If you’re moving to London or already living in London, one of the things you’ve probably heard of is England’s obsession with football (soccer as it’s known in the States). Just like in the US where you’ve got fans who are more than a little bit devoted to their NFL teams, hockey teams or basketball teams, here you’ve got County Cricket, Rugby and Football. Cricket and Rugby will be covered in later blogs for your edification, but for this one, we’ll be covering football (or as it’s known here, ‘footie’). Soccer has become pretty popular in America of late, so it’s safe to say that most people are already aware of what is one of the most popular sports on the planet, if not the most popular hands down. This won’t be too heavy on the detail.
To be honest, there really isn’t that much to understand. Twenty-two men rock up on a grassy field, with eleven men to each team and one leather ball that everyone runs around and tackles for. On either side of the field, there are a pair of posts. Each side will attempt to score by getting the ball between the opposing sides’ posts while the opponents’ defend against this. This might sound a bit flat and boring compared to incident strewn American sports but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Premier League Football can very often go at the speed of a runaway train, with rivalries between big teams often becoming so heated that things can get a bit out of control. Admittedly, there’s none of the tackling that you’d see in NFL or the liberal outbreaks of fighting seen in ice hockey; football is a slightly more civilized game with fights on the field only occasionally breaking out. But go to a derby between big teams like Chelsea and Arsenal, and tempers can flare, particularly at a time in the season when everything is at stake. But if you want to enjoy Premier League Football at its best, you can’t sit on the sidelines. You’re living in London which means that you have to pick a team.