The Red Sox Lover's Guide to Liverpool
Anfield: Like Fenway Park, LFC’s historic stadium is synonymous with the team that plays in it. Aging and aged, these “cozy confines” seat only 8,000 more people than Fenway, and so Anfield has endured endless debates over whether it needs to be replaced. Sound familiar?
Barnes, John: Left midfielder, 1987-1997. One of Liverpool’s greats, indeed, but he’s still infamous for rapping and singing on “World in Motion,” the hit song New Order wrote for England’s 1990 World Cup team. It’s Liverpool’s most awkward musical moment, worse even than “Sweet Caroline” or anything by Bronson Arroyo.
Carragher, Jamie: Central defender since 1997. A Liverpool native, he’s a hardnosed local boy made good, really good. Kind of like the Framingham Kid, Lou Merloni…if he played like Kevin Youkilis.
Dalglish, Kenny: Striker, 1977-1991; manager, 1985-1991, and since January 2011. This guy actually has no Sox equivalent. He’s the Bill Russell of the Reds. What if, back in the ‘80s, the Sox had a player that dominated on the mound like Clemens and at the plate like Boggs, won copious cups and championships…and took over management of the team? After a 20-year absence, King Kenny is now back behind the bench and is credited with the Reds’ resurgence this winter after their lackluster fall.
Everton, aka “The Blues”: The city of Liverpool boasts two Premiere League clubs; this is the older, less legendary team. Imagine the heated cross-town rivalry if the Boston Braves never left Allston and could regularly beat the Sox in interleague play.
FA Cup: A strange and brilliant tournament open to all pro teams in England. The Reds have won the thing seven times now, but it took them 73 years to get their first, which came in 1965. Before that, generations of Liverpudlians said “this could be the year.” You remember how that felt. (Pictured below)
Ferguson, Sir Alex: The manager of archrival Manchester United (see below), he’s legendary, revered, record-breaking, blah blah…c’mon, the man’s a freakin’ knight. But don’t let such stature keep you from despising him. Like those other rival coaches dubbed the Greatest of All Time — we’re looking at you, Phil Jackson — a certain arrogant sangfroid comes with the title and sometimes teeters into self-entitled petulance. Case in point: After Liverpool beat Manchester 3-1 on March 6, mighty Sir Alex haughtily refused to talk to the media, including Manchester United’s own TV channel.
Gerrard, Steven: Midfielder since 1998. Another native of the Liverpool area, Gerrard’s mystique is much larger than any hometown pride. Consider your unconditional, obsessive love for ‘Tek, Pedro, or Big Papi when they were in their prime. Now, how much more would you have adored them if they were from Dorchester or Somerville?