Confessions Of A Neutral Premier League Soccer Fan
I tried. Really. For five years now I’ve been waiting for some team to strike me as my favorite. In the meantime I’ve gone with local “omens”. I live on Chelsea Circle so at first I went with them for a while, but it just didn’t click. I loved Drogba’s skill, but was dismayed at his seeming lack of ability to stay on his feet when challenged by some 150lb midfielder (how’s that for avoiding the “D” word?). Whether Chelsea won or lost didn’t seem to matter to me, so I moved on.
Fulham. Hey, Craven St. is just around the corner. Why not? I enjoyed watching Fulham. I liked the players and the Cottage is a unique venue. I was certainly concerned this year when they flirted with the relegation zone a little too much for my liking, but again, whether or not Fulham won or lost didn’t really eat me up. Time to face reality. I’m a neutral and probably always will be.
Maybe I needed to be born into it like my love for the Eagles, Phillies and Penn State. Although, since I moved away 12 years ago that has lost its edge, too. The teams, games and players aren’t in front of me every day like they used to be. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pieces. Who knows? So what’s a fan of the game supposed to do without a team? Plan B.
Relax and just enjoy the competition, the Championship as well as the Prem. Root for underdogs or anyone dressed in tangerine, pink, yellow, etc. Hope that someone, anyone, beats out the big boys for a cup, title or CL spot, just to shake things up. Enjoy the moments, no matter who produces them. A laser-like Delap throw-in that befuddles a defense even though they know it’s coming. Chicharito’s exuberance. Cesc leaving someone’s jock on the pitch. Great goalie saves. Blind passes. Big upsets.
After all, the stories I enjoyed the most this year were Liverpool’s rise from the ashes under Dalglish, Stoke’s run in the FA Cup, Blackpool’s roller coaster ride (I hated to see them go down, but you can’t give up 78 goals and expect anything better) and the Championship Playoffs. At any rate, for next season I’m going to keep that up. Not focus on a “Team” as much as the stories and events. I can stop waiting for lightning to strike and just enjoy the competition for what it is. I think that will suit me just fine.
Anyone else out there with my affliction?
NTID! (though I kinda like the Swans……*sigh*)