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Everything’s the Best: Schadenfreude Season

Folks, I think it’s on.

Liverpool FC Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

I recently found myself was feeding my twitter addiction by scrolling through my timeline and happened upon a tweet welcoming the Fall season. I unabashedly love this time of year: the drop in temperature is always welcome, apple picking season is a pretty wholesome tradition we have, and I think I just always have twinned it with a feeling of hopeful optimism as it’s when school traditionally begins.

The tweet noted something interesting though: that this season is a time for allowing one’s self to sink into the warm embrace of nostalgia. One doesn’t necessarily need to invite me to kill some time by looking back - I am nothing if not someone that almost instantly misses the moment I’ve just left behind. But that did tweet did seem to come at a pretty opportune time: shortly after getting word that Arsenal held up their end of the deal and secured 3 points against City.

Seeing that result and knowing that I still feel City is Liverpool’s most dangerous rival, I was brought back to those tight title races with City, the most recent of which took place just two seasons ago. But I was also brought back to a time pre-Erling Haaland, a time that felt like while City were favorites, they weren’t pre-destined to lifting any trophy or title. A time when they, like Achilles, certainly had moments of immense power, but were not inured to being taken down.

The Sportswashing Project from Manchester has truly morphed into a different beast over the years. One that I can barely compare to what felt like English Football’s equivalent answer to a favorite Los Angeles sports hypothetical: what if the Clippers were actually good? They didn’t seem real - brash inductees to Football’s current Elite. We knew long before Leicester City’s famed run that they weren’t the same, but I’d always held out hope Manchester City would flame out like the foxes.

But they just kept plugging along.

It also reminded me of a pretty common refrain of mine over the past few years: what a shame that Jurgen Klopp’s special brand of football and his special teams (including the one that was a match and a half away from lifting an unheard of quadruple) were forced by a cruel twist of history to have to ply their trade at the same time as a sportswashing outfit. That Klopp’s desire to win, and to do so by doing right by the game, has had to come up against a squad whose coffers are backed by an entire nation.

But then I think about how sweet those wins were - watching a tipsy Klopp count out 6 on the bus during the victory parade, Lallana breaking Klopp’s glasses during an exuberant. celebration, and the way Klopp ran onto the field to hug Ali after CORNER TAKEN QUICKLY - and I know I really wouldn’t change much. If I had my druthers, we’d have earned a trophy or 5 more, to really underscore the quality of those legendary clubs and to elevate the man that forged those teams into Mentality Monsters.

Barring that, though, I’ll take getting to see my favorite Sisyphean footballers try, week after week, to get that giant boulder over the proverbial hill. Not only will it be an entertaining affair, but unlike Sisyphus, these guys know a thing or two about doing the impossible.

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