A short break from book updates to bring you something else.
I’ve decided that it’s time for a new sport fandom in my life. Baseball, something that I have been a casual fan of for most of my life, just isn’t all that interesting to me anymore. I never got into hockey, and I don’t have plans to do so. The NFL is still super huge, but the concussion stuff and other issues surrounding the league have also dampened my enthusiasm. The NBA is still fun to watch – and I look forward to seeing what the Jazz can accomplish this year in the shadow of the Golden State Warriors – but regular season basketball is a long slog for the most part and things only matter come playoff time, in which the Warriors will run roughshod over everyone and win the third title in four years.
So I’ve decided that it’s time to get interested in the other football. I could make it easy and get fuly invested in our local MLS team Real Salt Lake. They’ve even had some success, winning the MLS Cup in 2009 and having some second place finishes in other Cups along the way. But MLS is still not quite a top flight league when compared to the rest of the world, with “premiere” players only coming to the United States at the end of long careers in Europe after their peak earning potential has run out.
For those not in the know, there are 20 teams in the English Premier League, which is the top division in English football, and is considered the best league in the world. English football uses a promotion and relegation system every year, so teams are constantly fighting their way up to the next highest level, seeking more exposure and access to more sponsorship dollars. The costs associated with higer divisions also increase, so it isn’t rare to see a team reach a higher division, only to have a bad season against tougher competition and get relegated again after one season.
Because of this, it has been increasingly more important in English football to have deep pocketed owners, and there have been many instances of wealthy foreigners coming in and buying lower division teams and spending money to buy players and get up to the Premier League and share in the media and sponsorship dollars.
As I start my first season of caring about English football, I’ll probably update what’s going on with my team and whatnot. I also plan on loosely following some other teams throughout the many other levels of the English football league system. With a goal of eventually working and living in Europe (possibly even England), it would be nice to find a team or two to support with my money and just have something fun to do in a foreign land.
But in order to become a real fan, I need to find a team to root for in the EPL first. In speaking with a couple of friends that have been following the English football for some time, I think I have decided what I want to look for in a club, and I have narrowed my list down to a few options through an extremely scientific method. I intend to pick a team by the start of the upcoming season on august 10th, and I’ll be sure to update when I make my final determination.
Since this post has gone a bit longer than I was anticipating, I’ll start the winnowing process in my next post. Hope you follow along as I begin this chapter in my sports fan life!
Until next time…