was “we can go and track down Avon Barksdale and Omar.” That just made it worse.

We did go to Maryland a few years ago and had a nice time — rural area near DC — so I haven't given up yet but at a 5-hour drive to Minneapolis looks a better bet at this point.

Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 21/05/2022 at 05:29:06
Guys, Bryan didn't submit this article to TW. Lyndon found the blog article and posted the link. We definitely need to recruit this guy to TW, but he isn't here now.
Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 21/05/2022 at 05:47:23
Mike

Now is not the time to make rational observations like the fact the this guy isn’t on ToffeeWeb. I’m still high on watching Frank dance on the balcony

Jamie Crowley
11 Posted 21/05/2022 at 06:25:39
Mike -

Easy solution.

I don't Twitter. BUT! Someone who does:

Tweet him this link.

Done. He's in. Once TW touches you.

Peter Mills
12 Posted 21/05/2022 at 09:26:51
Get him on here - we need a sensible ‘Merican to make up for all the others! :-)
Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 21/05/2022 at 09:37:02
I think you would need to have a few million search parties to find a sensible American, Peter, but in the words of another great man from across the pond…. Don't go changing, we love you just the way you are!
Jamie Crowley
14 Posted 21/05/2022 at 13:03:43
Kieran @ 8-

Dude. If you get to Baltimore let me know. It's a long way and the MN trip has to be on for you.

I'll be doing Baltimore and Baltimore only. I can't miss work that long, and frankly don't want to make that trip to MN as it's a helluva long ways.

Lemme know if you're MD bound.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 21/05/2022 at 15:34:35
Jamie, "helluva long ways"?? What are you, walking? The flight to Minneapolis is an hour longer than the flight to Baltimore.

Pete and Tony, no sensible American would be a Blue. We'd support a team whose shirts we could actually buy in the stores here. By definition, any Yank who supports Everton is nuts. And proud of it.

Jamie Crowley
16 Posted 21/05/2022 at 17:06:32
Mike -

I dodge planes. I'm not a good flyer. I drive everywhere if I can, ergo, really long drive. I plan on driving up to Baltimore.

My wife and I have discussed, if we ever do make it to England and Ireland, taking a boat. For that trip I'll probably fly, but I'll self-medicate (whiskey probably) an immense amount.

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 21/05/2022 at 17:22:10
Best way to see the States is to drive, Jamie, and I've been to 30 out of the 50.

My biggest epic was a 3-week trip starting in Las Vegas and ending in Boston. I cheated in the middle and flew from Chicago to Virginia, but drove most of it.

Prior to that, I spent 3 days covering Nebraska, Ohio and Illinois. No offence to anyone from those places, but understand why my colleagues (I work for a San Antonio based company) call them the flyovers!!

Jay Harris
18 Posted 21/05/2022 at 17:33:53
Great read. Well spotted, Lyndon.

We need to get Bryan ToffeeWebbed!!

Jamie, it has always amazed me as to why Americans drive everywhere even on 12 hours plus journeys when flights are so cheap and accessible. I understand the apathy to flying because my ex-wife was terrified of flying and I had to get her plastered in the airport and carry her on to the plane. So have a word with your wife and see if she will oblige.

If I go to either, I will let you know and hope to meet up with you and the kids again.

Allen Rodgers
19 Posted 21/05/2022 at 17:54:17
Kieran @ 4, anyone buying Everton clobber from the official store should choose a larger size than normal. If a shirt fits you when it's new, it won't after a wash or two.
Bill Gall
20 Posted 21/05/2022 at 18:12:32
Jay

Your quote, "I can't understand why Americans drive everywhere."

I now live in Canada – that is another large country, but sometimes with the way flights are it is easier and cheaper driving. I lived in Saskatchewan and moved to New Brunswick, taking my time and driving at 100 kph, 10 hrs a day, it took me 4 days to drive there.

Distance is not a problem. Airlines are the problem.

Congratulations, Bryan, I have been supporting Everton since 1954, keep it up. You are just scratching the beginning of emotions you will get, supporting the greatest, if not the most frustrating football club on earth.

Neil Copeland
21 Posted 21/05/2022 at 18:22:38
Jamie, Mike, Kieran and all the other US Blues. I am thinking about taking a holiday to your wonderful country in July and hopefully, watch both games.

My understanding of US geography is poor at best. So, not sure if the best route or where to stay. For example; would it be better to get as cheap a flight as possible and then hire a car and drive? I have been to the States before (Midwest) and driven there so not bothered about that aspect.

I am trying to figure out whether or not I can afford it, hence the question. Thanks.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 21/05/2022 at 18:27:55
I'm not a US Blue, Neil, but have enough experience of travelling out there.

I'm assuming that's for the pre-season.

If so, I'd recommend flying into Baltimore (BWI) from Heathrow.

You can get decent prices into Boston (great city) and even New York, but then you've got a trek on your hands, and tolls between Boston, New York and the DC area certainly add up.

Neil Copeland
23 Posted 21/05/2022 at 18:42:12
Danny, cheers mate. Yes, it would be for the pre-season. I haven't taken a holiday for almost 3 years due mainly to Covid so, hoping to make the most of it but only as long as I can afford it.

I will have a look online and do a bit of research in respect of US geography.

I don't mind driving long distances but realise that long distance here is completely different to The States.

Jamie Crowley
25 Posted 21/05/2022 at 19:31:21
Neil -

Danny is right in my opinion. Fly into Baltimore and you're there. Rent a car / uber to get around.

The traffic on the east coast from Washington DC to Boston is brutal. You're better off traveling directly to Baltimore or DC. If you could find a flight to Philadelphia that will save you $400 to $500+, then I'd consider that as Philly to Baltimore would take no longer than 2 hours most likely. Philly is an often overlooked East Coast city that is simply fantastic. To put into perspective the traffic, when the Crowleys drive from Florida to the ancestral home of Boston, we take the West Virginia / PA western route / way and dodge the east coast entirely.

If you go to Minneapolis / St Paul you'll find the traffic and overall pace to be much more subdued. It's the hidden jewel of the Midwest and you'll love it. If you've been to the Midwest before, more of the same, with Minneapolis being a very cosmopolitan city, clean, super super friendly people, etc.

Boston is a brilliant city, but is far from Baltimore - DC area. I'd highly suggest a train from Boston to Baltimore so you don't have to deal with the traffic, specifically driving through New York City which is a quagmire and a jungle. Boston might be cheap (?) as there's a ton of flights from Boston to Dublin and I hear it's only a 6-hour flight.

So, in order of preference:
1. Baltimore
2. Philadelphia
3. Boston

Dodge New York like the plague unless you want to visit that city tourist-style. In that case, just go for it. New York is massive and very, very cool, especially Manhattan. But Jesus there's a lot of people.

Neil Copeland
26 Posted 21/05/2022 at 19:46:43
Jamie, cheers much appreciated. Last time I went was to a small city called Waukesha which approx 40 miles from Milwaukee and 120 miles from Chicago. I visited both cities while I was there. I found the Midwest to be very laid back and very friendly.

I may need to leave booking the flights until nearer the time to get the best deal. My daughter and boyfriend are travelling too although probably won't go to the games. Anyway, I will do a bit of research based upon your and Danny's advice and see what the estimated costs are.

Thanks again.

Jamie Crowley
27 Posted 21/05/2022 at 19:59:26
Neil -

Two days before my High School Sophomore year, my family moved to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Waukesha is 20 minutes outside Milwaukee, and about 20 minutes from where we lived in Oconomowoc. 😉. Small world.

Milwaukee is the blue collar Midwest city. Loved my time there, would never live there – too cold. I have three sisters and a brother who all still live in greater Milwaukee. They come and visit me in Florida, not the other way around. Chicago is brilliant. I hope you went in Summertime.

Cheers.

Neil Copeland
28 Posted 21/05/2022 at 20:18:47
Jamie, small world indeed! I used to work for an American-owned hydraulic valve manufacturer who had factories in Waukesha, Whitewater and Makoqueta(?) in Iowa.

It was January when I visited Chicago, jeez was it cold, wind chill factor of around –25°F by the lake (and that was mild apparently with –40°F not uncommon!). Enjoyed it though. And yes, Chicago is great.

I had the opportunity to take on an Operations Manager role at Whitewater but my wife at the time wasn't keen on the climate. Divorced now and no regrets but I often wonder how things would have turned out.

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 21/05/2022 at 20:28:19
Jamie, I lived for two summers in Oconomowoc. Small world my ass. That's freaky...

(I also lived in Minnesota for 3 years. Lovely but I have not yet thawed out, and that was 40 years ago.)

Neil, overall, I would not be concerned about the expense of your flights. There are so many cheap flights available in the US. The issue to be aware of is that many flights are being cancelled these days because of pilot/crew availability, and it's good to have a backup plan on your flights. Also, to fly a day early just in case.

Do not rent a car if you can avoid it... brutally expensive these days. For short distances, Uber and Lyft services are always a better deal.

Appreciate the callout for Chicago, my beloved home town that I will likely never visit again.

Jay, we love to drive because there is so much cool stuff to see when you're driving, and so many great places to stop and walk and eat. You can bring the dog. And you're not strapped into an airline seat next to God knows who.

Neil Copeland
30 Posted 21/05/2022 at 20:40:11
Mike, thanks.

Chicago is one of the best cities I have visited, fabulous place. It's funny but I knew nothing about the sheer size of Lake Michigan and went expecting to see land on the other side - ha, some hope eh?

Anyway, I will try and put the advice to good use and take it from there. Thanks again.

Lee Courtliff
31 Posted 22/05/2022 at 15:46:41
That was a great read. Especially the part about how it was supposed to be break from something "stressful and depressing but became even more stressful and depressing".

Everton, that.

Jonathan Haddock
32 Posted 23/05/2022 at 09:15:48
Bryan James Henry, he ‘gets it’, just like Frank does and everyone who comes to find Everton!
Neil Copeland
33 Posted 23/05/2022 at 21:39:32
A bit research on the US adventure and I found flights from Liverpool to Columbus are really good value. There are flights available from Columbus to Baltimore at a decent cost too. So, thinking that may be a possible route.

Does anyone on here know much about Colombia?

Roger Helm
34 Posted 25/05/2022 at 16:43:26
Great article, welcome to the club. Are you on TW yet?

And you chose to follow the Blues for fun? For sure, there are good moments, but as Nick Hornby noted in Fever Pitch, the usual mood of the football fan is one of bitter disappointment. And he's an Arsenal fan!

Anyway, it's too late now. Fandom is for life, unlike a marriage, there is no divorce option. Although the ride is often bumpy, it is definitely worth it. You have the self-respect of not being a glory- hunter and of course membership of the worldwide Everton Community. COYB!

Derek Thomas
35 Posted 28/05/2022 at 23:09:59
Welcome Bryan; It's a small world indeed, but deceptively large on the inside - you definately wouldn't want to paint it.
Jim Potter
36 Posted 30/05/2022 at 13:42:34
Great article, Bryan.

You are truly welcome my friend.

You are discovering the added resonance of that phrase "feeling blue".

But, despite the many drawbacks, it is a special club with special fans, and those of you not born into 'it' have my added admiration (although, of course, you were chosen).

Eventually we will win silverware again and on that momentous day, being a Toffee, will truly be all the sweeter for us all.

Plastic, glory hunting fans are ten a penny. Real fans, who connect, we matter.

COYB.

Kevin Molloy
37 Posted 05/06/2022 at 11:26:10
It's the poor little bastard in the middle I feel sorry for.

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