It happens every four years: Americans find that not only are they watching soccer for hours at a time, but that they actually enjoy it. Even after USA loses, they amaze themselves and watch the rest of the World Cup through to the finals. “What a beautiful game,” we think. “Hardly any ads and non-stop action. I wonder how I can see more of this?” A few of them have friends with the expanded sports packages that show the English Premier League and Serie A games, so they figured they’ll just do a little research, pick a team and boom, they are a soccer fan.
People who think they can simply pick an English Premier League team as a way to start watching soccer are kidding themselves.
Bill Simmons tried it. He maybe watched a few games but we didn’t hear much from him about his love for soccer over the last four years (the two books focused on baseball and basketball might’ve been a factor). His problem was he likened choosing an EPL team to picking out a new car. As dedicated a sports fan as he is, he should’ve known better. Your 2010 Lexus hybrid SUV isn’t going to break your heart, and it comes with a warranty. The 2010 Arsenal team, on the other hand, probably will break your heart if you give them the opportunity, and the only condolence will be the thought of next season.
I’m not here to “pick” a team. What I’m hoping is to eventually fall in love with one.