The Zen of Rooting for Club and Country

Senator Donut

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
I'm not sure about a pay service that streams any match but nbcsports.com streamed every match they carried on television, which was generally 4-5 matches per weekend and one on Monday from what I can recall.  That's a pretty good way to get a feel for the teams and the league.
NBC Sports Live Extra streamed all 380 Premier League matches last season at no additional cost to those who subscribe to NBC Sports Network.
 

URI

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rembrat said:
So I want to follow the EPL as well but was wondering if they had a service that streams the matches online similar to MLB.tv. I quickly glanced through the leagues website but could not find anything. Ideally, I'd like to watch a different set of teams play every week so I can get a feel for the teams and the league. I'm sure I could find illegal streams online but I'd rather not have to resort to that. And what is the time difference like? I notice that the first game is at 10 AM(?).. my time (ESDT) yeah?
 
If you're a cable subscriber with NBCSports Network, NBC makes every Premier League game available online for streaming.
 

Leskanic's Thread

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Are we still sharing stories of how we picked our teams?  My path came via the path of two other friends', all of which might be instructive:
 
1. One friend began rooting for Man U. in the late 90s/early 00s because of Roy Keane -- his family had come from the same part of Cork as Keane.  (He's also a huge Red Sox fan who somehow talked his way out of rooting for the Yankees of British football.  But whatever.)
 
2. After that first friend started buying FIFA every year in 2001 or 2002, his roommate picked Arsenal to follow for a couple of reasons.  First, because he felt the narrative of Arsenal around that time felt similar to the story of the Red Sox if the Sox finally made it to the promised land.  Mainly from the book Fever Pitch -- sadly, we all know that he wasn't the only one who saw the parallels there.  The second reason was because the Gunners were the only other five-star EPL team in FIFA, and he wanted a shot to beat his roommate in their nightly sessions.
 
3. Which led to me having to pick a team when I was over there so I could play as well.  I wanted to keep it in England, and also wanted a high-enough ranked team to be able to hang in the matches.  The 4 and 4.5 star teams that year were, if I recall correctly: Newcastle, Chelsea, Leeds, and Liverpool.  "Hey, the Beatles are from Liverpool.  I like the Beatles.  Plus they got a bunch of Irish there too."
 
Based on that thought process a dozen years ago, I've ended up purchasing a bunch of kit tops, seen the team play in North America twice, and toured Anfield during my one visit to England.  It's nice they now have a Red Sox connection.  It's less nice that they missed out on the title this year and that their best player has a Marv Albert problem.  But it's been a fun ride, and I'll always have a very long lunch break in 2005 to look back on and smile.
 
edit: So, yeah...these things can just happen.  It's easy, especially for those of us who grew up in a sports market with teams from all four main North American leagues, to assume that fandom has to come from childhood, bestowed upon you by geographic proximity and/or family lineage.  But when dealing with new-to-you sports and faraway leagues, sometimes it's random serendipity that gets you hooked on some laundry.
 

Dummy Hoy

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amh03 said:
Anyone pick a team based on the players? After watching that game yesterday, I feel like watching more of Tim Howard, so if I were to pick now, it'd likely be Everton.
 
I went with Wednesday because of John Harkes and attempted to switch allegiances to Everton because of James MacFadden and then the Americans.
 
edit: Awesome goals are awesome.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nmtB7rBs3M
 
I mean come the fuck on. Don't really care for those kits though. 
 

rodderick

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Just a quick tip for people feeling lost on choosing a team to follow in Europe: just pick one you like and stick with it. It can be for any reason, their colors, their play style, their history, a player you like. Even without the obvious attachment, you can grow to like them just as much as your local sports teams. I speak from experience, as I have a ton of friends here in Brazil who are die hard NFL fans that started cheering for a team because their mascot/logo was cool or something stupid like that, and now are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the sport.
 
I'd just advise against rooting for a small club, because it can get rather frustrating as in soccer the financial disparity between clubs means that it could take decades for a modest team to achieve something, or even find themselves in the thick of a title race. It's not like in american sports where you could become a Bills fan today and have some hope of your team making it to the playoffs in the next three seasons. Obviously, I'm not saying you should all be glory hunters, but for those who haven't had the passion for a small team imprinted on them from a young age, it definitely makes it more exciting to root for a team with worldwide coverage, significant fanbase and consistent aspirations year in and year out. If you don't want to follow the gigantic clubs, there's still plenty of good options all around of teams that aren't necessarily the most powerful in their league, but could end up winning trophies if they're well managed and things break right.
 
Oh, and if any of you want to follow South-American/Brazilian football, Cruzeiro is a damn fine choice of a team!
 

Tony the Pony

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amh03 said:
Anyone pick a team based on the players? After watching that game yesterday, I feel like watching more of Tim Howard, so if I were to pick now, it'd likely be Everton.
 
More not rooting for a country based on the players selected.
 
Club > Country
 
(also: River?! Fuck 'em!)
 

Quintanariffic

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I generally could give a F about clubs - I'm a USMNT guy and the MLS just doesn't do it for me given quality of play.  But I am Jewish, so I guess Spurs is my choice?
 

Snakebauer007

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Just go with Chelsea: the thread is so damn lonely I am the only regular poster, and you will be the most likeable guy in it by default.

Also, this thread was a super fun read.
 

Gunfighter 09

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Snakebauer007 said:
Just go with Chelsea: the thread is so damn lonely I am the only regular poster, and you will be the most likeable guy in it by default.

Also, this thread was a super fun read.
 
 
There is everything to like about Chelsea except for the guy in your avatar. 
 
My story: I spent my junior year of college studying abroad in Scotland (this was 1995-96), and for New Year's I went down to London, stayed in a hostel for a few days and watched four Premier League games in four days. Still remember them really well, actually:
 
--Dec. 30: Arsenal 1, Wimbledon 3
--Jan. 1 (afternoon): Wimbledon 2, Everton 3
--Jan. 1 (evening): Spurs 4, Man Utd 1 - the famous William Prunier game
--Jan. 2: QPR 1, Chelsea 2
 
Around this time I was reading "Fever Pitch" for the first time, and even though I'd seen Arsenal get humiliated at home by Wimbledon - this was during the Bruce Rioch era - between the book and the fact that Highbury was such a lovely stadium (and the first ground I'd been to in person, unless you count being at Easter Road in Edinburgh for the Raith Rovers vs. Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup), they just felt like the right team to follow and start supporting. Little did I know that Arsene Wenger would arrive the following season and turn what I expected would be a life of upper-mid-table mediocrity and drab football into THE INVINCIBLES, et al. 
 
Anyway, and to echo several previous posters, my experience suggests that the best thing to do is just dip a few toes in the water and see what feels right. Read a few books about the game and see if any attachments form. Start managing a team in Football Manager 14 and see how you mesh together. (I'd actually become somewhat partial to Blackburn from managing them in the old DOS-based FM/CM predecessor "One-Nil", back in the day when they seemed the plucky upstart behind Man Utd, but thankfully that connection never stuck.) Heck, take your own trip across the Pond and see a few games in person. There's a difference between bandwagon-jumping and honest curiosity; the latter is healthy, and really the only way you can progress from general interest to deep passion.
 

soxfan121

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Snakebauer007 said:
Just go with Chelsea: the thread is so damn lonely I am the only regular poster, and you will be the most likeable guy in it by default.

Also, this thread was a super fun read.
 
You are the only regular poster who bleeds Blue. And while we do love your unabashed homerism and your dutiful reposting of all Chelsea PR, you're not the only "regular" poster. 
 
Kids, pick Chelsea if you love Bill Belichick but wish his press conferences were more entertaining. Pick Chelsea because they will always bring in new talent, new coaches, new everything, like some deranged billionaire yacht fanatic owns them or something. 
 
Come for CESC...stay for the beauty of Jose's mind games. 
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Snake's a good guy and puts up with a lot of crap for following Chelsea. Much of it from me at times.
 
Jose's a mad genius. And a raging megalomaniac. And gives no fucks. We always need a Jose.
 
I know a few people who follow Chelsea and they tell me the reaction from others when they say they're Chelsea fans is always the same: "Oh NOOOOOOOO!" I don't honestly know why that is.
 

Zomp

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
 
I know a few people who follow Chelsea and they tell me the reaction from others when they say they're Chelsea fans is always the same: "Oh NOOOOOOOO!" I don't honestly know why that is.
 
Because they are deathly afraid.
 

DLew On Roids

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Snakebauer007 said:
Just go with Chelsea: the thread is so damn lonely I am the only regular poster, and you will be the most likeable guy in it by default.

Also, this thread was a super fun read.
 
This was funny.
 
Every time I'm ready to write you off as the PR Bot, you pass the Turing test by showing self-awareness.  And SJH is right about Jose.  We joke about him a lot, but the world of soccer is a better place with him in it.  Even when Chelsea was sinking Liverpool's title hopes last season, I was laughing every time they cut to Jose on the sideline unshaven and wearing that puffy white vest, knowing that he'd basically decided to inhabit a character for the 90 minutes.
 

cromulence

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soxfan121 said:
 
Your pinstripes are showing. 
 
 
WTF? My post is the exact OPPOSITE of being an entitled Yankees fan. I was trying to avoid jumping on the Barca bandwagon. Your Yankee bias is showing.
 

cromulence

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URI said:
 
Follow Spurs, and you'll get the benefits of a team that is top 7-8 every year, no one will accuse you of frontrunning, and almost every game feels like a cruel joke.
 
Plus, you'll understand better why so many Red Sox fans hate the shit out of Yankees fans.
 
I actually do like Spurs as I've basically followed Dempsey around the last few years, playing as his teams in FIFA. I could see myself getting into them. I totally don't understand your Red Sox/Yankees comment though. We've lost the patent on Entitled Fans - you guys have your own brand now, so show some pride.
 

URI

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Check the Arsenal thread whenever they play Spurs. A couple years ago, one of the members actually defended his casual antisemitism.
 

fletcherpost

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The genesis of one's rooting interest and affections tending to one or more teams can be as random as fuck, no right nor wrongs to it. My American football affections for example. New Orleans Saint's - cos they always came second to the 49ers, and for a time never won a playoff game and New Orleans is a great city that i have never been to, but great music and food and the Frenchie thing.
 
Cleveland Browns, cos they always lost to the Broncos in the playoffs and i live the Helmet with the Orange Stripe. And Cleveland is a city I imagine to have a monstrous amount of industrial decay and i love industrial decay like some SOSH members like Amputee Porn.
 
The Ravens. Cos my best mates missues is daft for em. But my best mate keeps telling me about the night the Colts left town and every time i watch Diner I feel a bit icky, but The Ravens bring joy to the city and next to Fife, Baltimore is the centre of the Universe...tied with Edinburgh...Boston a close third. 
 
See no fuckin logic. Who needs logic, it's sport.
 

URI

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DLew On Roids said:
This was funny.
 
Every time I'm ready to write you off as the PR Bot, you pass the Turing test by showing self-awareness.  And SJH is right about Jose.  We joke about him a lot, but the world of soccer is a better place with him in it.  Even when Chelsea was sinking Liverpool's title hopes last season, I was laughing every time they cut to Jose on the sideline unshaven and wearing that puffy white vest, knowing that he'd basically decided to inhabit a character for the 90 minutes.
I am so looking forward to the first Chelsea/Man U match. Between Jose and van Gaal, the troll will be immense.
 

Seven Costanza

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DLew On Roids said:
 
This was funny.
 
Every time I'm ready to write you off as the PR Bot, you pass the Turing test by showing self-awareness.  And SJH is right about Jose.  We joke about him a lot, but the world of soccer is a better place with him in it.  Even when Chelsea was sinking Liverpool's title hopes last season, I was laughing every time they cut to Jose on the sideline unshaven and wearing that puffy white vest, knowing that he'd basically decided to inhabit a character for the 90 minutes.
 
I'm taking a tour of the Bridge in September and plan on buying one of these in the team shop:

 
Because Jose is fucking awesome.
 

cjdmadcow

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Gunfighter 09 said:
 
 
There is everything to like about Chelsea except for the guy in your avatar. 
 
Strangely enough, I don't have an issue with RA. Despite zero media interviews he actually comes across as a fan who genuinely wants to see the team do well from a trophy point of view, not as an investment vehicle. of course, it helps to have a gazillion pounds in your back pocket, but still...
 
The tosser who picks the team and stands on the touchline is another matter entirely.
 

soxfan121

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cjdmadcow said:
 
Strangely enough, I don't have an issue with RA. Despite zero media interviews he actually comes across as a fan who genuinely wants to see the team do well from a trophy point of view, not as an investment vehicle. of course, it helps to have a gazillion pounds in your back pocket, but still...
 
The tosser who picks the team and stands on the touchline is another matter entirely.
 
Wait, so you're OK with Roman but "the tosser" is an issue?
 
Which tosser? There's been like 45 tossers in Roman's Reign of Managerial Terror. This is like saying you are OK with the fucked up napkin dispenser and the real problem is the torn napkins.
 

cjdmadcow

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soxfan121 said:
 
Wait, so you're OK with Roman but "the tosser" is an issue?
 
Which tosser? There's been like 45 tossers in Roman's Reign of Managerial Terror. This is like saying you are OK with the fucked up napkin dispenser and the real problem is the torn napkins.
 
I'm not a Chelsea fan, don't forget. What I'm ok with is Roman's apparent fan-boy attitude to the game, rather than many other overseas owners whose motivations are business-focused. How RA goes about creating a successful team on the pitch is another matter entirely. The fact that so many have 'failed' is neither here nor there to me.
 
You know full well who I meant. Chelsea have had plenty of managers but most of them I have respect for, as would most fans. That cannot be said about the current incumbent and his histrionics and constant need for attention are beginning to wear thin, even with the fawning media over here who've hung on his every word for years even when they know he's talking complete and utter shite.
 
Roman - good
Tosser - tosser
 

Snakebauer007

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DLew On Roids said:
 
This was funny.
 
Every time I'm ready to write you off as the PR Bot, you pass the Turing test by showing self-awareness.  And SJH is right about Jose.  We joke about him a lot, but the world of soccer is a better place with him in it.  Even when Chelsea was sinking Liverpool's title hopes last season, I was laughing every time they cut to Jose on the sideline unshaven and wearing that puffy white vest, knowing that he'd basically decided to inhabit a character for the 90 minutes.
The puffy vests have not been a welcome change to the usually constant tailored suits and scarves.
 

soxfan121

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Snakebauer007 said:
The puffy vests have not been a welcome change to the usually constant tailored suits and scarves.
 
Look, if you're trying to mock a "Specialist in Failure", you use a puffy coat (or vest). 
 
Trolling, trolling, trolling...Jose is always trolling. 
 

DLew On Roids

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It seemed like every woman in DC was wearing an Arsene coat this past winter.
 
Seeing CJD unwilling to use The Special 1's name is almost as funny.
 

McBride11

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I had picked Spurs back in 2006 after the WC because they werent one of ManU or Arsenal (aka no frontrunning) but theyd always have a chance of making the top 4.

Time and work and lack of ability to watch games back then made me drift away. Which of course means I missed most of the Bale era.

Maybe Ill find some time to get back into it since this WC has really reinvigorated my watching interest. Oh and URI makes it sound really fun to get a weekly nutpunch.
 

cumicon

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I'm planning to start following the Premier League in depth this season, and I'm trying to pick a team to follow.  I have it narrowed down to Everton and Liverpool.  For Everton, I love the idea of supporting a smaller team that seems to overachieve.  I like what I have seen of Roberto Martinez and there is the Tim Howard connection.  I like the idea of (hopefully) watching the team grow from Europa League to Champions League, and the top of the Premier League table.  However, it seems the chances of that coming to fruition are nearly hopeless given their payroll.  It feels like as an Everton fan you'd be stuck following a mid table team with no hope for titles that ends up selling their top players to the big clubs.
 
For Liverpool, there is the Red Sox connection, I like some of their players, and they have the resources to compete without being Man U, Chelsea, and City.  Yet, jumping in as a Liverpool fan just seems a bit 'bandwagony' to me.  I feel like if this were a couple years ago when they were middle of the table I'd have no trouble jumping on board, but now that they just finished second and have a Champions League birth it just doesn't really feel genuine to me.
 
Basically, I feel like I want to be an Everton fan, but probably shouldn't subject myself to the torture of supporting a small club so in the end I should just pick Liverpool.  Thoughts?
 

DJnVa

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cumicon said:
Basically, I feel like I want to be an Everton fan, but probably shouldn't subject myself to the torture of supporting a small club so in the end I should just pick Liverpool.  Thoughts?
 
Done.
 
Don't deny yourself that.
 

SoxFanInCali

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I'll say it again, watch a bunch of games the first couple months of the season.  Eventually you will find yourself pulling for one team over the others.
 

cjdmadcow

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cumicon said:
.
Basically, I feel like I want to be an Everton fan, but probably shouldn't subject myself to the torture of supporting a small club so in the end I should just pick Liverpool.  Thoughts?
 
The heart should always rule the head otherwise being a sports fan becomes as mundane as the rest of our dreary, miserable lives.
 

soxfan121

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Yeah, just watch games. When you find yourself rooting for Stoke, however, stop watching games and consult Dr. DLew or another qualified Soccer Doctor.
 
Dec 10, 2012
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I probably have the worst and most inconsistent rooting interests, so don't do what I do.
 
In EPL, root for ownership - Chelsea
 
In Serie A, root for tradition of diversity - Inter
 
In La Liga, root against the Yankees, sort of - Barca and anyone who plays/beats RM
 
In Bundesliga, root for team extended family member roots for - Dortmund
 
Outside of Champions League, never watched a French team, but will try to start now, watching PSG (hypocritical of me I know) to see Thiago, Luiz, Zlatan, Lavezzi, and Matuidi.  Maybe not root for them, but see the talent.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Still in the "enjoying the league and waiting for a team to pick me" stage as USMNT has always been my religion, but I did have a question perhaps best answered by one of our Englishman. My ancestor comes from Boston (assuming the records from 400 years ago are correct) so I figured this would be the thread to ask who those from Boston or Lincolnshire in general tend to support? I've read that they maybe just stick to the local sides (BPL be damned) or Yorkshire. Likely won't move the needle in terms of choosing a side but I was just curious if anybody might know.
 

tulse_luper

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Lincs is a bit of a footballing wasteland. Boston Utd, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Lincoln City are the local clubs, tinpot all. Hull City are across the river to the north, but somewhat of a traditional rival of the middle 2 and historically pretty crappy too. Across the Wash there's Ipswich and Norwich, with whom they share a cultural heritage of interbreeding and livestock bothering, so that must count for something. All the Midlands clubs and the Sheffield pair aren't far away I guess, Peterborough as well, but not much identification there either.

So most likely they all support Man Utd, Liverpool and Barcelona.
 

soxfan121

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tulse_luper said:
Lincs is a bit of a footballing wasteland. Boston Utd, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Lincoln City are the local clubs, tinpot all. Hull City are across the river to the north, but somewhat of a traditional rival of the middle 2 and historically pretty crappy too. Across the Wash there's Ipswich and Norwich, with whom they share a cultural heritage of interbreeding and livestock bothering, so that must count for something. All the Midlands clubs and the Sheffield pair aren't far away I guess, Peterborough as well, but not much identification there either.

So most likely they all support Man Utd, Liverpool and Barcelona.
 
 

dirtynine

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I can understand how some newcomers can find an easier path in by picking a club first. But I'd heartily recommend just watching games - from everywhere, it's never been easier - and seeing what happens. After about two seasons or so you'll definitely have a club pick you, and you'll have internalized a lot more organic context about them (instead of feeling like you need to catch up to be legit fan).
 

cjdmadcow

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Nice, though I'd be reluctant to consider Chelsea a 'traditional powerhouse', unless you define that to be anything of 15 years or less.
 

teddykgb

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Most of that is shit but it's hard to do these types of things without pissing people off.  "Do you like teal Yes/Hell Yes" made me laugh out loud, even if teal isn't the right way to describe those kits.
 

cshea

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Can anyone recommend a good mobile app for following scores and general need? After really enjoying the World Cup, I started watching the BPL last weekend and really enjoyed it. Any good catch-all place to keep tabs of scores, standings, etc.?
 

DJnVa

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The Yahoo Sports app does a good job--keeps running PBP (mostly), then shows goals, cards, etc. during a game and has table, news, and leaders as well. It's my go to sports app to check scores and in-game box scores for all the sports.