2012. What a year! (Of frustration, of controversies, of firings, of shootings, and of egregious errors on and off the field.) At the end of the last calendar year, that's how I opened the series of articles where the WAGNH community voted for Chelsea's best moment of 2011, March Madness style (i.e. sweet 16 brackets). The winner was the signing of Juan Mata in all of its creative, exciting, hobbit-y glory.
I thought about doing something similar for this year as well, but then I realized that it would just be an exercise in wasted effort. The winner for this year has been decided for many months already; there's no need for a poll. Why? Because May 19th.
It happened, it really happened, May 19, 2012. I could recount that Saturday to you minute-by-minute, the magnitude and the joy of the occasion enabling me to be clairvoyant even through the haze of all those pints of Boddingtons. That feeling that day, it was life-defining, life-affirming, life-changing. Nils Liedholm once said, "football is the most important of the less important things in life." Truer words have hardly ever been spoken.
Because May 19th, all the other nonsense from this year matters all that much less. It's how I get through the days when I take conscious fact of just exactly who it is sitting in the dugout as the Chelsea manager. Because May 19th. It's how I get through the days when all the meaningless losses finally add up to something meaningful.
Because May 19th, all the other non-crap this year matters just that much less as well. It's what takes the shine off of the FA Cup trophy. Because May 19th. It's what takes (a little bit of) the shine off of all the fancy new toys in the Chelsea basket. Because May 19th. It's what takes the shine off of yet another Lionel Messi shutout.
Because May 19th, this year was the greatest ever. So here's to you, 2012. May you live forever in our memories.