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The Evolution of a Sports Fan: What Are Your Favorite Sports?

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a sports fan….both active and passive. Growing up outside of Philadelphia I had plenty to follow even in those days: the Eagles, the Phillies, the A’s, the Warriors. Yeah, I know, I’ve been around a while. Those other teams, the Sixers and Flyers, didn’t come till later, but I followed them too.

I was what you would call a traditional American sports fan. In order, I cared about:

  1. Football–NFL
  2. Baseball–MLB
  3. Basketball–NBA
  4. Kate Smith (Philly joke)

I don’t exactly remember where or when I started to stray. Maybe it was 1961 when Wide World of Sports debuted. Who knew people played those sports? For that matter who knew they were sports in the first place? I think that was where I saw my first Aussie Rules action and the rest, as they say, is history.

I became more and more interested in what you might call “world” sports. Of course, back then, before Al Gore invented the Internet, it was a whole lot harder to get information, so basically I had a fascination with few ways to satisfy it. Then I went to Penn State.

Welcome to big-time sports, sonny boy. What a revelation. It wasn’t just the football. PSU had just about every sport imaginable. I went to see most of them and inexplicably wound up on the fencing team. Fencing? Who the hell fences? Mostly people with unpronounceable last names is what I found out. But that was probably the final nail in the coffin of my traditional sports interest.

Fast forward to the beginning of the “Information Age.” I still have the itch and now am more able to satisfy it. With more outlets I can sample and follow pretty much any sport I want. My sports interests have certainly altered.

My list had become:

  1. Football–NCAA
  2. Football–NFL
  3. Aussie Rules
  4. Baseball–MLB

The Internet becomes a supernova. Somewhere along the way I start refereeing, then coaching, scholastic soccer. I discover rugby. I still yearn for more Aussie Rules. I stumble upon a Premier League forum while looking for something else. Whoops. The hook is set.

I get a broadband subscription so I can watch the EPL. I get another so I can watch Super 14 rugby. I get a third so I can watch the Australian Football League. The Information Age is not kind to my pocketbook. What on God’s green earth is going on? Well, it’s simple really. All those sports are now “better” to me than the ones I grew up with. Whether it’s a running clock, the more continuous flow of the matches, lack of ad breaks or the fascination with different skills and tactics, my list of top sports is now:

  1. Soccer–EPL
  2. Rugby (northern hemi as well as southern)
  3. Football–NCAA
  4. Aussie Rules

I’m not sure that’s so much evolution as revolution, nor do I necessarily recommend that journey to anyone else. I do, however, wonder two things:

  • Has anyone else been down that road?
  • What is your list of favorite sports?

I am particularly interested in the responses to #2 from our English readers. Are there sports interests outside of football for you, personally? Your passion for the game makes me wonder if there is room for anything else.

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  1. John in Nebraksa

    September 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    1 – NCAA football – Cornhuskers
    2 – EPL – Arsenal
    3 – MLB – Dodgers
    4 – NFL – Packers
    5 – NHL – Blues

  2. Ta-Ta's

    September 14, 2010 at 3:54 am

    I’d say my list was something like this up until high school

    1. hockey & skateboarding
    2. baseball
    3. soccer & football
    4. golf

    Now as a 22 year old

    1. soccer
    2. beer pong & occasionally watch NFL, hockey, MLB, golf and NCAA basketball

  3. Johnny Blow

    September 14, 2010 at 12:49 am

    1) soccer
    2) jersey shore
    3) NFL
    4) NCAA football
    5) NBA
    6) MLB
    7) beer pong
    8) tennis
    9) karioke
    10) strip poker
    11) poker
    2871) crazy japanese game shows
    2872) watching paint dry
    2873) cricket
    2874) golf

    • Guy Robert

      September 14, 2010 at 8:01 am

      Ha Ha. Love it. 😀

  4. Ethan

    September 13, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Something along these lines:

    1. Yankees (MLB)
    2. Jets (NFL)
    3. Arsenal (EPL)
    4. Knicks (NBA)
    5. Devils (NHL)

    When watching College Sports, I tend to root for PSU in Football and Illinois in Basketball, but I’m trying not to commit all too much so that when I go to college in two years, I can make the proper choice.

  5. Kobashi

    September 13, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Looking at ESPN America’s schedule for people in the UK how much American Sports do you consume? Is there anyone that is a regular viewer of the American version of SportsCenter? Does anyone reading this in Leeds go to bed with your TV on while Woody Paige is screaming at Tony Reili during Around The Horn? With this site targeting fans of soccer who are likely to watch Sky Sports News here in the States are there people that read this site in the UK that flip on ESPN America so you can see what the latest exploits of Ochocinco are, watch Derek Jeter hit baseballs, or has their jaws hit the floor when Alexander Ovechkn stop, spins, and scores in puck? What is it like to be born and live in the UK and be a fan of American Sports?

    Here is the ESPN UK TV schedules:

  6. Jason

    September 13, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    A little over three years ago , I was only a fan of the 4 major american sports. Then, thanks to my best friend Matt (RIP) who was a huge Arsenal fan and Fox Soccer Channel, I discovered the greatness of the EPL. I picked Chelsea and before you call me a front-runner, I knew nothing of the “Big 4”. I just was drawn to Didier Drogba. After choosing Chelsea and really following them, I became hooked. Coincidentally, my first match to watch was 3 years ago this week. Jose Mourinho’s last EPL match as Chelsea’s manager. A 0-0 draw with Blackburn. Lots of turmoil followed, but I wasn’t going anywhere. Now I would say my list is:

    1. NFL – Cowboys
    2. EPL – Chelsea
    3. NBA – Mavs
    MLB – Rangers
    NHL – Stars
    (Depending on what season it is)
    4. NCAA BB – Kansas
    5. MLS – FC Dallas

  7. Guy Robert

    September 13, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for all your comments. I am going to sign off for tonight. Us old folks need our sleep. 😉 When you write an article you never know how it’s going to be received. It’s nice to know I’m not out here flying by myself. 🙂

    I thought we might hear back from IanCransonsKnees, but it’s 2:50 AM tomorrow over there and he’s probably still out at The Britannia singing Delilah.

    A special shout out to Ethan a fifteen year old poster from another thread who gave me the idea for this article when he noted his already changing sports interests due to soccer. Thanks, Ethan, and keep those ideas coming! 🙂

    • IanCransonsKnees

      September 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      I didn’t stay up that late Guy but it was a struggle to get to sleep after the finish to the match! That’s what you go to the match for but there’s nothing worse than being pumped full of adrenalin and unable to sleep, God knows how the players get to sleep.

      It’s been an interesting topic and a point someone raised was the perception that all we’re interested in is football. I think it’s easy to jump to that conclusion because it’s so easy for us to attend matches at a professional league club and footballl is our sports medias bread and butter. However if you look at the followings that we take around the world watching boxing, cricket and rugby you can see that there is more to it than that. I mean you must have seen the followings that Calzaghe and hatton had in the States and that stunned me, I’d have loved to have sampled the atmosphere.

  8. kobashi

    September 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Growing up in a sports hotbed like Metro Detroit where we have a team in all 4 major sports as well as Michigan (40 minutes away) and Michigan State (90 minutes away) covering the college sports I grew up and still love almost all of them. I would say my favorite sports in order as of right now are as follows.

    1, College Football – Michigan Wolverines
    2, Futbol – Manchester United
    3, MMA
    4, NHL – Detroit Red Wings
    5, NFL – Detroit Lions
    6, NBA – Detroit Pistons
    7, MLB – Detroit Tigers
    8, College Hoops – Michigan Wolverines
    9, College Hockey – Michigan Wolverines
    10, Golf – The Majors and Sunday’s when Tiger is in contention
    11, Olympic Sports
    12, Auto Racing
    1,233,2333 – WNBA

    I’m a total sports junkie that will watch just about any sport if it is played at a high level as I love to watch competition.

    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm

      Your plate is full, kobashi. 🙂

      • Kobashi

        September 13, 2010 at 11:00 pm

        Your telling me Guy! I started watching Everton/Man U on Saturday morning and didn’t leave my chair till 2am when the Virginia/USC game concluded. Sunday was pretty much the same as I woke up to watch the 1st run delayed game between Newcastle/Blackpool and fell asleep during the 4th quarter of the Cowboys/Skins game last night. I never left the house from when I got home at 5p on Friday till I left for work this morning at 8a. I live in Florida and it was a beautiful weekend in terms of weather but I wouldn’t have changed my experience of watching all of the football and futbol I watched all weekend.

  9. BA14

    September 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s in small town Wisconsin it was whatever sport was in season (unless pro wrestling counts). I knew of no other sport besides auto racing.

    1. Football, basketball, basesball.

    Early adult
    1. NCAA/NBA basketball
    2. NFL
    3. MLB

    1. NFL (lifelong Green Bay Packer fan)
    2. soccer (EPL then MLS)
    3. NCAA/NBA basketball (heck I even watch WNBA games)

    Somewhere in the early 2000’s I lost all interest in MLB. 2005 or 2006 I noticed I had the Fox Soccer Channell and started watching the EPL and now I love it.

  10. Ebriam Hussein

    September 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I have always been a die hard football fan (soccer),
    I find soccer to be the only sport I follow,
    well that was until I left Africa and moved to California,
    I hated American sports and DVR’d only my football and Sky Sports.
    Until I watched my first UFC fight (Shogun vs. Machida 2) now im hooked to that too. Rugby is the third choice of sport. Tennis a close 4th.

    But football (soccer) is and always will be my wife.

  11. Shakira

    September 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    1. NCAA Football Roll Tide
    2. Socer – Derby County
    3. Baseball – LA Dodgers

    It was nice during football season when I was on the East Coast, I could get up and watch Derby then go pretty much directly to the Bama game.

  12. miner16

    September 13, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Growing up, and even until recently, it was:

    1 – Baseball
    2 – NBA Basketball (Jazz)
    3 – College Football (Utes!!)
    4 – NFL Football (Broncos)

    Soccer/real football was a distance 5th. I was always interested, but never had a way to really watch it and get involved. I played for a few years, earlier, but lost interest as the others gained on my list. Baseball was always the sport of choice for me as far as team sports.

    As I have grown up (42 now), I kept with the baseball (Mariners fan now…*sigh*) but have lost interest in all the others on my above list (can’t stand the NBA anymore, am bored with NFL, but still root for my Utes!). But I have a daughter who is a really good HS soccer player and I have studied the game a lot lately trying to learn the intricacies. I watched the WC 2006 some, but I couldn’t really watch more since there wasn’t much in the way of tv coverage here in Utah. Then came the past year – Real Salt Lake winning the MLS Cup, followed by the WC 2010, and it has taken off! All other sports haven’t even a mention in my book – I am trying hard to convince my wife to pony up and let me get a better package that has FSC. I devour the ESPN EPL games on Saturday mornings, watch RSL religiously, and have found FM2010. I would love to be able to watch the Bundesliga and Serie A, but that won’t happen until I have FSC. I am seriously considering season tickets next year for RSL! My passion has just taken off and I see no end to it. I am hooked!

    So now, it’s:

    1 – Football (even my 6 yo asked why “American Football” is called football – “they don’t even use their feet!”)
    2 – Baseball
    3 – College FB – Utes!
    4 – nothing else…unless individual sports like triathlon…:)

    I loved the quote – “Baseball is math, football is music.” That is classic!! Thanks FenwayHotspur. 🙂

  13. coachie ballgames

    September 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Aussie Rules is certainly very entertaining, but I find the actual act of scoring a goal or a behind to be lackluster. The actual gameplay is fast and exciting, but then it just culminates with a kick through some uprights. Which is why I love Gaelic Football and wish dearly that it were easier to watch. Takes all the excitement of Aussie Rules but adds the element of the drama of scoring a soccer-style goal.
    In theory, the International Rules series should be the best of both worlds, but they’ve got a lot of kinks to work out.

    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      Yeah, I really could do without the lengthy time to take a kick after a foul. However, the goals from running action can just be fantastic.

      I had forgotten about the proposed International Rules idea. I agree. That would be great to see and there’s no reason it can’t be pulled off….if jealousy doesn’t raise its ugly head.

  14. vermaelen5

    September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    1. Baseball
    2. Soccer
    3. Hockey
    4. College basketball
    5. Cycling
    6. Golf

    I hate American football, professional basketball, lacrosse, and NASCAR.

  15. Kevin

    September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Soccer and baseball.

    I kind of follow the other American sports, especially the Chicago teams, but everything pales in comparison to the way I follow the White Sox and Spurs.

  16. soonerscotty

    September 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I grew up in the American South (Florida) where college football is KING! However, the girl I dated in high school (c/o 1990) was a soccer player and I really came to enjoy the game watching her. (side story: my uncle had served in the USAF in England in the 70s and supported Liverpool and we had many good talks about footy during my HS years) However, the only times you could watch soccer/footy in the states back then was during the World Cup or the Olympics so after high school I only got to enjoy footy every couple of years or so.
    So, for most of my life my top sports have been:
    1) NCAA football (Florida Gators growing up, THE Oklahoma Sooners since college)
    2) Baseball (Boston Red Sox)
    3) NFL/NBA (never been a huge fan, but usually follow the season)

    Then after graduate school (ca 2007), I moved to upstate NY and one day while randomly flipping the channels I found Fox Soccer Channel on my tv. It was a momentous occasion in my life. I literally became a rabid footy fan overnight. I mean, I always liked footy but, had never had a regular way to watch it…now, I did! It was such a quickly picked up obsession that my colleagues at work made fun of me. It was like someone turned on a switch. I immediately fell in love with the EPL and in honor of my uncle (who was undoubtedly a 70s LFC glory hunter) I immediately fell in love with Liverpool.
    So, now my faves are:
    1) footy (Liverpool)
    2) NCAA football (Oklahoma Sooners)
    3) NCAA basketball (Oklahoma)
    4) MLB (Boston Red Sox)
    5) NFL/NBA (New England Patriots/Boston Celtics

    However, because of my infatuation with footy I have been wanting to learn more about Rugby and Cricket…I just wish I could find someone to walk me through the sports while watching them. I just can’t seem to pick up how they work by reading about them and then watching.


    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      “I have been wanting to learn more about Rugby and Cricket…”

      I see what’s happening to you! 😉

      I understand about the difficulty. For rugby I bought Rugby For Dummies, read it and just kept watching. I love the different types of players required and the skill sets involved, to say nothing of the absolute toughness those guys have. Not many NFL players would want any part of it…no freakin’ armor!

      As for cricket, see my comment above. It worries me.

      • Guy Robert

        September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

        Take a look at and

  17. FenwayHotspur

    September 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I imagine my username makes it easy to figure out where my allegiances lie. Like some of you previously, there was a big evolution in what I followed.

    Up to Age 19

    1. Hockey (Bruins/BU). I played Hockey throughout high school, and considered walking on at BU.
    2. Baseball (Red Sox)
    3. American Football (Patriots), NCAA Football (LSU)

    Up to Age 25
    1. Baseball
    2. NCAA Football
    3. American Football
    4. Football (Spurs)

    Present Day (6 years later)
    1. Baseball / Football
    2. NCAA Football
    3. American Football

    The onset of sabermetrics still keeps me completely attached to baseball, I’ve been a season ticket holder for 12 years, that’s not changing.. The way I describe my love for baseball and soccer to most people is simple:

    Baseball is math, football is music.

    Baseball is littered with predictive models and individual matchups. I can analyze data and tell you everything you need to now about a player, and easily mitigate whatever flowery nonsense Joe Morgan might come up with.

    Football, for me, is similar to when I fell in love with Opera. There’s beauty, grace, and style that’s is extremely hard to quantify. The flow of the game is less rigid and more dependent on players working together and achieving harmony.

    American Football is a fun mix between the former two, so it definitely still hangs around. The NFL, however, has lost any sort of emotional hold on me though. I still have trouble figuring out why.

    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      “Baseball is math, football is music.”

      Nice one!

      “The NFL, however, has lost any sort of emotional hold on me though. I still have trouble figuring out why.”

      When you get the answer to that one, let me know.

  18. Terry

    September 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    While in my child-pre-teen age, from about 8-14, the list was mainly:

    1) Football (College/NFL)
    2) Baseball (MLB)
    3) Basketball (NBA/College)
    4) Hockey (NHL)

    However. during high school, my interests have changed as soccer has become more readily available and my views on superstars have drastically changed. I’ve gradually slipped away from the professional sports in America (except for the NFL), and I’ve really become more of a soccer/college sports fan.

    1a) College Football
    1b) Soccer
    2) College Basketball
    3) NFL

  19. Perry

    September 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Growing up inthe 60s in small-town middle America, it was

    1. Baseball
    2. College basketball (specifically Ohio State)
    3. Pro/College football (Browns/OSU)

    Very little pro basketball and no hockey available live or on TV, so I never really got into either, although from time to time as an adult I’ve followed each a bit depending on where I was living and if there was a team nearby. Soccer was never part of the picture — barely knew it existed.

    I fell in love with soccer watching the ’06 World Cup. Loved the athleticism and the continuous flow of play unbroken by timeouts and commercials. It’s been sort of like being a kid again, learning the rules, the culture, the lore and the history. Baseball will always be far and away #1 for me, but now my list is

    1. Baseball
    2. Soccer
    3. Pro/college football
    4. College basketball.

    With 3 and 4 far behind 1 and 2.

  20. Chi-TownChelseaBlueBoy

    September 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I got hooked on football right before the start of the 2006 World Cup. Football has now surpassed every sport I follow to the point of almost being the only sport I follow. The only other non-soccer teams I follow are really the White Sox and the Bears. Football has changed everything and I have no idea how I lived without it in the past. It feels like I finally found something I was looking for all my life. My list would be:

    1. Chelsea
    2. Juventus
    3. Chicago White Sox
    4. Chicago Bears
    5. I hate Basketball, and am not really into hockey, just thought I would mention where they rank. Also I can’t stand watching college football or any other NFL teams besides the Bears, I can’t devote 3 1/2 hours of my life to a team I don’t really care about. Soccer is just so much more easier and fun to watch, regardless if you are watching the team you support or not.

  21. Matt T.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Started getting into soccer a little before the World Cup and it’s up there with NCAA football as my main sport right now. I actually turned off an NFL game yesterday because I was bored watching it.

  22. UpTheBlues

    September 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I’ll list mine by favorite teams in order of ‘fandom’.
    1. Boston Red Sox (MLB)
    2. Chelsea (EPL)
    3. New England Patriots (NFL)
    4. Boise State Broncos (NCAAF)
    5. Boston Celtics (NBA)

  23. David

    September 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Growing up, I was a huge NFL, MLB, and NBA fan. I played soccer as a kid, but never cared for watching it as I got older. Back then, there were no games on TV that I was aware of. I got hooked on soccer after watching the USA in the 2002 World Cup. I started keeping track of the USA players and became a Man U fan when Tim Howard was their goalkeeper. I’ve followed them since then. Now in my early 30’s, this is my list I follow now:
    1. NFL (Chargers)
    2. NCAA Football (USC…thanks Reggie)
    3. Soccer
    4. MLB (Padres)
    5. NBA (Lakers)

  24. Dave C

    September 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Interesting article – I hope some of the subsequent comments from any Brits out there can lay to rest the misconception amongst many Americans (especially non-soccer fans) that soccer/football is the “only” sport followed by Brits, Europeans etc.

    However, I myself do kind of fit into this profile (although I’m by no-means typical of most English people) – football is really the only sport I pay any attention to.

    There are other sports that I will occasionally take an interest in if there’s a big event – eg boxing, NFL, sometimes tennis. Pretty much every other sport I actively try to avoid.

  25. jose

    September 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    i only like soccer & rugby. that is the reason i have fox soccer plus.

  26. soccer

    September 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I’m in my late 20’s and grew up playing soccer as my main sport. Soccer was always #1 on my list but I just never got a chance to watch it on TV aside from the world cup. That all changed when I went away to college and got FSC (fox sports world back in those days).

  27. bradjmoore48

    September 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    1) Soccer
    2) NFL – too many college teams, none of which I have an attachment to
    3) NCAA basketball – can’t stand the NBA, plus March Madness is one of the best sports tournaments in America

    I grew up in New England, so the Boston area sports teams were who I followed, plus the University of Vermont (home-state) basketball and hockey. Disillusionment and finally seeing success in my Boston teams as I got older, ironically, turned me away from them. Once the Red Sox won the World Series, I came to realize just how painfully boring baseball was, so what was my purpose for watching it? I gave up on the NBA in general long before the Celtics won the 2008 title. Then I moved to DC for college, and lost track of what the UVM teams were up to (both have done well). It was after college that I got attracted to soccer, first by seeing a DC United game in person, and then reading Simon Kuper’s Soccernomics. Before you know it, I’m following the knockout rounds of last year’s Champions League, adopting Barcelona as my squad, and anxiously awaiting the World Cup. The beginning of the club season has kept me very busy (I watched 3 La Liga matches, 2 Bundesliga, and dabbled in on a few EPL and Serie A matches, capping it with MOTD…all this in addition to the NFL starting – see below)

    Getting into soccer actually got me back into some sports in general – I watched at least 5 hours of NFL yesterday between the Pats and NFL Redzone (a blessing of a channel). I suspect I’ll be watching a lot of college basketball this winter, especially the few games UVM gets on ESPN3.

    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      “NCAA basketball – can’t stand the NBA, plus March Madness is one of the best sports tournaments in America”

      Funny you should mention that. It’s exactly how I feel. While hoops is not on my list, it’s hard to live in North Carolina and not get involved at some level in ACC basketball. I love the whole Duke v Carolina thing and am an equal opportunity irritant to my friends who back either school… the point of swapping T-shirts in the middle of the game. (“Penn State” and “basketball” don’t normally get mentioned in the same sentence.)

      You are definitely right about March Madness. It makes me sit up and pay attention.

      • bradjmoore48

        September 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm

        College hoops is a huge East Coast thing, which sort of makes up for the lack of college football, which is predominant in the South and Midwest. Not saying there aren’t good college hoops teams in the Big Ten, Big XII, and Pac-10, but the ACC and Big East are the powerhouse conferences, and most of the good mid-major and small conferences are East Coast based. I follow UVM basketball mainly because, when they do well, such as 2003-2005 plus this past year where they won our conference title and got into the NCAA tournament, it’s a major state event that everyone rallies around, plus its a bunch of good kids who will never play pro ball, but still go out and play their hardest against any opposition, whether its a lowly conference opponent or a Top 25 school. I live in DC now, and just about every college here has a D1 hoops team, unfortunately we don’t play against each other (a Georgetown – GW rivalry would be a huge deal for the students and alumni in the city, even though G-town would win every year…this coming from a GW alumni)

        Guy – Anyone I’ve met in my life who went to either Duke or UNC, even if they didn’t care about basketball in general, said the Duke-UNC rivalry was a big part of their college experience.

  28. JS Park

    September 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    My only regret was not following soccer as much as possible when I was younger. I played up until high school and wish I played longer as well. Growing up, I started with NFL, College basketball, Baseball, and the NHL and NBA. That shifted once I could own my own place and pay for my own satellite…and soccer took over.

    As of now, Soccer is a clear #1. In fact I would say it goes games of any Premier League teams starting with the League fixtures, then anything involving Champions League or Cup games with those teams. I watch top teams from La Liga, Serie A, etc. if they are on, but not with much intensity or planning.

    Everything else I stay “aware” of but don’t do much planning around watching live games of any other sports. I could tell you who won the NFL games yesterday, but it wasn’t from watching them at all. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out how I can get out of a meeting this afternoon from 2:00-3:15pm CST while Aston Villa is playing Stoke on ESPN3.

  29. Brandon

    September 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I would say that I am a life long sports fan. From a really young age I was very interested in NFL and College Football. I was attracted to the helmets I guess. I grew into a fan of most sports as I grew older. I always hated soccer and thought it was boring. Then I started playing the FIFA video games in high school. Then watched World Cup ’06 and after that decided to follow the club teams and my passion grew year by year to the point that Soccer is now easily my second favorite sport

    1.NFL/College Football
    2.Soccer(Mainly EPL)
    4.Everything else

    • Wacman

      September 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      I’m the same way Brandon, only I bought Winning Eleven 7 for Playstation. The Master League Mode is probably the best introduction to the sport for me because you start off with the worst players in the league and you have to find a way to win with them in order to buy better players. Because of that level of difficulty, the first goal I scored, a chipped goal from just inside the box, had me jumping up and down in a way I never had with Football, Basketball, and Baseball, which were my favorite sports at the time. Ever since, Soccer has been my favorite, with the other three a distant second.

      • Wacman

        September 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm

        I should add that the video game I now play incessantly is FM lol.

  30. The Gaffer

    September 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Here’s my list of sports I followed closely throughout my life:

    Aged 8 to 14 (in Wales):
    1. Soccer
    2. Tennis
    3. Cricket
    4. Rugby

    Aged 14 to 18 (in high school in America):
    1. Soccer
    2. NBA

    Aged 19 to now (in America):
    1. Soccer
    2. Soccer
    3. Soccer

    The Gaffer

  31. IanCransonsKnees

    September 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

    It’s an interesting topic. From an English perspective we are lucking that in a country as small as ours we have 92 Football League clubs to follow, non- league teams, along with professional Rugby in both codes, Cricket and a wide variety of sports that if you’re inclined you can easily take in live.

    I’d be interested to know how many of you are able to take in your chosen sport live at whatever level? It seems in America you can pick a team in whatever sport and have plenty of access digitally but live it appears much more difficult.

    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      Right you are, Knees. The expanse of the country can be a detriment. The closest university to me is an hour and forty-five minute drive. Tickets to its football (NCAA) games are hard to come by since most are taken up by season ticket holders and students.

      The nearest professional soccer team of any sort is three hours away by car. There is no public transportation to either venue.

      Those who live near university towns or our large cities are in much better shape, but even near a city the lack of good public transport can make attending a game a daunting task if you’re not fond of traffic congestion, which can easily add another hour onto your journey.

  32. Rob

    September 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I’ve absolutely evolved over the past 10 years (21 now).

    At age 12:

    1. Ice Hockey
    2. Lacrosse
    3. Baseball
    4. Golf

    At age 16:

    1. Hockey
    2. Lax
    3. Golf
    4. Baseball

    At 18:

    1. Hockey
    2. Golf
    3. Baseball
    4. Football

    At 21:

    1. Hockey
    2. Golf
    2A. Soccer
    4. Nothing…

    I picked up the beautiful game after the USA-Honduras Qualifier in the early spring of 2009 (Frankie Hejduk tied it up with a header). Hockey will never move and I’m good at golf so it works that way. I only watch football because I play fantasy but other than that going to a match in England is my small dream right now. If I had a choice it would be Watford @ Vicarage Road (Championship).

  33. tonyspeed

    September 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

    1)real football
    2)rally – wrc

    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      My great fear right now is that once TimeWarner and ESPN3 work out the kinks and it becomes available to me I’m going to feel the need to really understand cricket. I have seen highlights and understand some of it, but when they run off the scores on Sky Sports I really don’t get it (“That’s 158 for 6”) and “wickets” and “overs” still confuse me.

      This is just what I need……. 🙂

  34. csb059

    September 13, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I’ve taken a similar route to yours Guy. A few years ago I became bored with most Americam Sports on TV as the games seemed to take forever and were riddled with commericials. By chance while on vacation in Savannah, my wife and I ran into two couples from England. They were rabid Manchester City fans and had the match on at a an English pub. I was amazed to see how rabid they were, how they brought their jerseys with themon teh trip so they could sport them for the match, etc. I had to take another look at this sport of “soccer”. I adopted City as my team and went full force into the next season. I was hooked. Soon I took an interest in other world sports. Aussie Rules, Rugby Union, Gaelic football, even hurling. Now my favorite sports are…

    1) Rugby – any Union competition, Northern Hemi, Southern Hemi, provincial (NZ, RSA), International tourneys and tours, etc.
    2) Hockey
    3) Football – mostly EPL with an occasional Bundesliga and Serie A match
    4) Football – American

  35. Brad

    September 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

    That was interesting to read. I’m not English but I went through a similar trip as you, when I went to college and got exposed to other sports, I found that I enjoyed them much more than the ones I grew up with.

    My list:
    1. Soccer
    2. NCAA Football
    3. Aussie Rules
    4. Rugby

    I discovered Aussie rules about a year ago and it has been growing fast in terms of interest as I’m learning more and more about it. I don’t think it will surpass soccer but it may eventually reach number two.

    • Guy Robert

      September 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      You probably already know this, but ESPN3 carries some Aussie Rules and currently is showing the Prelim Finals. The Grand Final will be live on ESPN Classic beginning at 11:30 PM Fri., Sept. 24. ESPN2 will join the GF live at 1:00 AM Sat., Sept. 25.

      I like your list. 😉

      • IanCransonsKnees

        September 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm

        Thanks Guy. I guess then following sports in the states and following them in England are culturally very different. I’ve followed Stoke for the past seventeen years and whilst we were down in the doldrums you would meet plenty of people who claimed to be a fellow fan but didn’t go for reason x, y or z. It always sickened me and still does that our crowds jumped from 15,000 to 28,000 since our promotion. In my eyes these people had no excuse in terms of distance or price. We’d regularly charge the equivalent of around $10 to get get in to a Championship match. Even now I only pay $538 for my season ticket, that’s every Premier League home game.

        Do people in America follow minor league sides as a way of attending live matches or are they just seen as reserves?

        Off out to the Stoke Villa game now, don’t want to rub it in but it’s a twenty minute walk straight to my seat. I’ll try to get a picture and post it later.

        • bradjmoore48

          September 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm

          “Do people in America follow minor league sides as a way of attending live matches or are they just seen as reserves?”

          I think it’s both. The only real minor league system we have is in baseball. The players in baseball’s minor leagues are ‘reserves’ for major league teams, and so you won’t necesarily get the attendence numbers the major league teams do, but there are fans who go to the games because the small to mid-size city they live in will never get a major league team, and because the players coming through may end up playing in the major leagues within a few years.

          • Derek

            September 13, 2010 at 8:06 pm

            We have hockey as well. I have season tickets (40 games) to the Hershey Bears. I believe we averaged 9,000 fans a game last year.

          • Guy Robert

            September 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

            The Bears are a great story. They have fantastic support in the central Pennsylvania region. We used to live in Lancaster Co. where they got good coverage in both press and TV.

        • Guy Robert

          September 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm

          “don’t want to rub it in but it’s a twenty minute walk straight to my seat.”

          Ouch! 😀

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