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I got so much trouble on my mind...
Refuse to Lose...
Here’s your ticket, hear the Toffees get wicked,
Blue to the bone, my home is your home,
Welcome to the Terrordome.
I hope Chuck D of Public Enemy will approve of the small changes I made to his lyrics. I think he’d understand.
You always want to get it right. Nothing but your very best is good enough in everything you do, especially for the Football Club you love. I’ve written and re-written this article more times than I’d like to admit, but excellence doesn’t always materialise in your first effort.
In fact, it rarely does.
Therein lies the beauty of the grind, in the lessons you learn from the struggle, and how you can craft something incredible out of the gruelling trials of a difficult thing.
My Everton. Wow. If I had written this article in August of last year, the answer would have been quite different. It would have been about my experience, how a Landon Donovan loan deal led me to being chosen a Blue. About how a serendipitous assignment to Germany allowed me to be closer to L4, and how over the next four glorious years I was able to visit Goodison on three occasions, and enjoy four away days up and down the country and one mad friendly in Germany. It would have been about my favorite players to have worn the Royal Blue, and how no matter what time zone I found myself in, or what continent I found myself on, my heart was always on Merseyside.
I recently said in a podcast that when you find yourself in bother, properly pinched and challenged, is where you learn who you really are and what you’re truly capable of.
The past seven months serve as a proper example of that.
This period has been the most challenging I’ve known in quite a long time, personally, professionally, and as an Evertonian.
Somehow, in the midst of this all, I did some videos that entertained a few folks, made a few people laugh, and made some just rest easier knowing that there was someone else who saw it the way they did.
I’m still not sure what the appeal is, but I’m grateful for it, and humbled by the opportunity.
@ToffeeTVEFC It’s ya boy, ASTRO! How bout them #Everton #Blues Baby! #Wooooo #Goodison was packed with 37K #Toffee Hype Champions, & you all deserve the title! Today is what I’ve been talking about all season. #Refuse2Lose #HoldFast #FightHarder good god I’m Krunk today! pic.twitter.com/7NipDOzPNq— Astro (@BlueAce1878) May 1, 2022
Through this arduous undertaking of a season, I’ve learned that my Everton is not a single player, experience or even place.
My Everton is her People.
Whether they stand resolute in verbal defiance of our opponent in the Gwladys Street, or whether they guard the Park End ferociously, whether they watch alone at home with a cup of coffee or at a pub with a Supporters' Club, they are all 'My Everton'.
The Supporters are the lifeblood, the energy, the soul of a Football Club.
Everton, and why she shines so brightly is because of the people.
The most appropriate time to shine your brightest is in your darkest, most desperate hours. Evertonians have shown this with unwavering away support and by transforming Goodison Park into the 'Terrordome' I’ve always believed she could be these past few months.
Though nothing compared to what was accomplished Sunday against Chelsea.
Illuminating the dark skies of Merseyside with anticipation Saturday night, lining the Miracle Mile and greeting the coaches carrying our beloved Toffees with sound, fury, power and smoke.
Even from across the pond, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up... My God, I wish I was there.
When looking back, this will be THE shining example of why one of us is worth 20 of anybody else.
We’re built for the struggle, we rise to the fight and we do not quit.
I’m very well aware that the measure of my moment will end up being short. It means the world to me that during this, the most desperate struggle I’ve known as a Blue, I was able to connect, interact, and bond with so many incredible Toffees across the world. To stand united with you all, to be counted amongst the best supporters in the world.
As I sit and write this, we have five matches left.
Five chances to believe. Five opportunities to get stuck in, to fight like hell and turn the tide in our favour. The work must continue. Vive Le Resistance! Rage against the drop!
The fight carries on.
Goodison must rage and roar during these last two home fixtures, just like it did on Sunday. You’ve done it once and I know you'll do it again and again. The players have to keep flying around the pitch as if the devil himself was on their heels.
We have to take all these chances one by one with everything we've got. All of us. Together. It provides me with such comfort knowing that if we are able to win the day, it will be 'My Everton', the supporters, which will have helped shape and make the difference.
Last, but most certainly never least… Up them Toffees, Baby! Woooooo!
By Nick 'Astro' Palmer (@BlueAce1878), US-based Evertonian