Soccer @ 7.45am…the joys of armchair support.

13 08 2010

Pre-season @ New York Red Bull Arena, the nearest we will get to WHL

Tomorrow marks the start of another English Premiership  soccer season, the 18th since the powers-that-be decided that having a First to Fourth division structure wasn’t sexy enough.

The fact that a former Australian-turned-American citizen was looking for some way to ensure that more people bought into his media empire was such a happy coincidence, so we welcomed the names on the backs of shirts with the inflated salaries, and we applauded the lure of the Premiership to foreign superstars who were coming to ply their trade for the love of the game (and not the bulging of their wallet)

And here we again. Just over a month since the World Cup finished and the whole circus starts again. Twenty teams fighting for glory……sort of.

The battle at the top will be between Manchester United and Chelsea, with Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and any one of Aston Villa, Everton and ourselves – Tottenham Hotspur, my beloved club – fighting over the scraps.

For the rest of the league, not being relegated is the prime concern. No-one can convince me that anything other than survival is on the minds of Blackpool, Wigan, WBA, West Ham, Sunderland and Stoke City. And any I haven’t mentioned? You are in that list as well.

From now until May, the newspapers will be covering every kick, analysing every mistake and predicting the first boss to be out of the door (my money is on the bloke at Wigan). Sky TV will promote every game to be a classic – even when it doesn’t involve Man Utd or Chavski.

Unless of course, you are lucky enough to be living in the USA.

Here, the start of the EPL has aroused as much interest as the latest Ashton Kutcher movie. With the exception of the Fox Soccer Channel – owned by Rupert Murdoch – tomorrow is just another day in American sports. We are halfway through what seems a never-ending baseball season, the throw-ballers are back in pre-season training (which is covered live!), the NBA is due to start in October and the NHL draft has just taken place – no, I don’t know who was picked for what team and for what salary.

Even lacrosse gets more column inches in the Boston Globe.

Football/Soccer is a non-event to the majority, a passion for the minority. In pubs and bars tomorrow, the faithful will gather to watch the games beginning with my beloved Lilywhites; Spurs vs Abu Dhabi City kicks off at 7.45am Eastern, for the LA Spurs they get to watch at 4.45am.

But they will still watch, still have that feeling of tension that accompanies the start of every season and for this ex-pat there will be the slightest twinge of jealousy that I am not at White Hart Lane to see the game, applauding the boys onto the lush turf.

Because tomorrow, for the only time in the season, every team starts on the same points and the same goal difference. Every team can dream of success and every fan can hope that the season isn’t the rollercoaster of emotions that characterises the majority of the campaign.

After tomorrow, there will be winners and losers, heroes and villans. Football will be back, monopolising our thoughts and dominating the media. There will be no escape until the season finishes in May.

Unless, of course, you live in America. Tomorrow is just August 14th.

And I have tickets for Aerosmith @ Fenway Park.




One response

13 08 2010

You’re “throw-ballers” comment makes me THROW UP! Football with referee’s that KNOW what they’re doing & make the correct call when it matters(mostly) is a comforting feeling while watching it
Not like soccer, watching that sport & the morons who control & “referee” those matches, it makes you want to throw a beer bottle everytime they make a nomsense call & then do not have to even answer for it. RIDICULOUS!

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