by Mark Vincent Lincir

The credit cards are maxed out…the newspapers have piled up in the front yard and I’m spent. It’s time to return home and back to reality (unfortunately). I’m here at Heathrow writing this with mixed emotions. Do I want to stay in England? Absolutely. Can I take another week of pints and pot pies and English breakfasts and great football? I want to…but will have to start working out a lot harder for my body to endure it all.

Will I return to the States and keep the English accent that I have adapted while I’ve been here (much to my rookie teammate’s chagrin)…you better believe it mate!

On Saturday we went to Wembley and sat a mere 23 rows up from the pitch (great seats, plenty of legroom too, which was a nice change and plenty of toilets, which was also nice) to watch Chelsea thump Villa 3-0. Villa was actually out-playing Chelsea for much of the match and had a penalty not called (Howard Webb??? He’s not good.)

Watching the crowd of 85,000 equally split between Villa and Chelsea supporters was brilliant. At the games we have been going to, the visiting supporters usually get less than 10% of the seating. The game was filled with great football and we were close enough to see the players faces. John Terry’s challenge on Milner was a straight red (despite what Howard Webb thought).

We were inches away from a near fight after the game as we walked in a mass of humanity into the tube station…it turned out to be all talk…but a lot of it and quite foul too! But nothing came of it.

NOTES: Riding the tube is incredibly overrated if you ask me…but that’s just an opinion. Spend the extra cash and get a cab and see the city while your cab driver narrates it for you.

TOMORROW: I’ll sum of some final thoughts after I get my bearrings straight and will spend the next week blogging about my favorite and least favorite parts of the trip. All in all it was a great experience. We were not treated to a stalemate (0-0)…saw some excellent goals…ate some interesting food and had plenty of pints (we weren’t driving). Made some new friends and had all kinds of great soccer conversations (met a Michael Bradley lover…get it together Seth!).

I have not picked a side yet…and don’t know if I will. I love the game a beautiful soccer/football too much to narrow it down…plus like everyone on our Premier Sports Group Tour realized…I use it (apparently, according to Kyle) to get attention.

Time to get on my 11 hour flight…can’t wait…until tomorrow.


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