How can 70% of Over 2 Billion English Premier League Soccer Fans Be Wrong?
It has been reported this week that 70% of the estimated 2.08 billion soccer fans around the world watch The English Premier League. Making it the most watched league of any sport in the world.
Across the world, soccer is called "The Beautiful Game". Up until three years ago I would have said you were crazy to even think that. Just like a majority of American sports fans, every four years when the World Cup came around, I got my fill of soccer.
" Who cares" was my famous phrase when my friends that followed soccer would ask if I had watched a match, that to me had no relevance but to them was like a fall Sunday afternoon. Why do they care so much? It's just soccer. Why do I want to watch The English Premier League?
Well let me apologize to them all right now, and from the bottom of my heart say... I am sorry. Allow me to grab a big slice of humble pie and while I eat it, describe the English Premier League and what makes soccer, in my opinion, "The Beautiful Game".
For starters, people that watch soccer are supporters not fans. The cool thing for a supporter to have is a scarf. Why? I have no idea, but it is cool. Supporters chant a cheer the entire match nonstop. The supporters of the visiting clubs have separate gates that they have to enter when their club is on the road. Yes, there are the hooligans, but we have those here in America and we like to call them "idiots".
Teams are called clubs. It is not a field, it is a pitch, and it is constantly watered down to make the surface fast for better play. Guess what? Players don't complain about it. There is no trade deadline, there is a transfer window. Speaking of the players, they wear tops and kits not jerseys and uniforms.
The stadiums? Oh, the history of the stadiums! They have names like White Hart Lane, Craven Cottage, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the home of my Reds, Anfield. Yes, there is a couple that have sold sponsorship rights, but not like here were stadiums change names like people change underwear.
Terms like match and fixture replace game and schedule. Table is the term used for standings.
If you finish in the bottom three of the table, you are relegated to a lower league. Could you imagine if the NFL sent the Miami Dolphins to the UFL and brought up the Omaha Nighthawks? Or MLB sent the Kansas City Royals down and brought up the Chattanooga LookOuts? That is what happens in the Premier League and all the other leagues in Europe, there is so much at stake in every match that it makes for drama better than any movie you could imagine.
If you finish in the top four, you qualify for the Champions League and you compete against the best club teams from all over Europe to see who is the best.
Do you see were I am going with this? I am completely hooked on soccer! So much so that I try and find a match to watch everyday! When the EPL has an off week because of International competitions I feel a huge void in my sports weekend.
Do I have a problem?
Yes, I LOVE SOCCER! I cannot get enough of it. I love to wake early up on Saturday and Sunday mornings, grab a beer for breakfast and watch soccer. This Saturday morning, at 5:45am on ESPN2, the club I fanatically support, Liverpool FC, will be taking the pitch at Old Trafford to face off with Manchester United, renewing one of the oldest rivalries in the English Premier League. You can bet I will be tuned in, beer in hand with my Liverepool top on and scarf around my neck. Yelling and screaming, cheering on the Reds, as quite as I can so I don't wake up my wife!
To all my fellow LFC supporters... YNWA!