I've alluded to football before (yesterday and earlier), but I feel I should clarify my allegiances before we get any further.
I'm a Liverpool fan by genetics. Born on Merseyside and most of my formative years were spent there, at least as far as football loyalties lie. My family are all Liverpool fans (apart from one of my sisters, who somehow ended up a Man U fan. We've considered disowning her, but just don't have the heart). There was never really any doubt who I would end up supporting.
(I should admit that I did have a short flirtation with supporting Everton, but that had more to do with pity for the underdog than anything else. Everyone in my class when Liverpool played Everton for the FA cup in 1986 supported Liverpool. I supported Everton, because I felt sorry for them.)
But living in Newcastle with a Newcastle fan means that I'm far more aware of what's going on here with Newcastle than I am of what's going on down in Merseyside. I suppose I could keep up easily on the internet, even listen to the games on local radio over the internet, but I have to admit that in some ways, I don't want to. I'll never be a Geordie; to some here I'll never even be a northerner. (D is adamant that Merseyside is in the South, and that therefore I am a southerner. I know it's south of here, but that's not quite hitting the nail on the head. Anyway.)
But talking about Newcastle, I can interact. I can feel that I belong. I can bond over complaining about the dismal performances. I can talk about the latest acquisitions and rumours. I can forget for days, sometimes, that I'm not actually a Newcastle fan. It's sometimes quite unnerving to remember that I'm not.
I never cared about football all that much before I moved here. This place gets into your blood. It's the only explanation I can find.