Roughly a year ago (actually it would be about 11.5 months, to be precise), I went to my first J.LEAGUE match to watch FC Tokyo, the home team, get beaten 2-1 by the eventual league champions, Kashima Antlers. I was instantly hooked and began attending games regularly, even away matches within my sphere of influence. In August 2007 I joined SOCIO and became a season ticket holder, giving me that much more of a valid claim to bitch about the team's performance.
Sometime during that period I registered this domain name (aishiteru-tokyo.com) with the intent of turning t into a full-fledged English fansite for the team, complete with a Joomla install, all sorts of subpages, full multimedia capabilities, the whole deal. Then I realized that I would never have time to keep and maintain such a page, and thus it languished as a 'Coming Soon' image.
Then, while sitting at home today, nursing my bad ankles following last night's triumph “at” Tokyo Verdy, I decided to raise some hell and mock the Verdy fans over at the Rising Sun New's forums. I was subsequently outed as the first Gasmen to show up on those forums and challenged by one whom I suppose I should call my esteemed colleague (in the same way that, in politics, 'my esteemed colleague' is used as a gentler way of saying 'that bastard on the other side of the aisle') to come up with a blog to report on FC Tokyo's comings and goings in English, as such a site is lacking. I'm now convinced that this is his revenge for my attempt to troll the Verdy fans by forcing me to grind up what little free time I have into smaller fines to divide them ever further.
But I digress.
I have decided to take up this challenge, and to the best of my abilities I will report on the Blue and Red and its triumphs and tribulations throughout this season and as many more as I can follow. A little about me:
-I'm an American (sorry about that, by the way) living in Nakano-ku, Tokyo, currently studying Japanese at a language school.
-Like most Americans, I played soccer in my youth. Unlike most Americans I also enjoy watching it, but because the MLS never made it to Philadelphia while I lived in the states my loyalties remained unattached until I relocated to Tokyo. That said I obviously wasn't raised on Premiere League so my technical knowledge of the game may be below par. If you don't like it, write a better FC Tokyo blog 😉 Additionally I will call it football or soccer depending on the context.
-I sit behind the goal, 95% of the time in the section run by supporter group LA12. I am usually the only foreigner there unless I've brought friends.
-I have a fixation on supporter culture bordering on unhealthy, primarily because American pro sports (American football, baseball, basketball, hockey) don't have supporters in the way that football does. The chants, iconography, signs, and history are all incredibly fascinating to me and if I'm not familiar with a team I can more often than not gauge them based on their supporters.
Ideally I'd like to get other writers to help come up with reports, particularly when I can't get to games or to help translate articles that I might otherwise not get to. In the meantime, let's see how this goes.