The Red Sox Lover's Guide to Liverpool
Hicks, Tom: Co-owner, 2007-October 2010. Because of his crippling debt, this imperious American was essentially forced to sell to John Henry and pals; he’ll probably go down as the most despised caretaker of the team in club history. During this low era, LFC’s baseball equivalent was the Texas Rangers franchise, which was sold to new owners after having been driven into bankruptcy by…Tom Hicks. (Pictured right)
Kuyt, Dirk: Forward since 2006. Perennially underrated, this Dutchman is one of those guys who are known for being solid, dependable players…but actually score those clutch goals that keep games and seasons alive. Kevin Youkilis comes to mind again, but this time it’s the unsung Youk several seasons ago who had all the same talent but was still overshadowed by glitzier teammates. Amid the ownership turmoil and nagging injuries to Steven Gerrard, Kuyt has particularly shined this season.
League Championship: In baseball, having the league’s best record at the end of the season merely ensures home-field advantage in the playoffs. In the English Premier League, it’s one of the two main goals of any team (along with the FA Cup). Though Liverpool is tied for the all-time lead with 18 league championships, Manchester United is the favorite to win its 19th this year, which would break the historic tie. After a deceptive silence about this for most of the season, in late March the trash talking got serious. "It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot," Man. U. star Wayne Rooney said, making headlines in the British Guardian. "I’m from Liverpool and grew up as an Everton fan, so to be part of the team that overtakes Liverpool would mean so much."
Liddell, Billy: Striker, 1939-1961. Once dubbed “one of the greatest, if not the greatest, all-around forwards in football,” he shared much in common with The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived. Both he and Ted Williams were their teams’ biggest stars in the same era, both served in WWII, and both retired without ever winning an FA Cup or World Series.
Manchester United: David Beckham’s old squad, it’s the flashy Premier League team Americans have most often heard of, and at $1.83 billion, Forbes lists Man. U. as the most valuable sports franchise in the world. They’re now your Yankees or Lakers. Hate them accordingly.
Merseyside: The Liverpool region. Think Beantown and the Hub, but not Red Sox Nation. Everton fans and Wayne Rooney would be pissed.
Paisley, Bob: Central midfielder, 1939-1954; manager, 1974-1983. Between European and UK contests, he hoisted an astonishing 20 trophies in just nine seasons as the team’s skipper. His unassuming, folksy image got him dubbed “Uncle Bob,” but behind the scenes he could be a hard bastard. He wouldn’t have left Pedro on the mound in 2003.
Phoenix Landing: Want to watch the matches with your newfound fellow fans? The Liverpool FC Supporters Club Boston meets at this Central Square pub for all the broadcasts. 512 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-576-6260, phoenixlandingbar.com.