That sinking feeling

Long-time readers know about the annual struggle of Everton, my favorite English soccer team, to avoid “relegation.” Relegation is a fancy name for being kicked out of the league, into a lower division, for finishing in the bottom three. Despite decades of mediocrity, Everton has avoided relegation for more than 50 years, longer than Manchester United, Liverpool, and just about everyone else.
Last year, despite losing our two best players, one to Man U and the other to Real Madrid, we not only avoided relegation drama, but finished in fourth place. I was not fooled, though. At the beginning of the year, I engaged in my annual ritual of identifying a handful of teams that can keep us “up.”
Now, however, we have lost at home to two of these teams — Portsmouth and today newly-promoted Wigan (Wigan for goodness sake) — and we are sitting in the drop zone, ahead of only Sunderland.
UPDATE: Sunderland won on Sunday, leaving Everton dead last.
It’s going to be a long year.

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