PDA

View Full Version : Adopting a Team in the English Premiership?



Yachtzee
07-02-2006, 04:52 PM
I've decided to adopt a team in the English Premier League.

Okay, so the World Cup will be over soon and yet I want more. I got my first taste of professional soccer with the MISL back in the '80s (Cleveland Force all the way) and really got into it when I lived in Salzburg, Austria, when Salzburg made the Champions League. I've passively followed the MLS since its inception, but it's been difficult since Crew games don't seem to make it on TV/Radio in Cleveland and it's hard to keep track of when ABC or ESPN might be showing the random game. In any case, I'd really like to follow some top flight association football.

Since I'll never be able to follow Salzburg's games on TV or Radio, I figure my best bet is to pick a team in the EPL to follow. They get on TV at least once in a while, right? Plus, the EPL is supposed to be one of the best.

So here are my questions?

Which team would be a good one to adopt and why?
What is the best way to actually follow the games over here, other than Fox Soccer Net (I don't want to have to pay for the extra package on DirectTV)?

RawOwl UK
07-02-2006, 05:11 PM
Not Sheffield United !!!!!!!!!!

How about a Cincinnati Reds of the Prem ? maybe Blackburn Rovers perhaps.

Also follow Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship ;)

Red Heeler
07-02-2006, 05:34 PM
If you have DirecTv, both Fox Soccer (613) and Gol TV (614) have games from EPL, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy as well as South American teams. I personally like the Spanish league the best of the major leagues. Brazil is the best for the minor leagues. Both play a more free flowing style than the EPL or Germany.

Manchester United is sort of the Yankees of the EPL, but they are currently in the midst of a changing of the guard as the core of the team got old. Arsenal is fun to watch. They play a more aggresive offensive game than most other EPL teams. Chelsea has spent a boatload of money to buy the EPL title the last two years. Liverpool has a great history.

MWM
07-02-2006, 06:12 PM
I sort of adopted LIverpool a few years back because I'm a big Michael Owen fan. He's no longer there, but I still follow them somewhat.

Nugget
07-02-2006, 07:50 PM
Well Liverpool are officially known as the REDS, (not to be confused with ManU who are the red devils).

Also you have a teams which plays some pretty good football, some big names but not overly endowed with money. You have a broad cross section of footballing skills and a number of footballing regions represented.

WMR
07-02-2006, 10:26 PM
Chelsea is fun to watch b/c they have true world-class players at every position. They're the Yankees of the EPL.

Liverpool has some good stars, and Gerrard is unbelievable when he dons the Liverpool jersey.

If you want to root for an underdog with some serious American representation, how about adopting Reading? Bobby Convey was voted by his teammates as their MVP as he spearheaded their campaign to win the Coca-Cola Championship and win promotion into the Premier League. This is the team I'll be rooting for. I've really never "rooted" for a team in a professional soccer league, I just appreciate the great performances and certain players that I like. Reading's GK is Marcus Hahneman, back-up US WC goalie.

Winning promotion and having a Yank voted as MVP by his teammates is such a cool story. I hope they have lots of successes next season.

You really need Fox Soccer Channel, if you don't already have it. They show an ungodly amount of EPL matches.

Go Reading! Can't wait till they upset Chelsea next season.

WMR
07-02-2006, 10:30 PM
Well Liverpool are officially known as the REDS, (not to be confused with ManU who are the red devils).

Also you have a teams which plays some pretty good football, some big names but not overly endowed with money. You have a broad cross section of footballing skills and a number of footballing regions represented.

Plus they've got that pretty-boy Aussie. lmao. :laugh:

Yachtzee
07-02-2006, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I would like to have Fox Soccer Channel, and would probably have it if not for having Direct TV. Before I got satellite, Fox Sports World (now Fox Soccer Channel) was part of the basic digital package. Now that I have DirectTV, it appears you have to buy the package that gives you all the channels ($99 a month) to get Fox Soccer Channel. As much as I would like it, I can't justify adding $45 to my montly bill for one channel. Maybe I can find a bar in Akron that shows the matches.

Going back to Cable is not under consideration. I loathe Time Warner and like DirectTV too much. Besides, after I'm done with law school, I have notions of getting Sunday ticket.

WMR
07-02-2006, 10:41 PM
Have you checked with DirecTV on that, Yachtzee? I thought they offered an a la carte package giving you FSC (among others) for something like 10 bucks.

captainmorgan07
07-02-2006, 10:46 PM
i'd go with Manchester United but reading and convey is inticing

Yachtzee
07-02-2006, 10:47 PM
Have you checked with DirecTV on that, Yachtzee? I thought they offered an a la carte package giving you FSC (among others) for something like 10 bucks.

I just checked and I did see that they offer the regional sports package (w/ Fox Soccer Channel included) for $12 a month. I also saw they offer Setanta Sports for $12 a month as well. Does anyone have this? How does it compare?

http://www.setanta.com/na

In any case, I don't think I'm getting $12 a month by my wife until after I get done with law school.

Oh for the days when ESPN used to show English First Division as filler programming. I wish they would get that back and dump the World Series of Poker.

WMR
07-02-2006, 10:54 PM
Isn't Setanta a spanish language channel? I may be wrong, but I THINK they show lots more Brazilian and Argentine league matches. Maybe Mexican league stuff too?

Yachtzee
07-02-2006, 11:16 PM
Isn't Setanta a spanish language channel? I may be wrong, but I THINK they show lots more Brazilian and Argentine league matches. Maybe Mexican league stuff too?

From what I can tell from the website, Setanta is mostly European sports: Football, Rugby, Gaelic Sports, etc.

Javy Pornstache
07-02-2006, 11:34 PM
Just to add my two cents, I always followed the Blackburn Rovers as I had a buddy from Lancashire and I got into them through him - they do seem to be similar to the Reds in stature as mentioned by RawOwl.

reds1869
07-03-2006, 04:42 AM
Liverpool and Arsenal would both be good choices if you want quality sides that are on American TV frequently. Liverpool have been my team of choice in the Prem for a long time but Thierry Henry and company made me fall in love with Arsenal. I wish I could make you an Ipswich Town fan but in truth would not wish that on another man.

Stay away from Chelski and ManUre at all costs. Sorry, couldn't resist the childish jabs.

captainmorgan07
07-03-2006, 07:06 PM
this got me thinking i might start watching more of the premiership

bucksfan
07-08-2006, 12:16 AM
I'd have to go with Wigan. My boss is a season ticket-holder and avid supporter of the club. I got to go to on eof their matches in March 2005 and it was a great experience. Ever since then, I have viewed "soccer" a bit differently. Go 'Latics!

Heath
07-08-2006, 05:25 PM
Just drop down to League One and cheer for the Reds of Nottingham Forest.

:thumbup:

Go Reds! ... and Reds!!

Benny-Distefano
07-10-2006, 11:53 AM
Real Madrid isnt too shabby either....

reds1869
07-10-2006, 02:11 PM
Real Madrid isnt too shabby either....

So did they move to England to provide Chelsea some real resistance? ;)

RawOwl UK
07-15-2006, 10:43 AM
Sheffield Wednesday are on the Fox soccer channel live on Wednesday night :) anyway I can view this guys ?

WMR
07-15-2006, 01:34 PM
Hmmm... tune to FSC???

Have a friend with a webcam AND FSC tune to FSC, point the webcam to the t.v., and connect with your computer???

I guess they don't have FSC in England.

Speaking of which, how much soccer is on the television each week in England? Do you guys have channels specifically for soccer? Are your local team's matches broadcast on the major, over-the-air channels? Anything Pay-Per-View?

Nugget
07-16-2006, 08:37 PM
I'm sure RawOwl will tell you that many of the larger clubs have their own station. Although the Premiership is on Skysports. From friends and family there they can't get any free to air coverage of any of their teams and they support down to Rotherham.

Skysports does a pretty good job as we get their coverage over here in Australia and they have some digital innovations like player cam, replays etc.

jmcclain19
07-17-2006, 04:23 AM
Several years ago my father worked in Southwest England for about a year, and I took a month off and went and visited him. He lived in Yeovil and really close to where he was living was a small divisional team in the Football Conference called Yeovil Town FC that I went to several games while I was there. Quite proud a couple of years ago when I saw they were promoted to the old "Division 2". The Atmosphere was incredible, there couldn't have been 5k at the games yet it was a rocking and wild stadium every time I went.

I used to watch much more of English Football, and when I did I always liked Leeds and West Ham, two teams that seemed to always have a underdog chip and they seemed to let young kids play and not splash tons of money on the big studs like Arsenal and ManU. Leeds even made it far one year in the Champions League. Anyway, most of the guys on those two teams are gone now that I liked (Lampard, Cole, Kewell, Viduka, Bowyer, Smith, etc).

Now I jsut like to watch a game here and there and cheer for whatever Americans are on the pitch.

Actually, if you are able to get Fox Soccer Channel, they have an awesome show that wraps up the whole league's action every week in 2 hours which shows 10 minute clips of that previous week's games.

My advice would be to watch for a while. You know what type of athletes and which types of teams you like the pull for. The front runners or the underdogs. The big defensive teams or the attacking squads. You'll figure out pretty quick which is which and that will help figure out who you'll like.

On another note - FSC also has the same show for French and German soccer, although I've found British soccer to be the most entertaining, the German variety can be quite good as well.

reds1869
07-17-2006, 10:12 AM
Several years ago my father worked in Southwest England for about a year, and I took a month off and went and visited him. He lived in Yeovil and really close to where he was living was a small divisional team in the Football Conference called Yeovil Town FC that I went to several games while I was there. Quite proud a couple of years ago when I saw they were promoted to the old "Division 2". The Atmosphere was incredible, there couldn't have been 5k at the games yet it was a rocking and wild stadium every time I went.

Yeovil made quite the run in the FA Cup last year. It was a real treat to watch.

RawOwl UK
07-18-2006, 05:39 AM
Speaking of which, how much soccer is on the television each week in England? Do you guys have channels specifically for soccer? Are your local team's matches broadcast on the major, over-the-air channels? Anything Pay-Per-View?


Sorry Wily missed this bit.

Right then.

Premiership. http://home.skysports.com/ (think Fox) have exlusive rights to show live premiership football. So if you dont have a dish on your wall or cable, you cannot watch messers Rooney, Lampard, Ronaldo etc live in your living room.

If you do have access you can expect to see on a Saturday 12.45 game (sometimes ppv sometimes not) and one at 5.15 (again maybe ppv ) .

*for £50 a year you can buy a prem + season ticket which shows 50 live prem games (£1 a game) If you buy per match it will cost you around £7.*

On Sundays you get a 2pm games (not ppv) and the super sunday game at 4pm ( not ppv).

Monday nights you also get a prem game. (not as often as they used to be shown).

Then if there are midweek games or re arranged games £KY will put them on.

Sky's coverage is first class. Yes you have to pay probably too much for the package, BUT they deliver the goods. Presentation, Commentry & expert analysts are top drawer !!!!!

Also with Sky you can watch a 50min highlight package of EVERY game played on any day of a game later that night. So if there was 5 games on a sat afternoon, at 8.30 they will show around 50mins highlights of the best game of the day. After that you press the red button on your remote to choose any of the other games that was played that day.

Right have to go now.

To be cont.......

reds1869
07-18-2006, 08:23 AM
*for £50 a year you can buy a prem + season ticket which shows 50 live prem games (£1 a game) If you buy per match it will cost you around £7.*
.

That's a bargain compared to the Prem's PPV here. Last year it cost $269 for the season pass on dish or cable. And some key matches were PPV in addition to that!

Yachtzee
08-19-2006, 11:58 AM
Okay, I let this sit for a while, did some research, and decided to keep an eye on a few teams to see if I "fall in love" with one of them. Here's what I've come up with.

First, the comments here were very helpful. I knocked two teams off the list right away. All you need to do is say "Yankees of the..." and I'm out. I also read Bill Simmon's column (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060719) on how he chose a Premiership side to follow. I really liked some of his criteria for choosing a team. Wikipedia was also a wealth of knowledge.

I lifted some goals in picking a team from Bill Simmons. Of the goals Simmons listed, I agreed with some, but not others.

Goal 1: Avoid jumping the bandwagon (of course, but it may be hard to do without picking the KC Royals of the Premiership, which I'd like to avoid as well).

Goal 2: Avoid a team that's too tortured.

Goal 3: Plays in a city that is also a tourist destination. I think this is a good idea if you want to actually go see a game without having to travel to the English equivalent of Pittsburgh. I gravitated toward the London teams, since my wife has family who live there. She also has some who live in Thetford, near Norwich, so maybe I'll keep an eye on Norwich City as well.

Goal 4: Hooligans. I'm not sure if I want to be associated with the English equivalent of Browns Fans. :p:

Goal 5: Simmons cares about celebrities. I don't. This is a lame reason to pick a team. Would you choose to support/not support the Reds because Charlie Sheen and Nick Lachey are two of their most prominent fans?

Goal 6: Pick a team that is good enough to show up on TV over here and not get relegated too quickly. This one is somewhat important over here. It looks like Fox Sport Ohio will be showing a game a week up here, so I might actually get to see some games on TV. It would be nice if I could see the team I choose to follow.

Here's what I decided so far...

These teams are out:

Manchester United - If there's a "Yankees of the Premiership", it's these guys. I think they even have a deal with the Yankees to show up on the YES Network. No thank you.

Chelsea - More like the Marlins or D-backs when they purchased a World Series by jumping on all the high-priced free agents. The difference is that they haven't sold all their players off yet after winning. Of course, since their run by a Russian mob boss, the sell-off could come at any time if the Russian Government pulls a "Yukos", throws their owner in jail and freezes his assets.

Sheffield United - In deference to RawOwl UK and his Sheffield Wednesday side, I'll avoid these guys. Plus, they were just promoted, so they could be relegated again at the end of the season.

Reading - Of the three teams who got promoted, this one seems to be the sentimental pick because they've never been there before and we all like underdogs. But still, I don't know. I'll keep an eye on them.

Watford - Cool moose logo, but I just don't know much about them. Plus they've just been promoted.

Aston Villa - From what I gather, they have a history of internal strife and a self-loathing fan base. Sounds like the Cleveland Browns! ;) Oh wait! Randy Lerner is trying to buy them. They are the Cleveland Browns! No thank you.

Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Charlton, Wigan - Don't know much about them. None of them really stood out for some reason.

Everton - The "Toffees" recently played the Columbus Crew in a "friendly." But still, not really pumped up.

Boldon Wanderers - Cool name, but I haven't heard from anyone who knows anything about them. Where is Bolton?

Fulham - has Brian McBride. Also has an unrequited rivalry with Chelsea. Still, just haven't heard much that draws me in.

West Ham United - Makes me think of the Nippon Ham Fighters, one of my all-time favorite names in sport. I really like ham too. But still, nothing draws me in.

Manchester City - Arch-enemy of Man. U has an allure, and I like the light blue kits, but they just seem like the Mets, periennial second banana in the city to the Man. U. Yankees.


That leaves Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle.

Newcastle seems to have a good history and are called the "Magpies." Plus, if go see them when I'm next in England, I might be able to work in a brewery tour.

Arsenal - I really liked the original film version of "Fever Pitch" with Colin Firth. The way Paul Ashworth gets into Arsenal as a kid reminds me of my youth following the Reds. Plus I hear they like to get talent cheap and develop it rather than try to gobble up everyone else's stars like Chelsea. They have a diverse fan base. The only things I don't like...bandwagon pick and they are often associated with the Red Sox over here because of that bad US version of "Fever Pitch." Not that I don't like the Red Sox, but I'm kind of tired of them what with ESPN becoming the Yankees-Red Sox channel.

Liverpool - They're called the "Reds" and have a strong history. The fans have cool accents and good songs ("You'll Never Walk Alone" is quite stirring when the whole stadium is singing it). I lost a good deal of productivity reading about the Hillsborough tragedy. Very sad event. Tugs at the heartstrings. The con is that I just haven't heard much about Liverpool other than it being the birthplace of the Beatles and a port town built on the slave trade. Is it some place I would want to go on vacation?

Tottenham Hotspur - My brother actually said I should pick these guys. Arch-rivals of Arsenal with a cool name. The drawback, Simmons picked 'Spurs as his team, so there's a bandwagon factor.

Blackburn Rovers - Cool Name and I think RawOwl UK likened them to the Reds of the Premiership. I hear they play the game hard, which I'm cool with, just so long as they aren't diving on the other end. Concerns...where is Blackburn? Is it a place I would want to visit? Are there any hooligan issues?

So basically I will keep an eye on those five teams, along with a few others I've put on the "no" list and I'll let you know if I take the plunge for one team or another.

Here's to the start of the season! :beerme:

reds1869
08-20-2006, 08:52 AM
Liverpool - They're called the "Reds" and have a strong history. The fans have cool accents and good songs ("You'll Never Walk Alone" is quite stirring when the whole stadium is singing it). I lost a good deal of productivity reading about the Hillsborough tragedy. Very sad event. Tugs at the heartstrings. The con is that I just haven't heard much about Liverpool other than it being the birthplace of the Beatles and a port town built on the slave trade. Is it some place I would want to go on vacation?

That should end the discussion right there. As far as travel destinations, England is MUCH smaller than most Americans realize. Think driving Cincinnati to Cleveland and you get the idea of London to Liverpool. :)

A map for reference:

http://www.mapquest.co.uk/mq/directions/directions.do


Edit: The link won't show up...it is 211 miles and around 3.5 hours with clear traffic (don't laugh--it COULD happen RawOwl!)

RawOwl UK
08-20-2006, 03:00 PM
You wouldn't want to go to Liverpool on a vacation :). My best friend is a Liverpool fan and went yesterday against The Blades (or pigs as we call them) . What do think about Liverpools pen ?

Yahctzee out of those left I would go with Spurs . They are turning into a very good football team. Excellent to watch (apart from a 2-0 defeat to Bolton yesterday (which is in the north west not far from Manchester ;) ). Intresting to see how Spurs replace Carrick !!! Edgar Davids needs to start earning his big crust this year also. In Defoe and Keane they have 2 of the best clinical finishers in the county .

By the way a great effort by my boys yesterday away at Plymouth, we have everyone of our forwards injured at the moment which is causing unrest within the club & supporters

http://www.sportinglife.com/football/live/reports/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/06/08/19/SOCCER_Plymouth.html

sporting life website is an excellent site for you guys ;)

WMR
08-20-2006, 05:30 PM
What about READING???? Beat FA Cup finalist Middlesbrough 3-2!

Excellent start for the EPL debutantes!

RawOwl UK
08-20-2006, 05:52 PM
Reading play a great passing game. No stars in their team , just a well coached side. Steve Sidwell was the 1st player on my fantasy team this season. If he played for Man Utd he would be in the England side. Kitson & Doyle have a good understanding up front. And Leroy Lita will be pushing for a 1st team place very soon.

I think Reading will finish around 11th place.

Yachtzee
08-20-2006, 09:04 PM
You wouldn't want to go to Liverpool on a vacation :). My best friend is a Liverpool fan and went yesterday against The Blades (or pigs as we call them) . What do think about Liverpools pen ?

Yahctzee out of those left I would go with Spurs . They are turning into a very good football team. Excellent to watch (apart from a 2-0 defeat to Bolton yesterday (which is in the north west not far from Manchester ;) ). Intresting to see how Spurs replace Carrick !!! Edgar Davids needs to start earning his big crust this year also. In Defoe and Keane they have 2 of the best clinical finishers in the county .

By the way a great effort by my boys yesterday away at Plymouth, we have everyone of our forwards injured at the moment which is causing unrest within the club & supporters

http://www.sportinglife.com/football/live/reports/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/06/08/19/SOCCER_Plymouth.html

sporting life website is an excellent site for you guys ;)

www.sportinglife.com, eh? I'll have to check it out. That just reminded me....When I was visiting England with my wife's family, my brother-in-law and I went to the newsstand to look for a paper with the baseball scores. Thinking it might be what we were looking for, we started perusing a copy of the "Daily Sport." We didn't find baseball scores, but we did find something else. :eek:

bucksfan
08-20-2006, 09:25 PM
Not that my experience portends any great knowledge of English cities, but I did hop a bus from Southport (where I was staying) to Liverpool in y last visit. I heeded warnings about pickpockets, et al and found it to be a pretty cool city, though granted I was only there about 6-8 hours on a Sunday. I thought the whole wterfront loooked liked it was being rennovated nicely and there were tons of places to eat. I also dug the cheesy tourist thing "the Beatles Story" 'cause my wife is such a big Beatles fan (I like the lads fine also but not to the extent she does!). Anyhow, my English experience is quote limited to Southport, Lathom, Wigan, and Liverpool (only flew into/out of Manchester) so take that fwiw.

If I could solicit another Wigan supporter in the US for my boss, he'd probabaly get a good laugh at it!

RawOwl UK
08-21-2006, 06:51 PM
Wigan Rugby League is the main team eh Bucks ;)

and Yahtzee the Daily Sport runs some "saucy" stories alright !!!! ;)

WMR
08-21-2006, 06:54 PM
Hey RawOwl:

How prevalent is High Definition television over in England?

Are there like games of the week of the EPL in HD on major channels?

Is the HD technology widely available over there?

Also: How many games a week are on television? Does each team's individual market get that team's games?

Nugget
08-21-2006, 07:46 PM
WMR I can answer that one - the EPL is only available on cable - SkySports which means that you have to subscribe to get it. It caused a bit of a storm among the REDS supporters when it happened. Also some clubs have their own TV channel. ManU for instance. One of the features of SkySports broadcasting is that it was in semi-digital even before HDTV came about. You can view a single player - watch instant replays, etc all at the push of a button. Its call SkySports active. We get that feature in Australia now.

RawOwl UK
08-22-2006, 03:17 PM
I have a 32" sammy HD tv but will not pay £300 for the HD service yet. Very few people I know have HD (most dont even know what it is )