Giving Bill Simmons his due

Though I consider him crazy for trying to pick a Premier team on research and suggestions alone, I will give Bill Simmons some credit; he’s figured out a way to become interested in a sport without the years of background, moving cities, or family history normally required to become a fan of a team. As he mentioned in his Third to Last Note of his 2010 NFL preview:

This is the 20th anniversary of my first NFL gambling season — 1990 — when I started betting with a college friend’s cousin’s bookie because I was so bored by another hideous Patriots season. At some point, I realized, “Wait a second, every time I bet on a team, I care about what happens in a football game for three hours! It’s almost like renting a favorite team! The rest was history.

That’s right, friends: the answer is gambling. You don’t need to arbitrarily pick a favorite team in order to have one every game. You simply need to put some money on it, which is exactly what 11 of my friends and I did this season for the Premier League. Getting up at 8 am on a Saturday morning is a lot easier with $20 out of my pocket and three pitchers of beer on the line.

If you think Fantasy NFL Football is nuts, you should attempt fantasy English Premier football: no draft, £100 million cap, and Didier Drogba to mess everything up. Like American football, you need to pay attention to injuries, but unlike the NFL, these teams are playing games outside the league during the week that count towards entirely separate champion Cups.

The Tiger-Cats could ruin everything!

Imagine that the Detroit Lions play the Bears on Sunday, but then on Tuesday have a game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League that will count towards a separate post-season Bowl (North American Bowl? Less-Super-But-Still-Cool Bowl?). Your starting wide receiver could play the whole game and then be rested or just lousy on the day that it counts for your team (and if he’s Robbie Keane, he will play really well in the English Carling Cup game and never get you points on the weekend) (Jerk).

The point is that Premier League fantasy play has more variables than the NFL, and is another reason to pay attention to soccer, even if you don’t have a favorite team to root for (or if your team is really bad, like the 1990 New England Patriots).

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