Last night I dreamt somebody loved Wigan, and it was me!
There are lots of ways that we Americans come to love a team in the Premiership.
Some of us our born into fandom and actually live the life of Fever Pitch.
Some of us choose our teams based on their kits.
Sometimes it’s a particular player that draws our interest.
Maybe it’s because a team hires a bunch of our countrymen.
Me? I swear to god that it came to me in a dream.
I seriously have no clue as to what caused this nocturnal vision. I’m pretty sure it’s not as simple as having Wigan on the brain because their manager, Roberto Martinez, was one of the World Cup commentators for ESPN. Truth be told, I didn’t even know he was the Wigan coach until someone brought that up as a possible explanation.
Aside from that possible link, I’m pretty sure the only other exposure I’ve had to Wigan was through a random throwaway comment from former U.S. National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller. During my non-Wigan obsessed hours, I cover the MLS side Seattle Sounders FC for the blog Sounder at Heart. While interviewing Keller about the relative parity in MLS, he mentioned that there are “No Wigan Athletics in MLS.” The assumption being that unlike the Premiership, MLS has neither giants nor minnows.
But that was months ago, and I really can’t imagine why Wigan invaded my subconscious on this random night.
The only plausible answer: It is my god-given destiny to create a blog for Latics.
A brief Google search turns up plenty of information about Wigan, but no fan blogs devoted to the youngest team in the Premiership — a mere babe at less than 80 years old.
With a later start than virtually everyone else, maybe it shouldn’t come as such a shock that Wigan only advanced to the top level of English soccer relatively recently, playing their first season there in 2005-06. They’ve managed to stay there ever since, finishing as high as 10th and as low as 17th.
Perhaps also tied to that late start and even later rise to the top of the pyramid, Wigan has also been one of the lowest attended top-flight sides in England. Their average attendance of about 17,000 was the lowest among EPL sides, despite their playing in the perfectly adequate (and relatively new) DW Stadium. Apparently, attendance has risen steadily since the stadium was built and the team began to establish itself as a respetable EPL side.
All of these things made Wigan an intriguing team for me — an American soccer fan who’s been trying to get excited about following English football. Toss in the fact that Stephen Patrick Morrissey (hopefully the name of the blog makes a little more sense) is also a Macunian, and this was starting to feel like destiny.
In any case, I plan to make a go of this. If you’re interested, I’ll be doing my darndest to learn all there is about Wigan Athletic in the coming weeks and months. Hopefully, I’ll be proudly calling myself a Latic by the time Wigan kicks off against Blackpool on Aug. 14.