Our second published contest entry comes from reader Mark Yesilevskiy, a longtime reader and bright soccer fan and player from TYAC Pop Culture Guru Puck’s neck of the woods, Rochester, New York. When he’s not cheering on the Philadelphia Union or the hometown Rochester Rhinos, Mark is a fan of USMNT midfielder and Abercrombie hearththrob Stu Holden’s EPL side, the Bolton Wanderers. The 1958 FA Cup winners have had a fifty year run of bad luck, but hey– they did nearly win the Carling Cup in 2004. Yesilevskiy makes a compelling case for the little guy, and why it’s more rewarding to support a team outside the Big Four– here:
Bolton… Bolton Wanderers… BWFC… it doesn’t exactly sound glamorous. I’ll admit that when I chose to support them, it was kind of a random decision. I had two bits of criteria: not a Big Four team and I had to like their play. Bolton don’t have the most beautiful style in the English Premier League but what they do have is heart. That 2006-07 team (when I started watching) was full of cult heroes that no one else would have loved like a Bolton fan. Jussi Jaaskelainen, Ivan Campo, Gary Speed, Kevin Davies, and Kevin Nolan. Names no one else would’ve given two thoughts about but those lads all played with a passion and fire.
There’s a new generation of Wanderers now. Chung Yong Lee has taken control of the midfield. If you want a player who’s in it to play the game and not for the fame, Chungy is your guy. The kid still uses a Playstation 2 for Christ’s sake!
Perhaps the biggest reason for an American supporting Bolton is the US Men’s National Team number 11 and Bolton’s number 8: one Stuart Holden. He’s only played in two matches of any importance for the Whites but boy, did he look good. As we know, his time last season was cut short by Nigel De Jong. When Stu came on for BWFC in a friendly versus Toronto FC just a few weeks back, he looked as sharp as ever. He commands the ball and came make things happen in the midfield. If he stays at Bolton, he’ll become a right legend in the very near future.
Being a BWFC fan isn’t exactly fun. It’s difficult to get respect. Yet, I’d rather be made fun of for being a Bolton fan than a Manchester United or Chelski fanboy.
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