Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sports Love Knows No Logic

Right now, my favorite soccer team is playing the last match of the season. This game will determine whether we get into the UEFA Champions League group stage (huge tournament for all of Europe), end up in the UEFA Europa league (also huge tournament, but not for the top dogs like the Champions League is), or sit on pins and needles wondering which way we'll go. I figured today is as good a day as any to explain how I came to be a fan of the most awesome soccer team in the world (soccer is known as football in almost every other country, if you didn't already know).

I've always been a fan of all things British. If you know me at all, you probably already figured that out. So it's only logical that I'd prefer watching the Premier League over the MLS (Major League Soccer). In 2009, I watched a preseason game and fell in love with the sport. It beats American football hands down, in my oh-so-humble opinion. The game is non-stop action for 45 minutes, you get a 15 minute potty break, then another 45 minutes and the game is over (unless it's a final of some sort). No commercial breaks every goal or whenever the quarterback sneezes. But I'm not writing this post to dis American football...

I had a very complicated and slightly convoluted process to come up with a team to cheer for. I actually made a spreadsheet. No joke. After about a week of research, I narrowed the teams down to Aston Villa (awesome name), Liverpool (really awesome theme song), and Tottenham Hotspur (named after a Shakespeare character). A little more digging dropped Aston Villa out of the running, though I couldn't tell you why since I never put it on my spreadsheet. So it was down to Liverpool and Tottenham.

I set aside a weekend (this was still preseason, mind you) to watch both teams. It just so happened that Liverpool played first. They were the team that, on paper, should have been my top pick. I got my coffee and breakfast and settled in. It was enjoyable, make no mistake. But I wasn't moved. I actually got a little bored at one point and started playing a video game. But the Reds won, by a lot if I remember right. So they were off to a good start, anyway.

Next came Tottenham, my Lilywhites. The game was quick-paced, tons of action, my heart was clenching in my chest, I was shouting at the screen and throwing my hands in the air on numerous occasions. And they lost, in glorious fashion.

At that point, my heart told me one thing while my mind pleaded with me to go another route. So I decided to give it another weekend. It was the same scenario. Liverpool won, but the game was meh. Spurs lost but I was riveted the entire time. I decided to accept my fate and ordered my first Tottenham jersey. I went with my heart, and it didn't let me down. You know what happened to my new team, the team that was almost relegated a season before? They went on to break up the Big 4 and take a spot in the Champions League. And they gave a damn good showing while doing it.

As of this moment, my boys sit at 1-0 on top of Fulham. Here's hoping they can pull it out and take another run at the Champions League.

Are you a sports fan? How did you choose your favorite team? Did you go with your heart? Or your head?

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