How Do I Love Thee Premier League? Let Me Count The Ways

I’m not ready.

The 20th Premier League season begins this weekend but I’ll likely be at the beach rather than watching Liverpool battle Sunderland in the Europa League qualification derby.* While the season has begun in mid-August for decades, now it’s still a jolt every summer. Particularly this year as between the Gold Cup, the Women’s World Cup, the Copa America, the European U-21 Championship and all the big friendlies, it feels like soccer never went away.

Summer is the time for gin and tonics, sleeping in, grilling, relaxation, and for thin sport sections light on news. When I think of the proper soccer season I think of frosty mornings huddled hungover on the couch, munching on some toast and sipping a cup of tea with only the faintest light from a slate-gray sky streaming through the window. I think of playing outside in the bracing air, cheeks as red as Sir Alex’ and the pitch as frozen as Ashley Cole’s heart. When I think of English football, I don’t think of checking the scores at the beach while trying to keep the sand out of my iPhone or sticking to my couch sweating while the tempting sound of an ice cream truck blares outside.

Then again, the start of the season means actual matches to discuss rather than beatdowns of MLS clubs and silly transfer talk. The weather will turn soon enough, it’s all a matter of perspective.

* I kid, I kid, it’s a new season and every club has an equal shot at glory, except Norwich City.

13 thoughts on “How Do I Love Thee Premier League? Let Me Count The Ways”

  1. I’m excited for the EPL start and to see (an apparently new-look) Arsenal, and I know that this is an EPL-centric blog, but I get a little pissed that you specifically don’t mention MLS as one of the competitions ongoing since EPL ended then go, specifically, out of your way to put it down in closing out the article.

    I don’t see why, as a fan of the sport, you have to put one down to promote the other. EPL is great, but I still love having a local team to support week-in/week-out. Neither takes anything away from the other.

      1. I know you guys do, I guess I just take some things the wrong way (too used to being an American having to defend soccer I guess). Never did know about the sister site, though. Good stuff.


          1. No need to dis’ the MLS. The level of play is way higher than when the league started. It will continue to get better in time. It’s the EPL that’s good, not the MLS that’s bad. And, now that I think of it, enjoy those $15-30 seats while you can becuase it could turn into a cash cow, just like every other sport in this country.

  2. Didn’t even notice the non-mention of the MLS. If a person lives in an MLS city, I can understand backing the team and being a fan. For those of us who do not, it is just as easy to put our whole being into supporting a team in the EPL. That said, after following the EPL the MLS just doesn’t hold my interest enough to follow and support a team.

  3. I am so excited for the EPL’s return. I am a die hard American Sports fan – I love my San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Sacramento Kings, not to forget College Sports and UFC! But Since I fell in love with the beautiful game (around 1999) , there is no sport I look forward to more… I love the quick turn around / very short off-season. The only off months of the year are June and July and during those months I check out all the transfer info non-stop and hopefully watch an international tournament of some sort…… I will not be at the beach at 9:30am Saturday, I will be glued to be television watching the Gooners win at Newcastle. ——- Lets spend some money Wenger!

  4. I agree with all of this. I got to the point this summer where I decided I wasn’t watching UEFA U21 or Copa America any more. I just found I have other things to do when the big matches were on (especially weekend afternoons). Most of my sports viewing comes in the winter, watching hockey and soccer, when its freezing cold here in Canada. Summer is for other things, with the odd Formula 1 race on a Sunday morning or evening MLB or CFL game sprinkled in.

  5. I enjoyed your article and love the EPL. I’m glad to see more competition. As Sir Alex said ” the big six” is replacing the ” big four”. However your quote that “every club has a shot at glory, except Noewich City” is not realistic. How about “every club has a shot at glory, except clubs not called Chelsea or Manchester in their name”.

  6. The thing that I worry about is that all the best players are playing non-stop, all year ’round. These guys need a holiday like Madonna said. I know they’re professional athletes, but I want to see Rooney and Messi at their best. I’m pretty damn excited about the start of the European club season, though!!

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