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.