Liverpool: Still a Dangerous Beast
I, too, want to feast on the corpse of Liverpool FC.
Not alone in that judging by the number of threads spreading like wayward spaghetti across the humid, slightly warped, world of the SMB.
But I worry we are spitting in fate's face right now. Not that we are alone. I suspect football fans throughout Britain are happily waiting to pile on, if they haven't already put their own, slighty limp, boot in. (Do kids still do that "pile on" thing? Or do they just do it now on Twitter?)
So why do we - I - dislike Liverpool so much? Why glory in their troubles? We could pick on Portsmouth or Rangers and have a really good laugh.
Because for close to 20 years they were near on invincible. But like the starlet whose looks go or the millionaire who loses it all, we revel in such change. The Germans have a word for it, which I won't try to spell, but in my grandma's 89-Boldon-years she'd call it - comeuppences.
In another two decades the younger fans of today may heap such scorn on Manchester United. Everything and everyone has its turn, if we wait long enough. But right now it is Liverpool that is failing, step by impotent step.
What we really feel is a mixture of jealousy and pride. Jealous of all those post-war trophies while we just had one, glorious as it was. Proud that we are closing the gap and may soon sneak past. Not a lucky, one-off victory, but a true return to the order of things, when Sunderland was up there with The Arsenal and Villa as the true powers of football and Liverpool was, well, just a place where you could always find a boat to Ireland.
Sadly, it's still far too early.
I wish it were not. The images of St. John, Smith, Hunt, Keegan, Dalglish, Hughes, Clemence and Toshack are easily summoned. There were others, the Owens, Rushes, Fowlers etc., that continued long after I left. Some of them I am forced to endure even today, as commentators, with that awful Scouse accent as I get my football fill on TV.
But there is a pride in dying champions, no matter how much owners, managers and players try to ignore it in their 'do it my way', approach. (Bill Shankly's comments on Brendan Rodgers' style would be worth digging the old goat up for)
So, we should remember that. We are soon to play Liverpool FC at home. It will not be easy. They once ruled the world. This is not Wigan, Reading or, in a strange way even City. That contemptible Luis Suarez likely doesn't realize the history he pulls over his head each match day. But his ignorance is not our bliss. There's a power there - in the shirt. Just as when we look at old photos of Raich Carter in those beautiful red and white stripes. Sure, we have to dig deeper and longer for our pride but it is there, nevertheless.
And if we remember that and give them the respect due from all those titles then we will be fine. We will win. And in doing so we will remind ourselves that Liverpool remains a huge scalp. Never one to be taken lightly. Not for a while yet, at least.
(Our Canadian Correspondent)