You know you’ve had a bad week when you get your drink spiked, end up in the hospital, get fined by your club for going out, and then get your dog stolen. I’m not sure how ESPN would play with this here in the States, but it’s funny even if it happens in Europe.
Anyway, if you are looking for a soccer fix, the easy answer is to start following the English Premiership, the top flight of English football, and depending on whom you ask, the best footie league in the world. They kick off this weekend which means previews and well… who doesn’t love season previews? As for guides to the season, I offer:
The British, with a Guardian twist.
Then there is the always enjoyable view of That’s On Point, via somewhere in Connecticut, Part One; Part Two; and Part Three.
I can’t find anything good on ESPN.com, which might be a blessing. Though I am wondering if Simmons is going to do Tottenham updates for all of us though out the year… I’m guessing not, but then again, weirder things have happened. And as I’ve said, we’ll have Watford updates from time to time. But don’t expect much until October.
What do we think here at VFLOAB? Call us boring, but Chelsea wins the dame thing, but Liverpool gives them a run for their money. Arsenal and Spurs finish third and fourth respectively (and Arsenal looks set of making a run for the title next year). Manchester United, which needs a major overhaul according to just about everyone, disappoints into fifth place. The last European spot goes to Middlesbrough, which quite frankly, will either struggle (to the tune of a 15th or 14th place finish) or flirt with UEFA Cup qualification all year. Can’t see much in-between for them; and if they do stink, West Ham sneaks into that UEFA Cup place. And who goes down? Says here Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City, and Fulham… they have to go down at some point right? Watford stays alive… barely. Reading, Wigan, and Portsmouth will all most likely be in that ‘regulation’ battle.
Final note… if you like college football, then you’d like soccer. It’s hard to explain really, but there is more passion in college football and soccer (let’s face it, the fan base of pretty much any SEC and half the Big Ten is much more passionate than say, Redskins or Bears fans). Fans cheer on the team without the need for a scoreboard to tell them to do so, they have their ‘songs’ and in game activities to pump up the crowd.
And before anyone tells you that the NFL is better, I have two words for them: Super Bowl. Seriously, think about it for a second… the Super Bowl is the most overrated game and event in this country. And for all that’s good about the Super Bowl, there are about 100 reasons why it sucks (for starters it takes about nine hours to play the game and it always, I mean always, comes across as sterile and silent on TV; in other words, it’s the one sporting even that I’m happy I’m not at… I’m not kidding, I’d turn down Super Bowl tickets because, well, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy sitting on my hands with Hedge Fund managers who are ‘really into the Giants’).