It’s pretty incredible how two teams from different countries, separated by a giant ocean, in a completely different time zone and culture, could have so much in common.
Liverpool Football Club’s Daniel Sturridge was reported by NESN’s Marcus Kwesi O’Mard of sporting Boston Red Sox workout gear, yesterday. “Sturridge, who is rehabbing from injury in Boston, posed for a photo wearing Boston Red Sox shorts and a hooded sweatshirt from the Major League Baseball team. The Liverpool striker posted the photo on his Instagram account [dstudge] Monday”. The team from England will be looking to have their key component to their offence back as soon as possible.
Sturridge has been hampered with calf and thigh injuries for most of Liverpool’s season, and looks to be making a return after the winter holidays. Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers said, “He’s gone to Boston to pick up the next stage, then he’ll move on again to a specialist facility out there and hopefully in the early part of the New Year he’ll be back and be somewhere close to being fit and playing” (O’Mard).
What does any of that have to do with the Red Sox, you may ask?
Many of Red Sox Nation have thought the same thing over the last few years. When some Red Sox fans heard that the ownership group also bought the rights to an English soccer team in 2010, they wondered why they committed money there, instead of into Boston’s favorite team and national pastime. Owner John Henry was reported by Joe Mewis of Mirror.co.uk as saying that Liverpool had “toughness, intelligence, and creativity, ” and that the similarities of “the two cities, the two teams, the two histories, the two stadia” were too close to not join forces.
That bond is pretty staggering. Liverpool’s historical success is incredible, and their great rivalry with Manchester United brings in audiences around the world, much like the Red Sox and New York Yankees conflict. Both Anfield and Fenway Park are cathedrals to their loyal fans, as well. In Anfield’s case, they mean it literally, as it is a place where people continue to remember the 96 people who died and 766 people whom were injured in the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. Survivors to this day are still recovering from the incident, and the club has been a big part of helping the victims and their families. The Red Sox’ contributions to The Jimmy Fund and other worthy and charitable organizations are very similar in the clubs’ stance on being at the forefront to helping their communities.
If you cannot see the relation yet, you only need to listen to both songs that the clubs sing. Red Sox fans know the long-standing tradition of singing ‘Sweet Caroline’; Liverpool fans have sung ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ since 1963, before every home game and even when at away games, to deafening audio levels. The fans sing it to signify that they support the team and each other. If you stand tall with them, then you will never be alone. They will have your back. Isn’t that the point of Red Sox Nation in the first place? Isn’t that the point of why everyone is singing in Fenway?
Anfield has the song title welded above its gates, hanging over everyone who enters, as the team’s motto. Boston may not have a motto or love soccer, but they can understand this way of life. Both clubs are determined, resilient, and have the best kind of fans in the world. We wear our jerseys and stand for our team, so why is it any different for Liverpool when they stand and hold their team scarves, showing their colors with pride? We both show red the same way. Sturridge even showed Red Sox love. Next time, when someone from England tells you that it’s not soccer, it’s football, listen to them, at least if they are from Liverpool.
** If you wish to find out more on the Hillsborough Disaster, you can watch a link to BBC’s documentary on the incident here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD1RRpmiquE