Austin Eagles and the best PL season ever

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Austin Eagles and the best PL season ever

What a season that was. In true Palace style we finished strong to give us our best points total ever along with highest goal difference. We beat City away then Arsenal away for the first time in 25 years scoring three goals at each along with Anfield. We saw the true emergence of Aaron Wan Bissaka and the continued brilliance of Wilf. We had emotional goodbyes to club legends Julián Speroni and Jason Puncheon. And of course we aren’t Nazi’s because we don’t know what that is.

It wasn’t just on the pitch where we saw growth. Our own Austin Eagles became a force to be reckoned with in the Austin soccer fan club scene. It was only a few years ago that I would get giddy at the sight of a Palace shirt in Austin. Now it’s commonplace for a new face to wander hopefully into our welcoming bosom. We have a solid core of fans each week along with an impressive number of followers eager to join.

We progressed, and I do mean progressed, from Fado to BD Rileys to Darcy’s Donkey where we are now favored fans. My highlight of the season was when bar manager Neville told a wayward West Ham fan to go pack sand when he asked to change the front TVs away from our game. “This is a Palace bar”, said Neville. Even saying this causes my pee pee to tingle a little. Now they are framing a palace shirt to hang in the bar for the start of the new season. I love that place.

These are truly tremendous times to be a Palace fan my friends. There is no doubt that we have never had it better.

Don’t fret my eaglets, it’s only 90 days before it all starts again. Join me in crossing all digits in the hope that AWB and Wilf will still be there next season and for a top ten finish.

Thank you all for joining me in support and being awesome. I have enjoyed hanging with each and every one of you.

Until next time. But if you can’t wait till then, watch 61 Palace goals in 60 seconds.

https://youtu.be/goBFOfuPziU

Or if you are feeling like a little cry, watch Speroni’s emotional farewell speech.

https://youtu.be/H_dVMehpLP4

COYP

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Austin Eagles into the Quarters

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Austin Eagles into the Quarters

Do you know what I was wishing for on Monday?

I was wishing beyond all wishes to beat Millwall in the quarters finals of the FA Cup. Then to beat Brighton in the semis. And then to hammer the scum Man U in the final. Every time I thought about this it made me all tingly. Of course, all wishes can’t come true. We got Watford. It wasn’t Millwall so I was sad for a second. Then I realized I really bloody hate Watford too. Probably more than Millwall. Now I am happy. I had a dream. It didn’t come true. Now I have a better dream.

When I close my eyes the first thing I see is Kayla the Eagle tearing the wings off of Harry the Hornet. Then I see our beloved mascot battling with seagulls with only one obvious winner. Lastly, I see her swooping down over Wembley, screeching loudly as Townsend does ten step overs and crosses it to the far post. I see Mamadou powerfully heading the ball back across the goal. And I see Wilf slamming a thunder bastard right past the static De Gea for our third and winning goal. I see Roy doing a Pardew jig on the touchline. I see all our fellow Eagle fans jubilant in the stands, finally having their FA cup glory moment against the scum. And lastly I see Benteke, looking a little clueless wondering why he hasn’t scored. There has to be some normality in every dream!

I want to win the FA cup so badly it hurts. Join me in my pain my friends. For it shall be glory one day!

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Austin Eagles’ biggest turnout watch first game win

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Austin Eagles’ biggest turnout watch first game win

Saturday 8.45am. First game of the new season. I’m standing on dirty Sixth Street in downtown Austin. Waiting for the doors to open to the Austin Eagles’ new stomping ground B.D. Riley’s. Alone. Wondering if I had just arranged for an entire bar to open just for me to watch Palace play Fulham. In the distance I see a person walking purposefully toward me in red and blue. Barcelona fan? Nope, nope, that’s Palace. He gets closer, arm in arm with a lady. I don’t recognize them. As soon as they are in loud shouting range I introduce myself and wonder how the hell they know to come here. “It’s all over Reddit and Twitter”, says Nick. Odd, I think to myself, considering I don’t actually know what Reddit is. A huge smile widens across my face as more Austin Eagles saunter eaglely toward me. Some of them familiar and some foreign. As I stand in wonder, the age-old wooden doors swing open behind me and the welcoming smells and sounds of an Irish bar with footy on the TV beckon us in. We tip toe excitedly inside, surveying our new haunt and deciding which stool we shall call our own for the next nine months. We are home!

It was an odd home though. Odd because it was ours. We weren’t sharing it with anyone. We weren’t stuck in a corner huddling around a tiny TV, sometimes without sound, surrounded by hoards of glory supporting Scousers or Mancs. We were the only fan club in there. Granted there were a couple of Chelsea and, impressively, one Stoke shirt, but they were the minority now. We were in charge here. The main TV is playing Palace as our West London foes are screened way in the back. Oh how delightful it was. At one point there were as many as 30 of us cheering our boys. I never thought I would see the day. What a proud Papa Eagle I was. And to think that only four months ago I thought the Austin Eagles may disband with our old home Fado shutting it’s doors for good.

Oh yeah and did I forget to say that we actually won the game too.

First game. Three points. Solid professional performance against the spirited newcomers who spent over $100 million. That felt odd too. Is this the shape of things to come?

Liverpool next week. Time to knock them off their perch methinks.

Big shout out to Jon and Rod for bringing the Austin Eagles into the social media age. And also to everyone who came down making it a fantastic day.

Also to the management team of B.D. Riley’s for having faith in our little club and giving us our own nest.

And lastly, we are officially better than Man City.

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Come on you Palace.

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Austin Eagles witness fox battering

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Austin Eagles witness fox battering

I never thought I was the kind of person to delight in animal cruelty. It has always seemed barbaric to me. However, watching 11 foxes get beaten to a pulp last Saturday turned out to be highly entertaining. Our brave boys in red and blue recorded their largest ever Premier League victory over the Leicester City foxes in a mesmerizing display of soccer skills.

Watch highlights of the 5-0 routing here.

http://www.goalsarena.org/en/video/england-barclays-premier-league/28-04-2018-crystal-palace-5-0-leicester-city.html

We are now 11th in the table of 20 with six points between us and the relegation zone. It would take a miracle for us not to be playing top tier soccer next season.

Once again, the Austin Eagles had a great turnout at BD Rileys with ten of us loving every second of the match. And as if the magic on the pitch wasn’t enough, our faithful AE pal Jon Morgan brought his shipment of “CPFC in the USA” flags which are just released to the masses.

Finally, our beloved club has been recognized by the pundits. Even they couldn’t ignore the 5-0 hammering. They have published their premier league team of the week and we have not one, not two, not three, but four players in it. Stunning.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/43941894

And the club just released a video of the goals of the season so we can vote on the best. Enjoy.

https://www.facebook.com/officialcpfc/videos/10156421875660762/

Oh yeah and we are above Brighton.

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Austin Eagles find new home

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Austin Eagles find new home

There’s hope my friends.

Just one week ago our faithful fan club were set adrift in a baron desert without a place to call home. With the closing of Fado bar in downtown Austin we were stranded unable to watch the games. Now, after days of flapping aimlessly between bars we may have found our place.

The kind folks at BD Rileys appreciate what our humble clan can offer and are happy to help. Last week we saw a thrilling 0-0 draw against Watford which saw our talisman Wilf Zaha robbed of a penalty and our beloved club edge ever closer to safety.

We are now 14th in the league with three teams and six points between us and the sinking swamp of relegation. With just 3 games to go we are nearly safe. However, as Palace fans, we know not to count our eagles before they hatch so we need to support until the bitter end.

The Mueller location of BD Rileys will once again host our game this Saturday at 9am against Leicester. A win for us against the former champions along with Stoke and Southampton losing will all but guarantee our survival.

Come along and cheer my friends.

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Austin Eagles batter Brighton on and off the pitch

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Austin Eagles batter Brighton on and off the pitch

3-2...we beat the Brighton 3-2, we beat the Brighton 3-2, we beat the Brighton 3-2.

This song has been cycling through my synapses since Saturday after going to the game and watching our beloved boys beat the scum. Oh so joyous.

And not only did I get to watch that but I also got to watch the Palace firm hammer the Brighton firm. As I sucked down a most enjoyable beer after the game in the nearest pub to the ground I saw a bundle of bodies rolling in a cloud of dust down the street outside. Fists were flying and blood was spurting. And of course, at the end of it all, Palace ended up on top. Now, of course I don't condone such hooliganism and violence. But it was bloody fun to watch. See below image for the aftermath.

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But of course, just like Palace, we had to make it hard for ourselves on the pitch. I don't think I have seen a more excruciatingly nerve racking game in my life. We held on by the skin of our teeth. Not because we aren't good enough to beat those dumb dumbs. But because getting three points at this crucial stage against our foe got to the players.

Thankfully they held out.

As if all of this wasn't enough but at half time as I stood in line for my curry pie I heard the name Woody ring out above the din. I turned to find fellow Austin Eagle James standing there clad in red and blue with a beaming smile on his face. He had also travelled back to England to watch the game. What a day.

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This win means we are now 6 points clear of relegation with 4 games to go. It would be surprising if we didn't stay in the premier league for next season. But then again, this is Palace.

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Austin Eagles score, win and best of all - make Chelsea look stupid

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Austin Eagles score, win and best of all - make Chelsea look stupid

Our plan worked perfectly. Break every record ever set by failing to score or get a point for a ridiculous eight games in a row. Draw worldwide media attention to how unbelievably shit we are. Make everyone wonder which team will be bad enough to finally let us score a goal. And then beat champions Chelsea 2-1 and make them look even worse than us. I can handle being the second worst team ever as long as Chelsea are the worst.

Saturday morning was glorious. There I was. Sitting at the back of my plumbing continuing education class. Paying zero attention to the drivel coming out of the teacher’s mouth. iPad showing the game on the table. Ear bud in my non visible ear. Trying desperately not to shout out loud as Palace scored their very first goal of the season. I just knew that the first goal would have to be a 40 belter into the top corner. And when the ball trickled into the goal after ricocheting off three player’s knees I remembered this was Palace I was supporting. But I didn’t care. We had scored. As thousands of Palace fans around the globe gasped a massive sigh of relief I heard the commentator aptly announce “Hold the back page, Crystal Palace have scored a goal.” Oh Palace. Of course we let Chelsea get a goal back ten minutes later but that was just so we could score another goal to really rub it in.

Now we just have to remember stage two of our plan. Keep scoring and winning games. For all our impotence, we are now only one point behind Bournemouth and five points from safety.

After the game I spent about two hours looking at various related posts and tweets to savor the win. My most enjoyable findings were from Chelsea fans pre and post game. I would like to share these with you. If you were not previously aware of the retardation level of Chelsea fans then this may help. I would give them a 9 out of 10. This is only because of Man U fans being a 10 and they are beyond compare (of course my buddy Gez is exempted from this - kinda). Feel free to reply to this blog with your calculated retard score.

Enjoy.

https://mobile.twitter.com/SpursInTheBlood/status/919300191236259840

https://youtu.be/a8BlSh2ph-c

And this from the official Chelsea twitter account https://mobile.twitter.com/ChelseaFC/status/919146089709801472/video/1

Oh and here are the extended highlights if you wanna enjoy it again.

http://footyroom.com/matches/79940578/crystal-palace-vs-chelsea/review

 

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Has anyone got a massive bag for the Austin Eagles?

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Has anyone got a massive bag for the Austin Eagles?

I watched a bird die once. I thought I could save it. But some things are too broken to fix.

I was 10 years old. The tiny starling had been hit by a car, breaking its left wing and both its legs. I found it flapping around in circles on our garage floor, scared to death. My dad and I took it to a vet who lived nearby. I thought we were going to give it little bandages and nurture it back to health. The vet took one look at the battered creature, stuck it in a bag and firmly whacked it against a wall killing it instantly. I was distraught, but it was on that day I realized that some things need to be put out of their misery. It is just to damn painful to watch them struggle.

If any of you have witnessed the last seven Crystal Palace league games than I think you know where I am going with this. We have lost every game without even scoring one solitary goal. No professional football team has EVER sucked this badly, fact. If I had a bag big enough to fit 11 manly dudes then I believe that vet might smash them against a wall. I am of course not condoning this course of action. All I am saying is that if there was a mercy killing formula then our Eagles might be in a spot of bother.

I haven’t watched a game for three weeks now. I can’t bring myself to do it. I know I am supposed to support through thick and thin but there is a limit to my thin. Especially if I can go see my daughters play instead and watch Wilma score the winning goal which actually happened.

On the bright side, imagine what will happen we that first goal goes in. Everyone is going to shit themselves, in a good way. We have 31 more games to go. Surely we have to score, right?

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Austin Eagles become Austin Owls

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Austin Eagles become Austin Owls

Four games into the season. Four games lost. No goals scored.

This is the first time since 1924 that a top flight team has achieved this. Yay Palace.

So what have we done about it? Of course we have sacked our brand new Dutch manager and hired a new one.

Palace are a bit of a laughing stock right now. Conveniently, that's just what we want. It's feel odd to be good, scoring goals and playing fancy football. I would much prefer to be the team that everyone writes off. However, this does mean that we have to rise back up again. And I actually do believe that our new manager Roy Hodgson is the man to do that. He should make them play how they want to and get results.

So in honor of our new manager we are going to change our name from the Austin Eagles to the Austin Owls. Why, you ask? Just take a look at this.

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Austin Eagles contract Bird Flu on season long loan

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Austin Eagles contract Bird Flu on season long loan

There is a sickness running rampart throughout the Premier League andour beloved Eagles have been stricken with it. The pressure to succeed in the World's most lucrative league is causing teams to lose touch with reality. Ludicrous transfer fees topping $200m are now the norm. And failure to produce no matter the situation is not tolerated.

As we all know, just two months ago soccer legend Frank De Boer was named Crystal Palace boss in a move many hoped would usher in a new phase in Eagles history. This change was to take us away from defense minded tactics and make footy at Selhurst Park free, flowing and glorious to watch. We would no longer have to struggle toward the end of each season, digging ourselves out of the hole we had gotten into. But, as any sane person can see, this change would not be quick. It would take time to adapt and alter the mentality or personnel. Frank told us not to expect immediate results and we listened and nodded. Now, we are three games in, three loses to our name and not even one single goal scored. And guess what's happening. Frank is facing the chop.

Palace's top brass had an emergency meeting this week to decide whether to axe Frank and go back to our old ways. I mean "what the fuck". Who the hell can change the entire workings of a 112 year old institution in a matter of weeks. They must be sick in the head to expect results so quick.

We all need to just take a deep breath, stop acting like spoilt brats and make sensible decisions. If we don't, the worst might just happen. We might become Manchester United.

Stay strong my Austin Eagles.

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Austin Eagles support the Crystal method

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Austin Eagles support the Crystal method

Is it just me or is watching Crystal Palace on NBC now a bit like smoking really manky Meth? It is just me? Huh. Ok. Well let me explain my thoughts.

A while back you considered trying Crystal but suspected it would mess with your family life. You do know a guy who supports this habit and to be honest he seems pretty normal. Each week this addict emails everyone he knows effusing about the ecstasy you get when you score. Little by little you see your pals succumb to this addiction ignoring their spouse's pleas to stop. You know you shouldn't join in and are thankful that you have just enough will power to say no. But along comes a greedy provider. Sneakily, it tempts you by offering Premier Crystal for free. They promise to deal you their wares whenever and wherever you want and never to charge you more than you already spend on entertainment. How can you say no? All your friends are doing it. What's the worst that can happen, right?

Two years later you are properly hooked on Crystal. It has all been so easy and so cheap. Any time you need it you can just pick up the phone and dial it up. You know it's ruling your life but those fleeting highs are oh so good. You love your provider. You are never left wanting. You brag to all those who can't access your amazing provider, even those from the land where your Crystal originates. You know that as long as things never change then life will be sweet. But then it happens. The provider hands you off to his evil counterpart who bends you over and does you up the Arsenal. The Crystal that you know and love is now expensive, hard to get and worst of all it's half as good as before. They know you're hooked and there is nothing you can do about it. You just take it like a sucker because what else are you going to do.

Footnote. NBC is now charging to watch English Premier League on its new channel NBC Gold. It costs $50 for the season. Of course all the headlining teams are still free on regular NBC but minnows like Crystal Palace have been cast aside. You can only stream the games which means you can't record those classic wins and watch them again and again.

Of course, I have already bought NBC Gold and will be stuffing my proverbial glass pipe as full as I can of this new, yet rather inferior Crystal. The show must go on.

Extra footnote. We lost 3-0 to new boys Huddersfield last weekend. Say no more.

Smoke it while you got it my friends.

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Austin Eagles ready to smoke the league

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Austin Eagles ready to smoke the league

Insomniacs often say that 3am is the worst hour. Too late to be awake from the night before and too early to get up. I hear what they say but don't agree. There is a worse hour. Demonic, it creeps up your body like Ash's dismembered hand in The Evil Dead. It sends chills down your spine and leaves you feeling naked and alone. Thankfully it only happens for three months a year. What is that time you say? 9am. Saturday. Summertime. When Crystal Palace aren't on the TV. I shudder at the very thought.

Gleefully, we don't have to worry about that now for another nine months as this weekend, yes, this weekend, our brave boys in red and blue are back. And this time they are really smoking. And by smoking not only do I mean that they look fitter and stronger than ever but they may actually all be smoking. A bevy of Dutch stars have been brought in and we all know what those crazy Nederlanders love. Thankfully, I am told by inside sources that Da Weed is not considered to be a performance enhancing drug so no need to worry there.

The summer break saw some crazy events for the Eagles. Our old manager Big Sam Allardyce who kept us up in the Premier League last year quit a week after the last game. A month of anxiety crept by until some heady news came our way. Holland and Barcelona superstar Frank De Boer became the new boss. In the days that followed he fully assessed the state of the club and canned anyone who he considered would clog up the works. He also brought with him a barge load of his tulip touting buddies to plug the gaping holes in our on field dyke.

Pre season matches have looked very promising and like me, I am sure your feathers are fluffing at prospect of nine more months of Austin Eagles events. Please join me at Fado this Saturday at 9am as we take on this years new whipping boys Huddersfield.

The future looks bright. The future looks orange. And red and blue.

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The Austin Eagles did it!

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The Austin Eagles did it!

We actually did it!

Crystal Palace FC will now officially be in the Premier League for another season.

The 4-0 routing of Hull City last Sunday morning confirmed that we will stay up and Hull be relegated to the division below. Games in this lower division are not televised here in the US which I hate to say would cause turmoil among the ranks of the Austin Eagles. We no longer need to fear this fate, now able to sit back and revel in our elevated status. This will be the fifth season in a row that we have stayed in the top flight, a feat we have not achieved in our extensive 112 year history.

Feel free to enjoy the highlights of the game below.

http://www.replayfoot.com/crystal-palace-vs-hull-city-14-05-2017/

I want to thank you all for your support over the last two and a half years since the Austin Eagles formation. The team couldn't have done it without you. It's true. I heard them say it.

I am sure all of you, including my loving and enduring wife Heather, will join me in looking forward to watching 38 more games next season clutching a pint of Guinness at Fado and shirking all family and work duties.

We have one more game to go this Sunday at 9am. It is the final game of the season and you'll never guess who we play. Yep. Those Manchester United scumbags once again. This time last year we had to watch them beat us in the FA Cup final. This year we shall be victorious. As we have nothing on the line to play for we can all just sit back and enjoy.

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Austin Eagles face their mortal enemy

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Austin Eagles face their mortal enemy

Every sports team has one. You know who they are. If you don't, then you should. It's pretty easy to work it out even if you don't. You hate them with a passion. Just the sound of their name makes you gag. Yeah you got it. It's your team's biggest rivals. And for Crystal Palace FC, that team is Brighton.

The hapless Seagulls have been our mortal enemy since the 1940s and eerily echoed our every move up and down the leagues through promotion and relegation. Their desperate stalking ended in 2012 following our meteoric rise to the Premier League and of course life-changing formation of the Austin Eagles. They have soured in the Championship (England's second division) ever since, hoping and praying to one day meet us again.

That time has now come my friends. Last week those coastal cretins succeeded in gaining promotion to the Premier League for next season. Their elevation had looked likely for months now as they were tearing it up in the lower league. And up until a few weeks ago this inevitability seemed more nauseating than ever as our beloved Eagles were balancing precariously on the edge of top tier relegation. Now, with our recent amazing run of form, we can all sit back and salivate at the prospect of playing these seaside spastics next year.

You may be wondering why I detest these monkeys so. It's not like we are in the same town like Liverpool and Everton. In fact, the two grounds are 45 miles apart which in English terms is the same as crossing Texas for Americans. The M23 motorway separates us, hence the rather uninspiring name given to our rivalry, the M23 derby. There have been much more suitable foes in London for us to hate like Charlton and (excuse me will I throw up a little in my mouth) Millwall. But Brighton just really got under our skins. They were like that piece of chewing gum that wouldn't leave your fingers, endlessly moving from hand to hand sticking to each digit as it went no matter how hard you tried to flick it off. Or maybe, to use a more pop cultured analogy, a toothless zombie endlessly mouthing at us in the vain hope of assimilating us into their brainless bunch. Wherever we went they followed. And, annoyingly, up until a few years ago, they matched us step for step. Our two teams have played each other a total of 98 times. Bizarrely we have both won 37 times each with the remaining 24 being draws.

The warring came to a head in my birth year of 1976. That season we both vied strongly for promotion from the lowly third division. An unbelievably large crowd of 33,000 saw Brighton sadly beat Palace on the south coast. It was at this game that those unimaginative buffoons became the Seagulls. As we chanted "Eagles" at them, they brainlessly mouthed "Seagulls" back. 'Cos it rhymes you see. Brilliant! They can't even come up with an original nickname by themselves. Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh on them. I hear it's not polite to insult retarded people.

Over the next thirty years we yo-yoed around with them amid matches with smoke bombs and endless 80s football violence. One highlight was during an FA cup game where Brighton was awarded a penalty in the last ten minutes of the game while we were up 1-0. They scored but the referee disallowed the goal as players had encroached the penalty area before the ball was kicked. On their second take our goalkeeper saved the ball. Ha ha ha. We won. After the game Brighton boss Alan Mullery stormed into the Palace changing room and throw a five pound note on the floor in front of all the players and screamed "your team is not worth that". Bad loser. He was fined 100 pounds for bringing the game into disrepute.

Many Palace fans would prefer to see Brighton languish in a division or two below us never having the chance for retribution. I however welcome their sad little club back to the top. I can't wait to see us destroy them. Needless to say I shall be going back home next year to be a frontline soldier in this titanic battle and, to bring back the zombie analogy, shall decapitate any such Seagulls that come my way.

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Austin Eagles dump on Arsenal for the first time in 37 years

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Austin Eagles dump on Arsenal for the first time in 37 years

Do any of you remember what you were doing in 1979? No? Well, I can tell you one thing that happened. We beat Arsenal F.C. at our stadium that year. It probably didn't feel like a momentous occasion at the time but little did we know that we wouldn't beat them again for 37 bloody years. We never beat Arsenal. They are bastards. And spoilt bastards at that. But guess what happened last night folks? Yep that's right, we beat 'em. And not only beat 'em. We whipped 'em. Of course, pundits are all focused on how disgraceful it is for Arsenal to lose like this. How the management need to be fired and players reprimanded. How this is maybe the lowest moment in their history. Errr, excuse me. What are we, chopped liver? Is it really that damn embarrassing to lose to the Eagles. Even in defeat those bastards can find a way to belittle us.

How about let's say that Crystal Palace are amazing and, as Donnie Darko so eloquently put it, all you other teams can go "suck a fuck".

My fellow feathered friends. This was an amazing day. We are now two wins above the relegation zone with only six to play. We have now won 5 of the last six games. It is generally agreed now that we will be spending yet another year in the Premier League next year. We play last year's champions Leicester this Saturday at 9am. Come on down to Fado and witness another miracle.

If you missed the action then feel free to see the amazing highlights below.

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The Austin Eagles are back...and slaying giants

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The Austin Eagles are back...and slaying giants

There is a common taunt among soccer fans from opposing clubs "you only sing when you're winning".It's meant to criticize their commitment to their team. Up until about four months ago I could honestly say this did not apply to me. Even during the darkest moments of Eagle love I stood firm and cheered my team. That was until the thoroughly depressing descent we experienced during the last months of our ex boss Alan Pardew. During one particularly difficult loss to Liverpool I found myself extremely angry and mad at everything for the entire weekend. I took it out on my wife and kids. Then I realized that maybe this soccer supporting isn't all it's cracked up to be. I told myself I would scale down my support and be nicer to my family. I probably saw three games in about two months.

Was it over for the Austin Eagles? I thought so. But guess what? We only went and started winning again. Now I realized that when we win I am even nicer than normal to my family so supporting Palace is all it's cracked up to be. It's brilliant. All Palace have to do is win four games in a row including last Saturday when we beat this season's nigh-certain premier league winners Chelsea away. It was beautiful. As long as we don't lose again then no problem, right? Maybe the other way is if I sing when we are winning and then put my fingers in my ears, shut my eyes and shout "la la la la la la la" when we lose. Either sounds better than giving up on my Austin Eagles.

I am attaching a couple of delightful news items after the Chelsea win. The first is from a Palace fan who filmed the crowd going nuts to the first goal and then catching the second goal a minute later. And yes, that is a flare. The second is an image of this week's combined premier league team of the week. You almost never see four players from the same team in it. Lovely jubbly.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Amanda_Hollidge/status/848207764979671040/video/1

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Forget the Austin Eagles

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Forget the Austin Eagles

It is far too depressing to discuss anything even vaguely related to Crystal Palace right now due to their continuous downward decline. Therefore this week's posting will have absolutely nothing in common with anything in red and blue stripes. I will regale you with a tale from one of my many odd experiences as an English plumber getting down and dirty in Austin, Texas.

"I rang the doorbell. It rang back echoing the tune of 'Stars of Texas' around the small, 1950s East Austin home. Helen answered the door in her PJs, bleary-eyed, squinting so intensely she seemed still asleep. "Hi, I'm Woody with Radiant Plumbing. I'm here to help," - my standard greeting. I followed her, stepping gingerly around the comatose figure snoring loudly on the sofa. We crossed the kitchen and left through the back door.

"Here it is," she croaked hoarsely. It must have been a fun night, I thought. I followed her pointed finger to see what appeared to be a horse chewing on a plastic water pipe protruding from the home. It didn't seem to bother the creature that water was hammering down it's throat from the mauled broken pipe. "Clover," she hollered, "stop that now". The five foot tall Great Dane plodded toward us, soaked through with tongue lolling from side to side outside its gargantuan jaws. The pipe stood no chance. As we stood staring at the dopey dog ambling over to us, I started discussing how to fix the problem. I didn't get far. I became speechless at what I was seeing. Out the corner of my eye I spied a tiny baby bird hurtling toward us from the branch of a nearby tree. It careened out of control straight at us. I ducked but Helen stood perfectly still. I assumed she hadn't seen it through the minuscule slits in her eyes. Just two feet from her head, the minute bird pulled up, hovered for a second and then landed clumsily on Helen's right shoulder.

"This is the third time she has done this," Helen stated proudly, twisting her head slowly to the side to watch her adopted avian offspring. "I call her Buttercup," she said. I was starting to see the floral naming convention in her burgeoning animal farm. Helen began telling me her theory that Buttercup had lost her mother and had decided on a human replacement. As she spoke, Helen became transformed. All vestiges of hangover ebbed rapidly away. Her eyes grew wide. Her voice cleared. She even stood taller, delighting in her newfound friend. She seemed like a new mother. And in return, Buttercup also appeared completely at ease. It stood wobbling slightly on its five feet high perch. Ruffling its feathers, it let out a tiny but heartfelt chirp, not a hint of concern on its feathered face. It was inspiring to watch the obvious love between the two.

I had completely forgotten about the water gushing from the pipe and the mammoth canine Clover now standing by our sides. I was lost in thought, delighting in the touching scene before me. We stood in silence watching each and every movement from our new winged pal. After a full five minutes, Buttercup began raising its wings. She gave a few tiny flaps getting ready for the brave and apparently difficult take off. Holding our breaths, we watched Buttercup take flight. For the first second it seemed as if it would not make it, plummeting toward the ground. But just in the nick of time, Buttercup recovered and began climbing back up. Gaining altitude, it now hovered at our eye level, looking at both of us in a gesture of farewell for now. And in that second, I felt at ease with the world believing that man and beast were one.

Buttercup took one last look at us, turned, flapped it wings then flew straight into the huge gaping mouth of Clover. In one deadly move, the Great Dane had leaped from the ground timing it perfectly to meet the bird mid flight. Our blissful silence ended with a snap of jaws and gentle crunch of baby bones. Neck broken in two, Buttercup fell lifeless to the floor with her murderer slobbering happily above. I looked at Helen. All color had drained from her. She was unable to speak. I mumbled something about fixing a pipe. I don't think she cared. And to be honest, nor did I.

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Austin Eagles see coach fired

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Austin Eagles see coach fired

I thought Christmas had come early my Eagles. Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew was sacked just before gift-giving day due to the team's unbelievably pathetic performance in 2016. Out of the entire 92 teams in the football league, Palace are dead last in points won per game. Even with Pardew's charisma and confidence, the management simply couldn't allow it to continue. It seemed inevitable that he would go. I actually witnessed his apparent demise during my short visit to training last week. On completion of a practice game, the players huddled around their manager hoping to hear some brilliant new tip or morale boosting monologue. Sadly all Pardew said was "You missed a few goals there guys. You will need to score more than that against Chelsea tomorrow." Very cerebral Alan!

Our new boss: the controversial ex-England manager Sam Allardyce who stood down with only 67 days in the role after he offered advice on how to "get around rules" for player transfers. We have played two games since he started and have won one and drawn one. However, the loss today was against Arsenal who no one expected us to beat. It is the next five or six games that are crucial. We play teams near the bottom of the league and it is now that we will discover if we have what it takes to stay in the Premier League. We play Swansea this Tuesday at 2pm.

The Austin Eagles need your support now more than ever. It is time to come good on that New Years resolution I know you must have made to spend less time with your family and dedicate every spare minute of 2017 to our little club.

Come on you Palace.

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Austin Eagles meet the real Eagles

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Austin Eagles meet the real Eagles

I have often heard the phrase "I would die a happy man if..." but never actually believed I would utter such words. I mean, come on. Is there really one miraculous moment that could cause me to happily say goodbye to all I hold dear in this world? I was certain not. That was until last Friday at 10am when I shook hands and chatted with players from our beloved Crystal Palace FC. 

I was on my way back to the U.K. for my mum's birthday last week when a thought popped into my head. Maybe, due to the exponential growth of the Austin Eagles coupled with our loyal support for all things red and blue, I might have some sway with the club. Palace bigwigs are very keen to expand their support in the U.S. and I thought the timing would be perfect. I shot a message to a bunch of vaguely official looking email addresses found on their website stating my credentials and what I hoped to accomplish. I then promptly forgot all about it. Then, a few days later they actually wrote me back. As founder members of the Austin Eagles, my brother Phil and I were invited as special guests to the team's training ground to watch the lads prepare for the following day's London derby with Chelsea. Bloody Hell!

When the day actually came, not only did we watch training but we ended up sitting in on the press conference, taking a guided tour of the facilities trailed closely by the club photographer and videographer and (my pee pee tingles just to write this) chatting with players. As we toured the buildings, I had to clench my butt cheeks as I caught glimpses of each and every one of my heroes as they went on with their daily duties. There they were. Damian Delaney eating a bacon sandwich. Jason Puncheon coming out of the bathroom. Scott Dann tying his laces. Wilfred Zaha running down the stairs. I felt like a devout Christian watching Jesus trim his nails. It was all very surreal. I tried many times to say something to the players but nothing came out. They were probably wondering who the mildly retarded looking guy was who kept staring at them with his mouth open but I didn't care. I was like a pig in shit. And not just regular old piggy shit. I was rolling gleefully around in gold plated, 10 carat unicorn shit patted smooth by the wings of angels. As you can tell, I was pretty happy.

Each new building had a different delight in store. In the gym we eagerly read through the player's weights and athletics all-time leaderboard mounted in pride of place for all to try to beat. This was fascinating. As I read each stat I tried to imagine who I thought was top dog before looking at the answer. I had so much fun doing this that I will test you my Austin Eagles. Which Palace player do you think can deadlift the most? Who can jump the highest? Who is faster, Zaha or Bolasie? Keep reading for the answers.

Next was the physiotherapy room where players recuperated from any injuries they may have incurred. A room more widely used than the gym this season, I heard our tour guide Chris mumble sadly under his breath. One particularly hi-tech looking machine drew my attention. I was told that it was a state of the art treadmill where players were actually elevated off the surface using wind currents for less friction on their joints as they run. This description was then corrected by the physio who had just entered the room to "nah, you just put on those funny trousers over there and connect them to the elastic which holds you up." Keeping it real Palace.

We were then led into the kit room where we got to stroke and sniff our favorite player's shirts. Happily leafing through each jersey while reading the name on the back I came to a slightly unfamiliar white one. Horrified I read the name Pogba printed in big black letters and realized I was holding a bloody Manchester United shirt. I threw it on the ground as if my hands were permanently burnt. Then I looked around to see if anyone was watching, stuffed it into my bag and then excused myself to the nearest bathroom grumbling about how the coffee was going right through me.

Next came the day's most magical moment. We were led out to the training pitches and were told the players would be out soon. I took in a sharp breath as Yohan Cabaye ran out the door and right past me followed by the thundering boots of his teammates. I wasn't sure where to look. I was like a fat boy locked in a candy shop. The last to come out was new star striker and club record transfer Christian Benteke. To my amazement he stopped and looked me straight in the eye. The photographer next to me took the opportunity to get some club shots before I grabbed my Austin Eagles flag and fell upon him begging for a snap. Like the media savvy sportsman he is, he flashed his huge smile and fell in place between my brother and I. He then ran off and promptly slammed his foot into the nearest ball curling it into the roof of the net. I had man love.

I didn't think it could get any better than that until I glanced left and saw our commander in chief Mr Alan Pardew striding towards me. I was told he was coming to talk to us. I puffed out my chest, put my shoulders back and cleared my throat desperately hoping I wouldn't screw this up. I tried to act cool and answer his questions with eloquence and charm. However, all I actually succeeded in doing was laugh way too loud and drool a bit. He then obliged me and Phil in posing for the obligatory flag photo. As he stood sandwiched between us for the picture he looked left to me and right to Phil before saying "you're tall brothers aren't ya". Witty retorts including "you need two new center backs?" and "you seemed bigger on tv" were on the tip of my tongue. Unfortunately, only more loud and uncomfortable laughing came out along with the spittle. As he ran off he asked whether we were going to be at the game tomorrow. I replied with the rather bizarre comment "on me head, Alan". He didn't look back again. What a day.

Thankfully, even though the experience did leave me a little breathless, I decided that Friday was not the day to call it a day on my life. It was just a really good day. The following day, however, was not a day to remember as we got beaten by Chelsea 1-0. Maybe the players should have worn those funny physio trousers a little less.

Thanks to Matt, Chris and Harriet who organized this fantastic experience and who I hope will continue to show our little fan club the dedication that we show them. And thanks to all involved for getting the Austin Eagles featured in a full page of the Chelsea match day program along with excerpts on the CPFC website and email to all fans.

Oh and in case you were wondering, Julian Speroni is champ in deadlift at 175lbs, Bakari Sako can jump highest at 62.7cm and as for who the fastest is between Zaha and Bolasie? Well, they are exactly the same at 10 m/s. I like that.

Woody and Phil with Alan Pardew

Woody and Phil with Alan Pardew

Full page of Austin Eagles match day program

Full page of Austin Eagles match day program

Woody, Phil and big Al

Woody, Phil and big Al

Boys in training training

Boys in training training

Woody and Phil at the training ground.

Woody and Phil at the training ground.

Austin Eagles featured in the weekly official Palace email newsletter

Austin Eagles featured in the weekly official Palace email newsletter

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The official Crystal Palace Eagles fan club of Austin Texas