We are delighted to welcome Jon Corbi, from Atlanta, Georgia, USA to the sunlit uplands of Tyneside! Jon has made the trip over the pond to take in our game with Fulham. Havea great time in Newcastle, Jon! Hail to the Atlanta Mag!
Here’s the story of a conversion:
A good mate of mine, Lee Duggan, went over to Atlanta, Georgia to study 8 years ago and now lives and teaches there and is married to a local lass, Steph. He has spread the black and white word to many people in his home-town which has led to several new NUFC supporters (poor people!). He brought a few friends over to sample a few home games last summer and 1 of them, Jon Corbi, arrives in Newcastle again today to take in tomorrow's match! What a mentalist! So far all those people who are thinking that a few stops on the metro is a chore for the match tomorrow, try to imagine flying from Atlanta to Dusseldorf then on to Manchester followed by a train journey to Newcastle! This is an article he penned on the eve of the new season to coincide with the new NBC TV deal over there whereby the station encouraged viewers to pick a Premier League team to support! Paully. Happy Premier League Eve, A lot of Americans are just starting to follow SOCCER and trying to pick their team. This note concerns one who has changed clubs recently. I’ve noticed a couple tweets from Mike D denouncing switching club allegiances. But what if you go from a massive club to supporting a perennial mid-table team? I started REALLY following SOCCER in 2002. It was the perfect storm of being the summer before starting college, discovering FIFA, and the USA’s magical world cup run in Japan/Korea. I ended up always playing as Manchester United, so naturally they became my team. I had become…..a GLORY HUNTER. I was in deep. In the next 10 years, I saw both a league match and champions league match at Old Trafford, saw Manchester United play in Philly and NYC, recorded every game I didn’t see live or follow on gamecast….. yet, there was still a little something missing. An emptiness. I could feel the disdain from the English when they would ask me who I supported and I predictably said “THE MIGHTY MANCHESTER UNITED.” THEN IT HAPPENED. Last summer I become close friends with a guy who relocated to Atlanta from Newcastle. I spent many a Saturday mornings at the local SOCCER bar watching Newcastle struggle to get a result. Every week he would explain to me how much Newcastle meant to the Geordies. Every win, every loss MATTERED to people in the North East exclusively, unlike the global empire of Manchester United. My loyalty wasn’t switching at this point, but the seed was planted. He invited me to join him on his trip home over Labor Day weekend. I couldn’t pass it up. St James' Park stood tall in the middle of Toon. The city LITERALLY revolves around the team. It was more mesmerizing than any cathedral these eyes have seen. We started with pre-game beers along the Tyne and worked our way up towards the grounds. My American accent was as strange as some of the fillings of the Greggs pies, and people were shocked I had travelled all the way across the pond to see the Black and Whiters. We saw a Thursday night 1-0 Europa league win, followed by a Sunday 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. It was far from the beautiful game of SOCCER played by Manchester United but there was something else. That empty feeling I had felt was long gone. I put on a black and white top and was part of something. I was an honorary Geordie. Needless to say, I’ve switched Premier League teams. TEN plus years of supporting Manchester United out the window. I still root for them in the Champions League and when their result helps or doesn’t affect the Toon, but other than that I am 100% Newcastle. Why do I think its ok in this case? Because now when people ask me who I support; I can proudly say NEWCASTLE UNITED. No embarrassment. No empty feeling. Its Black and White. TOON! TOON! BLACKANDWHITEARMY!!! Jon Corbi