Re-posted from Criticism As Inspiration by guest writer, Mark.
I love sports. But in my life I have typically never had teams that I followed specifically and of whom I would call myself a fan. I have loved football (American) for as long as I can remember and just last year decided to follow the Houston Texans after a lifetime of having no team allegiance. My reasoning for the Texans was simple… I had followed many of their players in my fantasy football league (I’m a nerd) and got used to wishing they would win, and finally decided to make it official.
After that however, I didn’t have anyone else. Baseball – don’t watch it (if I wanted a steroidal freak-show I would go back and watch Pumping Iron). Hockey – huh? Basketball – love it, but again, don’t have a team I follow. Golf – are you even allowed to root for anyone besides Tiger? (I think Nike would hunt you down and kill you). How about soccer, or “football” as the rest of the world properly calls it? Well, I played in AYSO when I was a youth but that was it, and besides who watches soccer in America? You need to have special cable connections that unscramble signals from a pirated satellite in space to see a match. And even then, Americans like sports with high scores, which is why your average baseball fan wants to see a ton of homers, not a pitchers duel. It is near impossible to get excited about a 0-0 draw. But I’ve found that a bunch of my hooligan friends do get excited over just such a world, and so they have dragged me kicking and screaming into the vortex of a sporting world full of passionate fans, large amounts of Russian money, gorgeous wives and girlfriends of players (WAGS), and of course drunken and violent thugs.
Shhhh, I'm about to make a sale!
My introduction to this world was appropriately not by watching an actual football match, but in viewing a movie about violent football fans called Green Street Hooligans with my friend Jacob – who is a Newcastle United FC fan and therefore the butt of all jokes because his team was relegated from the Premiership to the Championship league, and also because his team sports jerseys reminiscent of Footlocker salesman. In addition to the fighting I learned that there are other things fans can do such as drink lots of beer, curse, smoke, and wake up at the crack of dawn to watch a match all the while ruthlessly making fun of each other… things that I do enjoy immensely. So I decided to join in the fun and choose a team, and thanks to the world of blogging I happened to get some advice from a Brit who rooted for Chelsea FC.
I have no idea who these players are
Immediately upon arbitrarily choosing Chelsea as my team I learned that I was now the most hated member of this band of friends – Chelsea being the New York Yankees of football apparently. And while I don’t relish being hated, I do love the attention it draws, and also conveniently the fact that the team is awesome – just like the Yankees!! So needing to fit in I have bought a jersey, since all these chaps wear their teams “kit” whenever football is being talked about, or being viewed, or being thought about, or when just going to the store for more diapers. And so now I root for Chelsea FC, a team with a splendid and storied history, and try to remember who they are playing each week, and learn the names of at least three players (Lampard, Cole, Drogba… I think?), and know our record (6-0 beeyatches!). It has been nothing short of fun in my brief stint as a football fan; I have an outstanding team to root for, a stellar coach (£9 million worth of stellarness), cool looking jersey’s, possession of the Community Shield, and the sweet, sweet knowledge that my team plays in the world’s best football league, The Premier League. Only dopes follow teams in The Championship.