Saturday was the season opener of EPL (English Premier League) Soccer – better known as pub season at our house. From now through May its Saturday or Sunday mornings with the rest of the Arsenal fans at the Brass Door in downtown Memphis. It’s Guinness and donuts season again (Woo Hoo!)
I have never been a sports fan. When my parents visited me in college my dad asked how our football team was doing. I didn’t know we had one. (I found out we did have a team when they threw a party, however, after some big guys pushed me out of line for the keg, any interest I had in the team was over.)
So how and why did I become a dedicated soccer (football to the rest of the world) fan? Let me see if I can explain using a visual aid:
The 2010 World Cup got my attention. I liked that it is a world-wide phenomenon. In my other (paying) job I work with people from all over the world so it gave me an easy ice breaker with almost anyone. I liked the fans. They were all crazy for their teams, but the fans from the more passionate countries (Italy especially) were hysterical to watch. When their team scored you would think they had just witnessed the birth of a child and when they lost, they looked like they might throw themselves on a sword to end their agony. Even the usually staid Brits really let loose at soccer matches. The Irish, who are not know for winning lately, take celebration to a whole new level when they do win. And I liked . . .
. . . the fact that you could see the players. Unlike American football with its protective, but fugly uniforms, you can actually see the players which in this case, is a good thing (a very good thing). The field is huge, the periods are long and these beautiful athletes are in amazing shape because they are running almost the entire time.
If I’ve got your attention and you’d like to see more, now is a great time to start following the sport. Not only is it the beginning of a new season, but the world (literally) is gearing up for the World Cup in 2014. Our hometown boys, Team USA, is currently leading their division and should qualify to play in Brazil next summer. NBC is carrying all the EPL games on U.S. TV. So choose a team (Arsenal for me, so much eye candy), find a pub showing the games, pick up and box of donuts and join me for . . .
I just couldn’t resist throwing in a few more pics.