City fan in the U.S. tells about his Carling Cup experience

City fan Dave Tidball, who lives in Oakland, California, has written about his experience on Carling Cup Final. Dave is formerly from Fairwater.

So I was looking for a way to watch the Carling Cup final. The bar where I’d watched City lose to Pompey in the ’08 FA Cup final wasn’t going to show it, so I ended up going over to San Francisco to an Irish bar called “Danny Coyle’s” on Haight Street.

It’s the kind of establishment which opens early in the morning every day, but at the weekend they start at 5am to accommodate football maniacs who need to get their British Soccer fix live. I got there at about 7:45 and found a place at the bar next to some disgruntled Spurs fans who were trying to recover from the shock of their collapse against Arsenal. The Gunners’ supporters were at the other end of the bar in a wonderful mood.

By the time the Final started, there were about 15 Liverpool supporters in evidence, including the bartender. They all seemed to be Americans, which is cool, proving that the drama of the EPL has caught on all over, especially support for the more glamorous teams. The only British accent I heard was one of the aforementioned Spurs fans, a man of about my age who grimaced ruefully when I remarked that his team could have done with the likes of Mike England that day.

It didn’t appear that there were any City supporters besides myself and it was confirmed when Mason slotted home the first goal and I leapt up and roared against a background of silence. It was a great game and I was having a blast. When Turner equalised at the end of AET I was off my barstool again and ordering with a hoarse voice a third pint of Guinness (11 am) from a stunned barman.

Somehow, the penalty drama and the disappointment didn’t seem to affect me too much – I was really proud of the boys. The barman offered me another pint on the house for being such a good sport, but I told him I had to drive back across the Bay Bridge and it wouldn’t be such a good idea. He said I could take a raincheck on the beer and I remarked that I might be back to claim it if they show the Championship playoffs. Leaving the bar, I imagined someone leaning over and asking of his neighbour “Who was that crazy guy?”

The answer: “Him? He’s the Lone Welshman….”