Saturday, August 17, 2013


Not soccer, but football. In the nine months since my last post on the subject of soccer/football, I have decided to "go native" and celebrate the term football when in conversation about The Beautiful Game, thus striking a stake in the heart of know-nothing Americans who claim that their inferior game is, in fact, football. "Soccer". Pffft. For shame.

And hey, guess what? I'm timing this post to go live at the exact moment that the English Premiere League kicks off its 2013/2014 season. I'm psyched beyond belief, as the frat boys used to say back in the 80s. All the games are going to be live in the USA via the new NBC Sports Network, either on TV or on their mobile apps. Last time we talked about this topic, I was relaying my difficulty in picking an English team to follow that "matched my personality", or whatever. I didn't want a front-runner (Chelsea, Man U, Man City, Arsenal - the big four whom everyone seems to think will be the big four yet again), and I wasn't bold enough to side with a team who'd just been promoted, like last year's Queens Park Rangers (since relegated to the Champions League due to poor EPL performance) or this year's Crystal Palace, Hull City, or Cardiff (who are from some place called Wales that's apparently near England or something). I like underdogs, but how heartbreaking to side with a team that's likely going to get kicked around and slaughtered all year during their one chance in the bigs, before being themselves unceremoniously relegated. 

I took a wacky online test to see which team I should follow, and they told me Sunderland, because I said in the quiz that I thought panthers were cool and because Sunderland is known as "The Black Cats". Next! No, I decided to throw my lot in with a lovable loser, a team that were once on top and are now scraping near bottom but who may be seeing glory days again. The team supported by Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler - to say nothing of prime minister David Cameron. The team that won it all in 1981, a time when I couldn't help but see their name even in the Melody Maker, NME and Sounds music rags I was devouring stateside. A team from Birmingham, a city in which I've never been. Ladies and gentlemen, my new, most favoritest club in all of English football is ASTON VILLA. Look for the awesome purple Villa scarves, shirts and "kits" I'll be wearing all Fall and Winter in support of newly-beloved team.

We're going up today against a tough Arsenal squad, but I think the boys have some fight in 'em, and I wouldn't be surprised if we eke out a hard-fought 0-0 draw, or as the English say, "nil-nil". What could be more exciting? Make sure you stay close to this blog during the entire EPL season for loads of righteous Aston Villa sports talk, perhaps as often as 3-4 posts on that topic, per day. Cheers!