SAT, 7AM ET
WED
NOT
SAT, 7:45AM ET
BUR
MUFC
SAT, 9:45AM ET
FUL
CAR
SAT, 10AM ET
MCFC
STO
SAT, 10AM ET
NEW
CRY
SAT, 10AM ET
QPR
SUN

What’s Your Saturday Premier League Routine?

this american life Whats Your Saturday Premier League Routine?

Listening to the excellent radio program This American Life recently on National Public Radio, I became deeply enthralled by a segment they played about an improv group from New York that often played mind games (which, for some bizarre reason, is something I love to do at times). In this particular segment, the improv group performed a time loop in a Starbucks Cafe in New York City and had several actors in on the skit where each character played a particular role over and over again.

The time loop got me thinking about how we, as individuals, often are so predictable. Many of us get into routines where, without us even realizing, we pass the same intersection at approximately the same time each day. We order the same items for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We listen to the same programs on radio or podcasts. And every once in a while we mix things up a bit just to change our routines.

The time loop concept got me thinking about how I experience Premier League soccer on television. Every Saturday morning at 7:45 you can expect I’ll be watching the first game of the weekend on television. There are some exceptions when my five-year-old is playing a youth soccer game, but nine times out of ten I’m watching a game and then quickly fall into my typical Saturday ritual.

That ritual I’m sure is different for many of you. And for me, it’s changed many times in the past. Currently, my ritual is to watch the 7:45am ET Saturday game on ESPN2, followed by the 10am ET match on Fox Soccer Channel and then the 12:30pm ET game also on Fox Soccer Channel. After that, if I have time, I’ll try to watch a La Liga match on GolTV or perhaps a Serie A game on Fox. Or another Premier League game that I taped via Setanta-i.

There is a method to my madness, and it’s something that definitely plays in the favor of Fox Soccer Channel. Because Fox is the only network out of the three in America that don’t include scores from other games (except during half-time, which is easy to fast forward past), I prefer to watch the Fox games. Otherwise, if I watch a 10am ET game on ESPN2 (when available) or the 10am game on Setanta, I can guarantee that both of those networks will spoil the joy of watching the other games that are taping because I’ll know what the final score is before watching that match on DVR.

So, right now, I’m quite predictable and often follow the same time loop each week of watching most of my games on Fox Soccer Channel unless the match on Setanta is a can’t miss game.

My Saturday routine didn’t always used to be that way. In the past, I went through spells of listening to the Derby County live audio stream before football on the Internet became popular (and I’m not even a Derby supporter. It’s just that they were on the cutting edge of streaming live audio commentary way before any of the English football clubs). I also used to listen to TalkSport Radio quite a bit so I could follow results from all of the matches. And for many years, I used to follow the text commentary for Swansea City matches to keep tabs on my favorite team. And I also used to participate in the EPL Talk Chat, which was a different (but pleasant) experience entirely.

As technology and availability of Premier League football changes, I’m sure my routine will change too. But for now, I’m pretty set in my ways.

What about you? What’s your typical Saturday routine? Do you watch most of the games on delay? Do you find yourself following the same pattern week after week, or do you mix it up? If so, how? Click the comments link below and share your stories.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

15 Responses to What’s Your Saturday Premier League Routine?

  1. man99utd says:

    Not a whole lot different gaffer. Me and lads get up at 7:00 to prepare for the 7:45 match. Man Utd fixture alters my schedule from weekend to weekend. After that, it’s time with the wife at the shops, whilst getting mobile updates from the lads back home ;-). After that I catch the La Liga 4:00 match and back to FSC for the delayed match. My wife is pretty understanding, but the mobile updates and the constant football references in our conversations drive her barmy.

  2. masterblaster says:

    One of the fun things about this season has been how much my ritual has changed on a weekly basis, depending on a variety of factors. I have two TV’s setup to watch games, but last weekend I ended up focusing on one match at a time and was able to watch four straight games on the big screen without knowing the results from any other game out of the total of nine played until the end of the eight hour viewing experience. See…I was able to stretch the viewing from six to eight hours with my wife none the wiser :)

    Some of the ritual remains in place: stop and get a case of beer on Friday afternoon, get the weekend chores/tasks done by Friday night, try to go to bed early enough so I can wake up at 5:30am, workout for a half hour, shower, throw on my team’s kit , wrap myself in the team scarf, make coffee for the wife, quick bite to eat, then BAM! 6-8 hours of football heaven regardless of the fixtures. Funny thing is, I’ve done more by noon on Saturday than most do all weekend, and I still have the rest of the night after a nap…

  3. AtlantaPompey says:

    I don’t have much of a routine. Most of what I do centers around what time Pompey will be on tv. As a gigging musician, my work schedule changes constantly, so I’m working hard to avoid scores so that I can watch as many games as possible without knowing the result. I will scan the schedule and set my DVR to record the matches I’m interested in, starting with Pompey of course. Matches involving the Big Four get priority, although I spent yesterday watching Bolton-WestHam due to it’s relevance to Pompey’s relegation scrap. I don’t spend much time on other leagues. There are only so many hours in the day and only so many hours to my wife’s patience.

    All of this will change next fall when my first child is here. In fact it will change right before the World Cup. I’m not sure how it will affect my viewing, but I’m sure it will.

    • ovalball says:

      “All of this will change next fall when my first child is here. In fact it will change right before the World Cup. I’m not sure how it will affect my viewing, but I’m sure it will.”

      No worries. Babies love being rocked by Dad while he watches matches and coos soccer songs/chants. Moms love this because Dad’s doing his share of the “work”.

      You’ve got it made! :-D

  4. Leeboy says:

    I don’t have a set routine.
    If I’m home on Saturday I’ll get up early and put on Sky Sports 1 for Soccer AM, then stay on that channel for the 12:30pm kickoff if it’s worth a look, or if there’s not one it’s over to Sky Sports News for an afternoon with Jeff Stelling and the boys on Soccer Saturday. If Man Utd are playing at 3pm I’ll usually go down the pub to watch with a couple of mates, if not I’ll stay in and watch Soccer Saturday for the live scores. Then there’s the ESPN match at 5:30pm which has been worth a watch recently (Man City v Chelsea and Man Utd v Villa the past 2 weeks). If I’m not out I’ll watch Match of the Day at 10:30PM.
    If I’m in Sunday I’ll watch Super Sunday on Sky Sports, usually 2 matches, but sometimes they only have one at 4PM and show a Championship match on earlier. Then Match of the Day 2 in the evening.
    Most of the time Match of the Day is where I watch the majority of my football, unless there’s a big match on live

  5. Evan says:

    This American Life is not a NPR program. It’s distributed by Public Radio International, which is not the same as NPR.

  6. jleau says:

    Living on the west coast makes watching live games nearly impossible. I’m a diehard but I’m not getting up at 4:40 am for any game. It’s DVR for me and I usually watch as soon as I have time.

    I relate to the FSC comment. I always wait on any ESPN game as the ticker will ruin the rest.

  7. Gabriel says:

    I watch the games that are going to be good as well as the fixtures that my teams (United & Barcelona) are playing in. I watch through both FSC, GolTV, ESPN and also a number of online resources that allow me to view basically any game even if it isn’t on the local TV networks!

  8. Tom says:

    I usually watch 1 or 2 games a weekend. I enjoy it more if I watch less, although I do check out highlights. Which game depends on my interest in teams, and the weather on the weekend. My favorite is if the Saturday morning game is good (even if it is 5:30AM, I actually love that time), and then the Colorado Rapids are at home (or on TV away). Good day.

  9. GhostDog312 says:

    I print off the lineups for each of the managers in my fantasy league and then head over to a friend’s house to watch the most compelling match, if Liverpool isn’t play first off. We DVR all the matches possible and we usually FFW through the boring games, stopping to catch the goals, yellow/red cards and anything seemingly interesting. Then I’ll slam some Strongbow after watching the poor play by my Reds and then crumple up my lineup sheet as I get outscored yet again by either my girlfriend or the leader in my fantasy league who is a Gunners fan. Rinse. Repeat.

  10. SFGooner says:

    Wake up, skin up, brew some coffee and pretty much follow the Gaffer’s routine: ESPN2, then FSC or Setanta depending on the importance of the match. Despite not being a fan, I’ll gladly watch Spurs anytime, just because they usually score goals and inevitably leak them in. Same for Liverpool, I’m almost as happy watching them drop points as I am watching Arsenal win. And, thank god for DVR; you can watch a lot more games on 1x speed. If it’s a big weekend, it’s nice to have the table in front of you to peruse.

  11. Pat says:

    I end up using my DVR religiously when it comes to EPL matches. I have it set up to automatically record all new “English Premier League Soccer” programs on ESPN2 (HD), so even if I forget, I’ll have the joy of watching one later on. This afternoon I’m finishing watching the Wigan vs. Stoke match from the weekend, which I’ve read was quite an affair. I do the same for La Liga matches, which aren’t on as often as I’d like on ESPN2, but are still fun to watch whenever I get the chance.

  12. leftcoaster says:

    I’m on the west coast, Northern California. Watching live games is no problem. Better than east coast for me. My body clock gets me up by 7:30 even on a Saturday after having been out Friday. So it’s right to the 7am game along with coffee and breakfast. Then depending on what time my game in my adult league is, I’ll catch some or all of the 9:30am game. Sundays I’m usually up in time to catch most or all of the 8am game. And I still have the day in front of me.

  13. Craig says:

    I used to religously watcht the ESPN2 game in order to get a does of HD, will be curious to see if I do so now that FSC will be in HD as well (DirecTV for me). I can usually catch the 10am Saturday games live and record the 1230, can also catch the Sunday game. I would love to add Primera Liga and Bundes to my life but the wife will only tolerate so much.

    Since I work from home I’m able to watch UCL live as well.

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