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Did You Choose AC Milan?

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A weekend diversion

Gabriele Maltinti

I am actually quite terrible at this, and don't even really enjoy. The thing is after listening to Adam Richman, of Man vs Food fame, on counter attack radio Thursday talking about his love of Tottenham, it got me thinking. It has really been a while since we did something like this at the AC Milan Offside, and the first time since we moved to this spectacular platform, but here goes nothing...

Adam Richman is a Totteham Hotspur fan, the reason is actually pretty interesting. While many of his stateside buddies ended up ManYahoos or Scousers, Adam was drawn to Tottenham. For those that don't know, Tottenham has strong working class roots, and at that time it meant a large Jewish fan base. Adam's great grandfather was a fan and as Adam began to learn about his heritage, his lineage pointed him directly to White Hart Lane, and this notion that I have always kept. You don't choose your fandom, it chooses you...

I didn't choose AC Milan, I didn't watch football for years and settle on a Club, like some free agent footballer with more money that I know what to do with. I didn't play FIFA or FM and enjoy "playing" with AC Milan, I didn't see Milan amongst the see of teams on Fox Soccer Channel and decide, "This is the team for me." Nope, it went nothing like this, for me it was not a choice. Being of Neapolitan decent, I was supposed to be like everyone else, I was supposed to like the Blue of Napoli and the Argentine Legend Maradona. Instead, while watching this very Napoli, I was exposed to something spectacular. Maybe it was simply the Red and Black, a color I wear almost daily even to today, or maybe it was the Devil flown proudly on a flag. Most likely it was Maldini, white shorts, coifed hair ripping up the wing and slide tackling everything. Whatever it was, I was hooked, but it was only 1989 and I was six years old...

It wasn't until 1994 that this 5 year exposure truly took root and I was able to watch the CL final with my Father, also an ardent Milan fan. At that point I knew I had no choice, I knew where my allegiance stood. I knew that no matter what, this was my team, be it foolish owners, failed seasons, or terrible transfers. This was my team and it chose me. My father and I remain staunch supporters, through thick and thin, and while we complain and wax lyrical of what was. The Red and Black remain the family colors.

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So the question is, did you choose Milan or did it choose you?