An investigation of the website http://www.chelseafcblog.com will show that this blog encapsulates all that it means to be a football fan through the lens of the world-renowned English club Chelsea FC. Through various media sources, the many writers and editors of this online blog share their opinions, concerns, and any moderately relevant ideas they may have about recent Chelsea news to create a “one-stop shop” for both the casual fan that wants to learn more about Chelsea or the diehard Blues fan. The blog was created in 2004 by self-proclaimed fans of the “world’s greatest football club: the mighty Chelsea FC.” Its authors note that it is formatted like a traditional blog, with posts and comments displayed chronologically.
The first thing a visitor to the site will see is a display that scrolls through the newest posts on the blog, which often describe thoughts and opinions about recent fixtures as well as transfer news. Following the links displayed in this graphic takes the reader to the newest headlines in the Chelsea FC world, which generally consist of long posts about the performance of various Chelsea stars, the author’s two cents about how the squad can be improved, and the off-the-field implications of the game. It is important for any potential visitor to this web blog to know beforehand that the rhetoric used by the writers tends to be more indicative of their personal opinions rather than the facts. For instance, in the most recent blog post about Chelsea’s recent defeat at the hands of the Merseyside club Everton, the blogger begins to bash Samuel Eto’o before the Cameroonian striker has even had a proper chance to prove himself in the Premier League. The writer urges Chelsea fans to dislike Samuel Eto’o on account of comments he has made about the club as well as its new manager Jose Mourinho in the past. On a more personal level, he even criticizes Eto’o for being a “spitter, a trait I detest and therefore I’m not an Eto’o advocate.” Along with this criticism of the new Chelsea striker is a slightly more objective discussion of the starting lineup as well as the general performance of other key players. Pasted at the end of this match report are the descriptions and comments that some of England’s most marquis newspapers had about the match. For the casual football fan who doesn’t want to read through multiple pages of a diehard Chelsea fan’s opinions, skipping straight to this match report section is a good way to understand the importance of the story as well as see some quotes from the players and coaching staff.
Just beneath the scrolling display of stories is a section of relevant blog posts that were recently featured on the display above. After observing the blog for a little over a week, it becomes clear that the shelf life for stories on the main scrolling display is only a few days. They then get demoted to the “featured” section for weeks or months at a time. One of the best-written and most intriguing posts that I found in this section was the one covering Chelsea’s actions in the recently closed transfer market. As a fervent Chelsea fan myself, I shared many of the frustrations of the writer of this post. However, he did a good job by putting all of Chelsea’s maneuvers into perspective and painted a picture of how the Blues will look a few years down the road as a result of their wise moves in the ever-hectic transfer market. Other interesting stories included in this section cover the Manchester United match at Old Trafford that ended in a 0-0 draw, as well as the arrival of Jose Mourinho as our manager and a reflection on Chelsea’s success since the arrival of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
One particularly unique aspect of the Chelsea FC Blog is the fact that there exists an entire library of podcasts for those who wish to listen to a small group of writers discuss recent Chelsea news for an extended period of time. These podcasts are generally about one to two hours long, so they certainly aren’t for the casual fan that wants a quick look into the mind of a Chelsea fan. But for a diehard supporter, these podcasts contain a wealth of information along with interesting views of the recent Chelsea news. Each of the podcasts is narrated by the same four people – Jonathon, Tony, Donal, and Mark, who also serve as some of the blog’s main writers. They have an excellent rapport with each other, but at times their conversations seem to delve to a personal level rather than remaining solely about Chelsea (refer to 4:30 of Podcast #37 to see the commentators discuss Hernan Crespo’s good looks)
The various posts and podcasts authentically demonstrate the mindset of a true fan: the referees are always conspirators, the manager isn’t as smart as the fans, and despite recent dips in form the club is destined for glory. This sort of mindset is present across sports, but seems to have its greatest impact in football. At the end of the day, the writers and editors of the Chelsea FC Blog are just dedicated supporters who enjoy writing and speaking about their favorite team. More than anything else, the way they seem to converse about their club for nearly two hours without a script shows the true nature of a football fanatic. Since its inception in 2004, the Chelsea FC Blog has been providing important and thought provoking commentary to all the Blues fans that encounter it and in my opinion remains one of the premier blogs for regular updates and analysis about one of the world’s great football clubs.