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Colorado is a special place. The tall Rocky Mountains flank the skyline and are met by sprawling prairies. I was fortunate enough to be born in this place and feel such a special connection to the land, the people, and the life this place brings.
This is the same way I feel about Everton.
It all started because I got very involved with the (MLS team) Colorado Rapids supporter group. They would go to watch early Premier League matches at a local soccer bar, and they told me I should pick a club.
I will never forget the first time I saw Everton play on TV on an early Saturday morning in 2012. Almost immediately after watching them play, I found out about the club’s history and fans, and I knew I was a Blue.
It was the history, the commitment to the local community, the way the fans treat each other and act, the way the past players were still madly in love with the club, and the humility. Shortly after that, I met another Everton fan at the bar and we began a Facebook page to search for other Blues, which is how Colorado Evertonians was born.
I normally watch games at a local bar with some friends. I am about an hour away from Denver, but the Denver fans gather quite often at a pub there, which I will sometimes join!
I can get a little superstitious when watching games, especially when it comes to kits. For example, if I watch a game in a particular shirt and Everton lose, I won’t wear it until they win again.
I’ve managed to get friends into football and Everton, even if they haven’t made the leap to watching 8am matches with me!
I am so proud to know the people who make up Colorado Evertonians. It is a passionate and diverse group of people, and I know there are many in the group I can count on no matter what I need. Soccer has changed my life, and I have met many of my best friends through the sport and through Colorado Evertonians. I cannot imagine my life without some of these people.
It is amazing to see Everton embrace diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
As a member of the LGBT community, I instantly took notice of an official supporter group, "The Rainbow Toffees." Everton has shown efforts on and off the field, and within the community, to make people feel welcomed, no matter their background.
This is my experience of every single Everton group I've been around - whether in Liverpool, on forums, or within our own supporter group here in the US. Creating a safe space for all fans to just be Everton fans and put everything else aside means that we can come together as a Blue family.
Watching Everton tackle hard topics of racism and homophobia in football is inspiring. I believe this is why I was immediately drawn to Everton – I felt that inclusion and support of all fans almost instantly.
In 2016, I went to an Adele concert in Colorado with some friends. After the fourth or fifth song, I only half-heard her say, “You in the purple shirt, come join me onstage!” It took a second of pointing and shouting from people around me to realize she was talking to me – I was wearing a purple Everton shirt.
I ran onstage, my friends joined, and Adele and I talked for about five minutes. We talked about Everton and Tottenham, who she supports. I have regrets about not asking her more questions about soccer, but it was an experience I will never forget!
English clubs have been around for so long and have so much history that they are embedded in local culture and community. It is obviously different for Americans. I believe that who you are as a person will make you relate to an English club.
Everton is a club of hard-working people who put their head down to do their best, are humble but proud of their accomplishments, and who make a lot happen by maximizing resources. I think this is what resonates with Americans who stumble upon Everton. If you’re an Everton fan in the States, you are a True Blue; you aren’t watching a club to easily celebrate a win every weekend. You feel connected to something special.
My hope for Everton’s future is to win some silverware. That seems like an obvious answer – everyone wants their club to win – but Everton fans have been so patient and so loyal, it’s time.
We deserve it.
By Jerick Flores, Chairman of Colorado Evertonians
The above story was sourced by goal-click.com.