If recent rumours I've heard in supporters clubs are true, historic Liverpool Football Club will touch down in North America for a summer tour in 2012. For the typical North American sports fan, this is not such a big story, but the sports popularity is growing by leaps and bounds on this side of the pond due to the exposure of live games available to Canadian and U.S. audiences.
There are official Liverpool supporters clubs in many cities including Boston, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and many more. Some clubs number in the hundreds of members willing to show up as early as 5:45 a.m. to their local watering holes to catch live matches with other supporters. Scarves, flags and jerseys all featuring the iconic Liver Bird fill these pubs with atmosphere second to none. Songs like "You'll Never Walk Alone," the team's anthem, are belted out as loud as possible to the tone deaf group, who only care that the lyrics are correct. The worldwide draw of football is unmatched, and the exposure to the sport in North America has gained many a follower due to the uniqueness of how the leagues and cup games are organized. The World Cup is the most watched sport spectacle on the planet, North America included. During the 2010 South Africa event, pubs across North America frantically lobbied their governments for special liquor licences to serve for early hours, and were granted them for this one time only event.
So where might these games take place? The one city we can be certain of is Boston. Beantown is the home of Liverpool owner John Henry, who also owns the Red Sox. A game at the historic Fenway Park is assured. Might minority owner Lebron James also be attending? Another great link between Liverpool and Boston is the Irish history of both cities. Boston was founded by the Irish and they have been a force in politics, business and all Massachusetts life for decades there. Liverpool was the chosen destination of many a starving Irish farmer during the potato famine a century and a half ago in 1845 and 1852. In 1860 a group of the British Army was known as the Liverpool Irish, and the term has stuck until this day. You might remember a couple fab Liverpool lads called McCartney and Lennon? Both John and Paul were of Irish decent, from Liverpool.
Details for the matches are sketchy at the moment, but one would think that four games will probably be in the offing leading to speculation on what the other three cities might be? And who might they play? All MLS sides? An All-Star team? or even a Premiership foe? These are the topics being discussed after the Reds beat Chelsea in league action last weekend. So where do you think the matches will be played? Who might their opponents be? Would you travel to a far off city to catch the legendary Liverpool Football Club in all their red glory? If you do, you will not be walking alone. I'll be the one in the red jersey.