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How did you come to pick an EPL team?

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by scott bankheadcase, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. scott bankheadcase

    scott bankheadcase Member SoSH Member

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    As the new season kicks off today and I look at the multitude of threads on different teams, it got me wondering how people have come to support the clubs they root for. It's a red sox board, so Bruins/Pats/Celtics are a given, but the EPL doesn't fall along that regional allegiance.

    We may have had a thread like this in the past (I'm relatively new to the soccer portion of these boards) but I couldn't find one on a quick search.

    In the early 2000s I would frequent a bar in Hoboken, NJ called McSwiggans. They had 2 bartenders, Paul and Steve, from northern London. Paul and Steve were big Tottenham fans and if I could come in an talk a little Casey Keller, Darren Anderton and Sol Campbell (the bastard) with them, more free beers would show up in front of me. I eventually started watching some games with them at the bar across the street. I've been Spurs ever since.

    So, why do you support your particular team?
     
  2. bsj

    bsj Renegade Crazed Genius SoSH Member

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    Sadly my team is no longer EPL, it is QPR. As a child, I remember watching EPL on SportsChannel in Boston, and for some reason, my grandfather supported QPR, so I did as well. So yeah, not a particularly bright run Ive experienced. And no optimism in sight either.

    In the spirit of lower level, and because I tend to always shy away from the big time teams, Ive also recently begun following Forest Green (despite the whole vegan thing)
     
  3. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    I think we have already had this thread, no?
     
  4. DennyDoyle'sBoil

    DennyDoyle'sBoil Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill SoSH Member

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    I saw some Arsenal highlights and thought Thierry Henri was an amazing player to watch and so when EPL started being broadcast in earnest I was partial to them. But nothing that I feel in my blood. When EPL became more popular in the USA, I started following Everton because of Howard and Donovan. Plus, I enjoy men in blazers, so you hear about a fair amount of Everton from Rog. At this point, when Everton and Arsenal play, I lean Everton.
     
  5. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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  6. scott bankheadcase

    scott bankheadcase Member SoSH Member

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  7. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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  8. John Marzano Olympic Hero

    John Marzano Olympic Hero has fancy plans, and pants to match Dope

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    I really enjoy watching soccer. I don't care who's playing or what league they're in, I will watch a lot just to see something cool. The great thing about soccer (at least for me) is that I don't have a lot of biases that I do when it comes to watching action from the four North American majors. Like when Giancarlo Stanton knocked that ball to Mars last night, eff him, he's a Yankee. Same thing for Jets, Lakers or Canadiens players. But for soccer players, I don't get wrapped up in a lot of the rivalry stuff because it hasn't been engrained in me since I was a kid.

    That being said, it's fun to cast your lot with a team. And the team that I like the most is Newcastle. I don't live and die with them, but if there's a NUFC game on, I'll be more apt to watch it. And that's because of a game that occurred seven years ago between them and Arsenal. Arsenal was up 4-0 within the first 26 minutes and it seemed as if Newcastle was going to roll over and get crushed. But they came back to draw the match at 4-4. Normally ties aren't very satisfying, but this was an excellent match and was exciting as hell.

    I chose them.

    It also didn't hurt that Newcastle was my beer of choice at the time.
     
  9. John Marzano Olympic Hero

    John Marzano Olympic Hero has fancy plans, and pants to match Dope

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    Yeah. Don't worry about it. New threads are good and this is a solid conversation starter.
     
  10. pedro1918

    pedro1918 Member SoSH Member

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    I've told this story before, but here it is again.

    Some time in the 80's I picked Liverpool because of the Beatles. I had no idea Everton was located in Liverpool. For years I didn't really follow LFC closely, but they were my soccer team. I vaguely rooted for them but didn't follow them game to game. I knew the big players, but I couldn't have named the starting XI. As the games became easier to watch here in the States, my interest really picked up. For the past several years I have made LFC games appointment viewing.

    Of course when my interest picked up I found out that none of the Beatles rooted for Liverpool. Paul is an Everton fan (who now says LFC is his "second team" because "it's all Liverpool!"), Ringo is an Arsenal fan and John and George didn't care. Oh well, way too late to change my red for blue.
     
  11. IHateDaveKerpen

    IHateDaveKerpen Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I liked watching Dennis Bergkamp in the 1998 World Cup. His late goal against Argentina is my favorite of all time.

    When I started learning more about soccer, I started following his club.

    So yeah - he’s to blame for me being an Arsenal fan. Thanks a pantload, Dennis.
     
  12. pedro1918

    pedro1918 Member SoSH Member

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    Just recently I realized that circa 1995-1996, I played in a regular Wednesday night pickup soccer game with Roger Bennett at Fort Reno here in DC. Right before the World Cup, there was story about him in the Washington Post and it all clicked.
     
  13. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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  14. page 2 protege

    page 2 protege Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Michael owen was only a few years older than me, and it was the first coverage of soccer that I ever cared about in the '98 world cup, and i saw what team he played for, so not a lot of thought was put into it, I don't take fandom super seriously.
     
  15. DennyDoyle'sBoil

    DennyDoyle'sBoil Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill SoSH Member

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    That's pretty cool. He comes off as a thoughtful, decent guy, albeit he loves to hear himself talk I think.

    In the podcast, he makes book recommendations, with little minireviews and some of the books are real discoveries.
     
  16. steeplechase3k

    steeplechase3k Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    My team is no longer EPL. They aren't even Championship this year.

    In 2005 newly promoted Sunderland came on a preseason tour in the (at the time) USL teams of Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. For the match in Portland there were thousand of Sunderland fans there. and it was on of the biggest crowds the Timbers had at the time. The Timbers Army welcomed the Sunderland fans in and we partied with them for a few days before and after the match. Then in 2006 the Sunderland fans that had come to Portland invited us to come see them in England. I, along whit ~35 other TA, flew the England and saw two Sunderland matches. We were in the away section at Old Tratford (IIRC that match started about 3 hours after SAFC was mathematically relegated), and then saw Sunderland get killed by New Castle. It was an amazing trip and by the end of it I was fully in love with Sunderland.

    They suck and have mostly broken my heart or given me heart burn since, but I can't quit them.
     
  17. Trautwein's Degree

    Trautwein's Degree a Connecticut bicycle attorney in General Motor's Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    My buddy like Swansea. He assured me that Swansea was a righteous choice. In that if they were a football team they'd be like the Bengals. Not top tier but always potentially dangerous. That was 2 years ago. Now Swansea got relegated. And I am not buying whatever package one needs to buy to watch them play in an inferior league. Life is too short for that. Now, I'm looking for a new team.
     
  18. Tangled Up In Red

    Tangled Up In Red Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    My cousins were (are) die-hard Spurs fans from Golders Green. Location plus Judaism, I suppose. Walls were covered with posters of Hoddle and Waddle, pennants and scarves. I think they were 20+ tear season ticket holders (this was early 90s).
    My closest Uncle was also Spurs, despite growing up in Orpington (Kent). He explained to me over dinner recently it was because he was an impressionable 10 year old in '61 when they won the double. His dad, a tailor, was Chelsea.

    So, despite being an impressionable 12 year old in 1984 (hello, Liverpool), my heart turned to Spurs in adulthood.

    New addition: Having lived the first two years of my life in Lewisham, I've adopted Milwall as my second tier club. And b/c they're fucking Millwall.
     
  19. Clears Cleaver

    Clears Cleaver Lil' Bill SoSH Member

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    FSG bought Liverpool Nd a year later son began playing youth soccer. He loves the sport (while showing no interest in baseball, football or basketball) so I began to follow the PL as he began to finish low the league and its players.

    We bonded over the Saturday meeting thing games. He stated he was a ManU fan, I think because of Pogba, while I rooted for Liverpool just because of FSG/Sox. Last year, as he started playing at a higher level and began to appreciate tactics and overall play he turned on ManU and “that awful mourinho” and rooting for Salah and Liverpool was an easy switch.

    He watches games every day it seems and our dvd is still full of World Cup, uefa and ICC games. But we LOVE watching Liverpool play. Klopp is a great manager and Salah has become my favorite athlete to watch. The growth of the club mirrors the Sox post hWL buying the Sox. Klopp is Theo. Salah is Ortiz. Allison is Foulke.

    Man City are the Yankees. Real are the Cardinals. Although Ramos is clearly ARod.

    Regardless, it’s my way of going back to 2004.
     
  20. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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  21. IHateDaveKerpen

    IHateDaveKerpen Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I miss him so much.
     
  22. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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    Not picking on you personally, but Liverpool fans wrapping themselves in the plucky underdog flag is some of my favorite shit.
     
  23. IHateDaveKerpen

    IHateDaveKerpen Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Eighteen league titles. Five European championships.
     
  24. americantrotter

    americantrotter Member SoSH Member

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    My sister often compares Liverpool to Sox fans. She lives in Oakland and finds all of our fans entitled and loud.

    Of course we’re Wanderer fans being born in Bolton. So no EPL team for me atm.

    But I have a soft spot for Liverpool because they’re Northern.

    Hate Man U. I get the easy allegiance Americans have to the big clubs. Love those who pick the less fashionable clubs. Really though I’m just glad it’s popular over here now. It’s was tough for a long time being a footie fan with no outlet. First website I visited at college in 95 when I could get on the net was BWFC I nearly cried at the access that was suddenly there.

    Fun fact Bergkamp lovers. He was signed by Bruce Rioch. Who Arsenal pinched from Bolton after our amazing 97 season.
     
  25. Clears Cleaver

    Clears Cleaver Lil' Bill SoSH Member

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    LOL...I never said they were underdogs, in fact quite the opposite. But I find them the most entertaining team to watch. and the parallels to the Sox in 2002-2004 is pretty striking
     
  26. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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    I guess I just don't think the parallels are that striking, unless you want them to be. I mean, YMMV, so...

    edit: whatever, my bad. No real need to bring that up here anyways, is a thread about how people found team.
     
    #26 Dummy Hoy, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  27. DennyDoyle'sBoil

    DennyDoyle'sBoil Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill SoSH Member

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  28. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I still haven’t picked an English team and doubt I ever will.

    I look out for results of clubs where Americans play. As I result I guess I have something of a soft spot for Fulham.

    I tend to root against English clubs in UEFA competitions out of a general affinity for underdogs. Unless they are playing Real Madrid or something. Obviously, that will change when Christian Pulisic is starting for RM in a few years...
     
  29. BCsMightyJoeYoung

    BCsMightyJoeYoung Member SoSH Member

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    I lived in Edinburgh in the early eighties .. the Premier League’s premium player at the time was Kenny Dalglish .. of Liverpool. He was also Scottish .. so, as I was trying to culturally assimilate, I picked the Reds. ( I suppose I should have picked Hearts or Hibs).

    Didn't really become an obsessed fan until Istanbul .. that , and the PL on TV every week certainly helps with the obsession.
     
  30. Plantiers Wart

    Plantiers Wart Member SoSH Member

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    PBS used to show English First Division games in the late 70/s. Not the whole game, they were usually condensed to an hour on Saturday evenings. Anyhow, Liverpool was kicking ass at the time, with Kevin Keegan and Jimmy Case. Loved watching them beat up on Leeds United, QPR, and Nottingham.
     
  31. Zomp

    Zomp Turkey Virgin Dope

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    Funny I had post 10 in the pool where someone compares their club to the Red Sox.
     
  32. coremiller

    coremiller Member SoSH Member

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    When I first started watching English soccer around 2001 or so , I was mainly a Man Utd fan because my youth coach was a Man U fan, they and Arsenal were the only two teams on TV a lot (I only got Champions League matches on TV), and I had an instinctive aversion to Arsenal, and for some reason that escapes me now I'd taken a liking to Ruud van Nistelrooy. I think in 2007 I finally got Fox Soccer Channel and could follow the EPL closely and I decided supporting Man U was way too front-runnery. Since I'm Jewish and already strongly disliked Arsenal, Spurs were a natural fit. Of course Spurs then started the 2007 season by picking up only 2 points in their first 8 games, firing Ramos, and hiring Redknapp, so that was a good introduction.
     
  33. koufax32

    koufax32 He'll cry if he wants to... SoSH Member

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    For any American under 40 there is virtually no first hand memory of winning the PL let alone dominance. Would any LFC supporters really pretend to be the red version of Leicester if they won this year?

    A club of a rich history with passionate fans who once dominated but has not won for awhile now. Their arch rivals are the biggest, richest club in the league. The only way the BRS parallel doesn’t work is that I’m not sure LFC is as high on the budget table as BOS is on the MLB budget table.


    What am I missing here?
     
  34. coremiller

    coremiller Member SoSH Member

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    Liverpool don't have several generations of suffering and misery like the pre-04 Red Sox did. Even during their league drought (now at a ghastly, horror-inducing 28 years), Liverpool won the European Cup, made two other European Cup finals, and won the UEFA Cup, three FA Cups, and four League Cups, including all three in one year. The only people who think Liverpool fans are long-suffering are Liverpool fans. Liverpool is much more like the Celtics than then Red Sox.
     
  35. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I was watching this game and early in the second half I just knew that Newcastle were going to come back. Don’t ask m how but I just knew.
     
  36. BCsMightyJoeYoung

    BCsMightyJoeYoung Member SoSH Member

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    Celtics? That’s a good analogy. Another would be The Montreal Canadiens. At least as far as a glorious history goes.
     
  37. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    Everton is one of the biggest, richest clubs in the league? I know they did well in the transfer market but that seems like a stretch.

    The proper American equivalent of Liverpool is Notre Dame football. Great legacy team; had some success over the last few decades but aren’t the same power they once were. Annoying fan base as well.
     
  38. bsj

    bsj Renegade Crazed Genius SoSH Member

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    QPR are the Spinners then
     
  39. koufax32

    koufax32 He'll cry if he wants to... SoSH Member

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    I hope you can hear me rolling my eyes.

    Norte Dame is a good parallel. NCAA football jokes aside, the money factor doesn’t come into play though.

    Using pro sports I can see the Celtics comparison. I’ll concede that the length and degree of suffering is the biggest difference between BOS and LFC. St. Louis Cardinals or even Baltimore Orioles would work too to a degree.
     
  40. koufax32

    koufax32 He'll cry if he wants to... SoSH Member

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    This was good.


    And sad.
     
  41. scott bankheadcase

    scott bankheadcase Member SoSH Member

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    Separately you and I both root for Spurs, the 49ers and the Red Sox. That’s a weird grouping of teams to have in common.
     
  42. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I watched a lot of the 2010 WC right after my daughter was born and became a USMNT fan. I started to watch the PL on Saturday mornings with the baby while my wife slept in. I gravitated to Everton because of Howard (Donovan too but he was only a short loan) but then i just fell in love with Goodison and the fan culture. It wasn’t something I willed but here I am.
     
  43. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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    Your team picks you.

    I tried really hard to ditch Wednesday after they got relegated back into League One- it just wasn’t worth the effort of trying to follow them- there was no way to watch or even listen. I threw everything in on Everton, it seemed a perfect fit. There was the American influence (Howard, Joe Max Moore, McBride), the fan base, I loved James McFadden, and I figured I wouldn’t need to worry about Relegation. But it just didn’t stick...I tried to ditch Wednesday but the club had different things in mind. I liked Everton, but it just wasn’t the same. WTID.
     
  44. Nick Kaufman

    Nick Kaufman protector of human kind from spoilers Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    28 years is a lot when realistically only 4-6 clubs can win it and most of them aren't in contention in any given year.
     
  45. coremiller

    coremiller Member SoSH Member

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    Thank you for proving my point.
     
  46. coremiller

    coremiller Member SoSH Member

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    Whoa, that is indeed a strange combination to share. There can't be many of us.
     
  47. Nick Kaufman

    Nick Kaufman protector of human kind from spoilers Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    You have a point, but I think you re missing something because of your perspective as an American. Americans for the most part tend to support their home teams; most importantly they expect their team to have a shot at winning the title. Not consistently, not every year, but at least a few times during their lifetimes. It's a strangely egalitarian, almost socialist conception of sports. The reality is quite different in almost every other league in the world.

    When I was growing up in Greece, it was taken as a given that there were 3-4 teams that were going to win a title and that's the way it was. I can't speak for everyone, but I think that even if you were living in a small regional town, sure you might root for the local team, but you were also rooting for one of the big ones. You really had to, if you wanted to have a rooting interest with a shot at the title.

    How did I pick my team? Well, first of all, soccer was considered by default the one and only major sport, kinda like water in a sense. (later basketball became big, but soccer is what was for breakfast, lunch and dinner). In the 70s and 80s, Greek league games were not shown on TV, only highlights every Sunday night, a night which as you can imagine was as special as it got. You could watch Greek teams however live when they played European football, a usually short-lived affair as they tended to get knocked out in the first or second round. Again, this meant of course, only the top teams. One day at the tender age of 5 or 6, all three major teams were shown on our black and white TV. My parents weren't big sports fans, so they didn't steer me in any direction. For me, decision was easy. I hated white shorts, so that immediately took Panathinaikos and Olympiacos out. I liked the white shirt/black shorts combo, so it was AEK Athens. It was a bit of an unpleasant surprise when I went to a store to get one of their shirts only to discover that their shirt was actually yellow. I didn't particularly like yellow! However, I tend to be stubborn and loyal, so I made my choice and stuck with it.

    I am not sure what kind of expectations English soccer fans have; I think there's a few obvious differences with Greeks. Soccer is even more ingrained in social fabric and the bonds with the local team are more tribal than most of other places. I do think however, that because in England there's also only a few teams that can win the title, fans of smaller teams adjust their expectations. Staying at top flight, having a good season here and there, earning qualification for Europe is the kind of goals that keep people content. Yeah, it's an unfair system, but if that's what things are like, if that's how things are, that's what people know and they live with it.

    So, how did I start rooting for Liverpool? Well, Greek soccer matches may not have been shown on tv, but the highlight packages shown on Sundays contained footage from all leagues abroad. English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and French, we knew and followed what everyone was doing. Most importantly, every Saturday, there was an English league match of the day. Liverpool were dominant at the time, so they were shown a lot, but following the common sense criteria I had adopted as a 6 year old is what led me to my choice. Hating white shorts precluded Manchester United, Everton, Arsenal; I liked the red on red combo, so Liverpool it was!

    For the same reason, I was rooting for Bayern Munich, but I never really developed a bond with them. It was different with Liverpool though. As a 10 year old I remember having a small ball and playing pretend soccer matches in our house; I knew by heart Liverpool's lineup and I played as them for hours. Without looking, I can still name some players from those mid-eighties teams: Gropelaar, Lawrenson, Nichols, Hansen, Souness, Dalglish, Rush.

    As years went by, I grew up and my criteria changed. One thing I dislike is frontrunning. I just don't find any enjoyment in rooting for a team that's expected to buy the best players and win the title every year. It's a spoiled existence. Let's say you root for Real Madrid. They buy the best players, they win every year. Yawn. There's no pain. There's no longing. There's no sense of loss and incompleteness. There's no serious head scratching trying to find value with a relatively constrained budget. Just a mindless rah rah rah, we re no 1. It's like being Paris Hilton. Sure, you have everything, but you didn't earn anything; how can you savor success if you haven't experienced failure in your bones? Instead, I like the journey. I like a team that has a shot at the title, but needs to make adjustments, make progress towards their goal and in the process overcome obstacles and adversity. That's why I stopped rooting for Bayern Munich and started rooting for Dortmund which has the same colors as AEK for example.

    Truth be told, fandom is a fluid experience. Most people pretend that they root for the same team with the same passion year in, year out, but that happens only for a few. People's rooting interests fluctuate IMO. One year it's football, another year it's baseball another year it's soccer and so on. I know from myself that as I came to the States and following European sports was tougher, I switched focus on American sports. First the Celtics, then the Pats and the Sox. Because I liked the journey, I followed the Sox intently until they won, but then with my title thirst satiated my focus switched elsewhere.

    Around that time, proper football started being shown on TV. Throughout the years, I casually followed premier league standings. I was kinda annoyed that Liverpool didn't seem to win year in and out but that was also what was attractive about them. The new economics of football that gave a boost to teams coming from big metropolitan cities along with teams that enjoyed access to oligarchs' money had turned Liverpool into underdogs. We could still contend, but we were 4th or 5th best in terms of finances. Sure, we were not left behind by the new economic structures like Leeds or Derby County, but we had and have an uphill road to climb.

    That's what makes it interesting to me. Add the fact that we were blessed to play positive, creative football under Rogers and Klopp often finding ourselves scoring 4, but conceding 3 and it's a fun ride being a Liverpool fan these days.
     
    #47 Nick Kaufman, Aug 11, 2018 at 2:18 PM
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 2:28 PM
  48. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac Member SoSH Member

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    Hard to follow that one up...

    I grew up on VHS tapes of Juventus games. I fully understand that I’m rooting for something worse than the Yankees in many ways, but I can’t change my team after 36 years on the planet. I have baby pictures in black and white.

    My wife brought Liverpool to my fandom. With their ties to the Sox, it made sense to go along. I’ve fallen in love with the squad over recent years. I’m excited for their journey this year (moreso than Juventus in many ways), but I’m just happy to be a footy fan these days. We have more access to the European game than ever. I’m not watching mailed VHS tapes. It’s real-time. It’s wonderful.
     
  49. Gunfighter 09

    Gunfighter 09 wants to be caribou ken SoSH Member

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    I spent several years trying to decide if I was a Spurs or Liverpool fan or even liked the EPL that much, then 2012/3 happened, and these three goals / games pretty much sealed it for me that I was a Spurs fan:





    Of course, at the end of that season I had to deal with the crushing reality of missing Champion's League by one point, wondering why the hell Arsenal fans seem to care so damn much that they were the team one spot (and one point) above Spurs and then watching Bale get sold later that summer. I was hooked. Pain and promise with very little chance of ever reaching the top. Perfect.
     
  50. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I went to London to see the 49ers in 2013 (making those plans never thinking the Sox had a dream of being in the WS). I figured I ought to see a PL game. I looked around and found it a bit challenging to get tickets, but ultimately was able to become a member at Crystal Palace for £25 and buy tickets for me and three friends. They were playing Arsenal, and I figured Arsenal might be a good team to support, with me having a bit of knowledge from what I heard of the book “Fever Pitch”. But I got to Selhurst Park, and once I felt the atmosphere and saw the stadium, it felt kind of like Fenway to me. Palace (newly promoted) played their hearts out (I thought they were the better team despite the score) and I walked out a Palace fan. It’s been frequently frustrating, but I also wouldn’t want it any other way. I felt like picking a top 6 side was kind of cheating.

    A few years later, Palace played a pre-season friendly at Union Berlin. I read the story of that club, and immediately knew who I was going to support when I got to Berlin (I can’t imagine a team that more reflects my personality - mainly the anti-Stasi team, with a punk rock anthem and a stadium in the woods, what?!?). I’m considering season tickets, though this year may not work out. Part of me hopes they get promoted this season, but part of me hopes not, so I can get in on season tickets there for when they do.
     

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