The journey began several years ago, as I really wanted to find a club to call my own. I just couldn't support the teams at the top of the table, because I just didn't feel this strong connection to clubs like Manchester United or Chelsea.
Well, in January of 2007, Clint Dempsey signed with Fulham from my home-team the New England Revolution, and I thought I would check them out. Could they be the EPL club I was looking for?
I started following that season, but my passion for Fulham did not really take until the next season which all Fulham supporters know as the "Great Escape". The first half of that season was terrible, and at that point I was really first introduced to the fear of relegation. I started to understand how devastating going down could be for Fulham.
I remember the moment vividly when I became fully invested into Fulham Football Club. I was watching Fox Soccer Channel in the beginning of 2008, and one of their hosts Keith Costigan stated strongly that Fulham would be going down.
There were still several months of the season to go so I did not understand why he was so convinced at that point that Fulham would not survive. That was the moment I truly became a Fulham supporter, and watched Fulham beat the odds several months later and complete the "Great Escape".
After that season I really threw myself into the club, and tried to learn as much as I could about Fulham. I started a Fulham and Patriots blog that looking back at it must have been strange to some, but it got noticed, and that eventually led to me being recruited to write a blog for SBNation.com. I am the original editor of this website Cottagers Confidential, and am proud to still be a part of it. I left being the editor several years ago, but enjoyed my time of being in charge of this website.
Two years ago I started a radio show with Kyle Bonn, who now writes for Pro Soccer Talk, and we called it Cottage Talk. We both wanted a radio show that focused on Fulham so that is how the radio show was born, and has grown tremendously in such a short period of time.
All of this before talks about my history with becoming a Fulham supporter, but it doesn't discuss the word that really describes why I am a fan. The reason I support Fulham Football Club is all about the word "family".
This feeling of family is really true, and I will tell you why. First, I am an American, but the Fulham supporters have embraced me as one of their own. Social media has really helped me connect with so many supporters, and they have helped me feel connected to Fulham. I am not an American Fulham supporter, instead I always refer to myself as simply a Fulham supporter, because the fans I have gotten to know made me a part of the Fulham family.
Through Twitter, Facebook, and Cottage Talk, I have been able to connect with the supporters that maybe ten years ago I would not have that chance to. The best example I can give you is the friendship I have struck with Dan Crawford from Hammyend.com.
Dan and I first got into contact with each other through his writing on Hammyend.com. That led to him being a co-host on Cottage Talk. Dan has been a mentor and a teacher to me. I have learned so much about Fulham through him, and seriously has become like a brother to me. He has taught me what it means to be a part of the "Fulham Family".
Along with the fans, the club itself makes you feel like you are a part of a family. Over the years of following the club, I have always felt the players feel like they are part of a family, and that it is just not a job for them.
I have also had the privilege of getting to know several people that work for the club, and I can tell you that they are a big part of the "Fulham Family". These people have been so supportive of my show Cottage Talk, and that means a great deal.
The feeling of family all came together one weekend in late October of last year, as I traveled to London for a very special weekend. I arrived on a Friday Morning, and after I dropped my bags off at the hotel, I headed right over to Craven Cottage. I can tell you first hand that the walk from the tube station to the Cottage is magical.
I was met there by Dan Crawford, and together we went on a tour of Craven Cottage, and I was seriously in heaven. After the tour, we had lunch at the Cafe and were joined by Michael Benedetto, Sarah Brookes, and Tommy Guthrie who all work for Fulham Football Club.
I have to say that I barely ate anything, as we just talked about Fulham for a few hours. It was the first time I had really spent a considerable amount of time talking about Fulham with others face to face. This meeting is something I will never forget.
The next day, Dan and I headed to Reading to see Fulham play on the road. We went to a pub before called The Three Guineas that was filled with Fulham supporters, and I got to meet many of them. We then headed off to the match, and this would be the first time I would see Fulham in person.
From the beginning to the end of this match, I had the time of my life singing, and just enjoying being a part of a family. This was a crazy 3-3 draw that I watched, but in the end the result took a backseat to the experience of just being there.
In concluding, I guess you can say Fulham are in my blood now, and I have many people to thank for that. I am part of something now that I share with supporters all over the world. I support Fulham Football Club because it is truly a family.