My Liverpool Story by Jeff Cutler
At the request of Timucin Uras, I sat down at my computer and thought about the journey I’ve taken to become a LIverpool fan. I wanted to inject some perspective into My Liverpool Story…perspective that helps me understand how lucky I am to have found the Reds and their marvelous fanbase.
I’ll also be sharing fun facts to keep you awake. Each fun fact will have a * next to it if you’re a fan of skimming all the Scouser columns looking for tasty tidbits. Feel free to read ONLY the * info. I welcome your comments and gifs.
Where are you originally from?
I’m from the new world where on *January 20, 1892, in Springfield, MA USA, the first official basketball game was played. Though that game was played a mere 73 years before I was born, I lived near the Springfield YMCA as a child and saw some of that round-ball game while biding my time to become a Scouser. Can you become a Scouser or do you have to be born in or knighted?
For those without an abacus, Liverpool was established in 1892 as well. This will be a theme throughout my interview with myself. Next….
How, when, and why did you become a Liverpool fan?
*On August 9, 1892, some guy named Thomas Edison got a patent for a two-way telegraph. This ushered in the tools so deftly used by the two Robbies and my friend Rebecca. Without Edison, there would be no Scousing, or Scousers or Liverpool broadcasts.
Oh, to that point, I started watching EPL in Spanish in 2018. I had no idea what ESPN+ was, why there were 87 different soccer leagues in Europe alone, and if I could realistically avoid a coma by watching soccer on television. Yes, I had the dreaded judgy nature ‘Murica. But that changed!
The defining moment of my love for Liverpool came when a friend in Somerville, MA (though originally from England….born in Barnet and season ticket holder at Spurs since 1982) mentioned matches and the sport. He also let slip that he was a Tottenham supporter. I like the color blue, I like this bloke, why couldn’t I be a Spur supporter.
Well, yeah. I said SPUR singular and it offended my friend so much so that I said I couldn’t be with SpurS. So I looked around. I saw Grealish play in a game and thought, that little guy is a whirling dervish…maybe I should cheer for him. But then I looked up Aston Villa’s history. Not horribly bleak, but not my cup of tea.
Then I talked to Adam Zand. He and I share degrees from Northeastern…really. He got seven or eight masters degrees for giving commencement addresses and spending hundreds of thousands on education. That resulted in him having a glut of degrees and he was kind enough to give a Sports Marketing Masters to me.
I took that – *and the fact Walt Whitman died in 1892 after writing ‘Leaves of Grass’ – as a sign that something great was waiting for me in the EPL with Liverpool. Referencing that poem more closely, I found this quote. Tell me that it doesn’t shout YOU NEVER WALK ALONE!
I will You, in all, Myself, with promise to never desert you, To which I sign my name. – Walt Whitman
So, with a song in my heart, I listened to Adam Zand and his son Sawyer about this game and the pure good at the heart of every Liverpool supporter. I wanted that for me…any you welcomed me with a promise never to desert me. #YNWA #LOVE
Who’s your all-time favorite Liverpool player, and why?
I urge you to abjectly reject what you think of me right now. You likely think I’m a skilled researcher who is creative and good-looking. You probably yearn to have a pint with me and discuss complicated matters of sides and strategy and loans and the ever-present U23s.
You are wrong if you think this. I lucked into a bunch of cool 1892 items; I lucked into a fabulous group of people who love Liverpool and have since their first breath; and I really lucked into some great matches. Remember, I started watching in Dec. 2018. That’s not a bad period to be a fan.
Oh, but you want to know my favorite player. Yeah, Virgil. Not because I can’t fathom how he can be so skilled, quick and GIANT. And he seems as kind as every single Liverpool player. The thing that put it over the edge – especially because I have heard so many great stories of historical brilliance – is that I wore the number 4 when I played. It’s as simple as that. I lucked out there too, because he is awesome!
*On Oct. 24, 1892, the Boston Beaneaters won their fifth National League Pennant by sweeping the Cleveland Spiders 5 games to 0. This information, had I been alive in 1892, would have easily removed baseball as one of my favorite sports. Beaneaters?!
Where do you watch Liverpool games?
This is sort of like an Isaac Asimov story in the Casebook of the Black Widowers. In this mystery anthology, Asimov presents readers with an exclusive club of gentlemen who solve mysteries. At the outset of every mystery, the guest of honor (they have one outsider at each dinner meeting) is posed with the challenge of justifying their existence.
I justify my Liverpool fandom/support by watching matches (who wrote these questions – game???) wherever I can. This has included…
The Phoenix Landing in Cambridge, MA. It’s the LFC Boston Supporters’ bar and is the quintessential viewing experience. I expect the bar in Orlando is similar in tone and energy and I will go there to see a match when we’re back on.
Hospital bed – had surgery in Dec. 2019 and watched a week of matches from my bed.
Car – while sipping tea on a weekend morning at my in-laws.
Hotel – whenever I travel on a match day, I ensure I’ll be at my hotel before the kick.
Living room at home – for the matches where it’s not feasible to dash the 36 minutes into Boston at 6am just to get my place in line for the match.
Ultimately, I go to the Phoenix Landing for 85% of the matches and watch or record the rest for viewing when it’s convenient.
What was your most memorable Liverpool game, and why?
For the bulk of this column I’ve been stealing answers from other Liverpool fans. For this one it won’t work. I have not been to Liverpool (so that question will be skipped) so it’s a tough decision about which was my favorite match.
I guess my favorite match wasn’t match-based at all. It was the first time I sat down to watch Liverpool play and I truly understood what to watch for; when to get up to go the bathroom; when I could ask questions; and who the players were by their look, not by number or screen caption.
Becoming a fan takes work and dedication. I’m fortunate I had other supporters to shepherd me along. If forced to answer, it would be the 2019 Champions League win.
What is your all-time favorite goal for the Reds?
*On November 12, 1892, American football paid Pudge Heffelfinger $525 as the first pro football player. Our players make more and maybe be as obscure to me. I’m new, remember?
So many fans have photographic memories for this. They can recite what they wore and who was playing and the weather. For me, I remember the force of the shot and the skill with which it was set up.
There are two goals I remember vividly, but I can’t tell you the opponent or the dates. Here they are:
TAA taking a kick from way outside the box on the right. He pummeled the ball at the net and was NOT awarded the goal because it glanced off the back of a teammate before going in. Ball would have gone in anyway and you had to look at replay three times to see if it touched the jersey of the other player;
EVERY MILNER PK!
EVERY VIRGIL HEADER!
and Salah’s goal that made Alisson run down the field in joy. I believe it was MUnited.
Have you ever traveled to Liverpool?
Asked and answered. No.
Have you seen Liverpool play in the States?
I saw them play, appropriately, at Fenway Park in Boston against Seville. We lost. Seats were good. Experience was solid, but I think I yearn for the pub or my couch.
How did you find out about American Scouser?
I impulsively LIKED a bunch of Reds’ topic sites and pages and AS came along for the ride. I hadn’t read the site, just the posts on FB. Now that I’m writing here, I might be better at devouring content.
Who’s your favorite present-day Liverpool player, and why?
The pandemic has forced me to pay more attention to the players as people. Now I know that James Milner is the brains of the entire operation, but is as distractible as a puppy; that Andy Robertson needs to be talking trash to power his legs; and that Mane is pure evil as a scorer and pure light as a person.
*On January 1, 1892, Ellis Island in NYC started accepting immigrants. Really. And the current game of soccer is amazing in its diversity of players, of styles, of strategy.
What’s your go-to source for Liverpool news?
OMG, I’m buried in sources. I love NBCSN, SkySports, Facebook groups, my fellow fans, the LFC Boston page. And now Scouser.
How are you holding up during COVID-19?
I am anxious as a squirrel on a catapult. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to kill anyone. Oh, regarding Liverpool.
I’m holding up horribly. I have filled my DVR with historic matches, talk shows, recaps of seasons, goals of the season, Bunglediza matches (yes, I know how I spelled it), and lots of YouTube content.
The eSports tournament was great to give us something to cheer for. I actually watched eMotoGP on TV yesterday, so don’t judge.
And I’m trying to adjust my life to enjoying social events while remaining safe. No, I’m not going out yet, our bars don’t open until the end of June.
What do you do when you’re not cheering for the Reds?
I’m solidly at the midlife point and have done many interesting and amazing things. Here is the Top 10 List of Jeff
10 – professional writer since 1988
9 – had a MLB Scouting Bureau tryout – didn’t get signed
8 – raced mountain bikes professionally
7 – hosted a food show for three years in Boston
6 – fly my drone
5 – tend to my blog and my YouTube site – http://youtube.com/jeffcutler
4 – sanitize, sanitize, sanitize
3 – carry a size 5 soccer ball around so I can understand better how the ball responds to input on the pitch
2 – drive around in my MINI Cooper Convertible
1 – Tweet at the owners of Twitter to verify @JeffCutler at least once a month
Writing this today has allowed me to get the tingles back. Not from writing, but from the eventuality that Liverpool will be back on the pitch and playing soon. I’m tearing up thinking about how great it is to be accepted into this community. I’m touched at how passionate and intelligent you all are. Thanks. #YNWA