A few days ago, I got trapped in a vortex of YouTube videos about British stuff.
It started with a comment on Twitter about commemorating the anniversary of the 1985 Heysel Stadium disaster*, which truth be told I'd never heard of. I mean, perhaps I'd heard of it at the time, but the horror didn't make much of impression on me as a young teen, or got lost amid general reports on English soccer hooliganism. It continued into watching videos about Liverpudlians vs Mancunians, and then comparative accent videos, and then swung back around to more soccer disasters, and eventually I decided I need to come up with an English Premier League team to support.
Now clearly I don't *need* to support any team. My interest in international football is shallow at best, and I honestly don't foresee it becoming particularly deep any time soon. After all, my interest in other non-tennis sports - your baseball, your basketball, certainly your god damn American football - has waned substantially over the years, inversely proportionate to my waxing interest in tennis at all levels.
That said, though, at least I know enough about MLB, NBA, and even the god damn NFL to be somewhat conversant, although the roster names have become increasingly obscure, even on the teams that I root for (your Chicago White Sox, your Denver Nuggets, your god damn Denver Broncos). I can certainly bandwagon it if and when any of those teams makes a deep run to the playoffs.
But with soccer, I'm pretty lost. I see all the Brits on my timeline pulling for Spurs or Villa or whatever and even after having looked into it a few times, I couldn't tell you for sure where those teams are based (maybe both in London?), nor even a little bit about their histories, relative strength, or god forbid any of the players, beyond Steven Gerrard and Liverpool, and even that only because of his recent defection to MLS. Or is he only on loan? I literally have no idea how that works.
Anyway, I figured the best chance for me to at least attempt an interest in this worldwide sporting phenomenon that is Premier League is to adopt a team. At the very least, I might understand some of the terminology people are using, and more than a couple of player names. And that's where I need some help:
Which English soccer team should I support?
Generally I like to support teams (sides?) that aren't huge super winners all the time. I like a little bit of an underdog vibe to my teams. But I don't want a team mired in last place year after year, with no successful history or realistic future prospects. And finally, it would be nice if it were in a city or town that was fun to visit, so that I could incorporate a football match on a trip some time.
I've set up a poll with 10 possibilities, but feel free to vote OTHER should you think I'm totally missing out on the amazingness that is Stoke City. And please consider giving reasons for why I should support a team - or most certainly NOT support another team - or focus on another league - or leave football ALONE, damn it.
Thanks all! (Or as we say in England, cheerio!!)