Becoming a Barclays Premier League soccer fan is a lot like attending a cocktail party with strangers. Sure all the names sound familiar but it is impossible to remember what anyone does or who came with who without asking a friend.
This is the primary challenge in adopting a new sport. The World Cup made soccer so appealing that sports fans like myself are looking for more exposure to the global game. The BPL offers the best option to newbies because of A) some familiarity with the teams at the top like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool B) NBC Sports Network, which broadcasts and streams most games, is standard on most cable packages unlike beIN which carries La Liga and Serie A C) overall quality of play and competitive balance throughout the league.
In order to make room on the plate for another sport something has to give and the most likely casualty is football. Easier said than done, especially during the preseason when NFL games are as unwatchable as anything on tv. The real test will come during the Fall when the regular season begins and the choice between a morning Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace and an afternoon divisional matchup between Green Bay and Chicago becomes that much more difficult.
The good news is that soccer games come tidily package in palatable two hour blocks unlike the three plus hour slogfests in the NFL. If you think about it in these terms dropping a football game for a soccer match is like picking up an extra hour to your day. In an instant, your life has become more productive!
For now, the Premier League is the first choice on the “telly” and it’s fun becoming a new fan of an old sport. Check back after Labor Day however.