Friday, February 10, 2017

Why You Should Watch Soccer

There is something special about it. I'm not sure what it is but something always wakes me bright and early in the morning to watch what some people call "the beautiful game." 
Like most people, I grew up playing youth soccer. Didn't really think of it as much but I must have liked it enough to stay in it for six years. I watched soccer occasionally but not enough to fully be a memory wiz like I am with other sports. When I realized that EPL had no playoffs, I lost interest completely. 
That all changed when I discovered what the UEFA Champions League was. The best teams from every country in Europe meet for one big tournament. After watching that in 2012, I began to research more about soccer. 
I'll tell you. There is a lot to research. I still haven't figured out why there is so much diving and faking sometimes, but  what I have figured out is that every game is important. That is something most North American sports leagues can't say. 
With relegation in place with Europe, each game is crucial to survival. Being in the top flight league in your country is vital but even more important is staying there. That's why every home game is treated like a big event and ever visit from teams like Chelsea and Liverpool is a big deal. A team like Burnley isn't guaranteed a game against Manchester United every year. 
More importantly, with relegation gives a chance for the majority of cities to have a chance at being in the EPL. For instance, a small city in England that has a team playing in third or fourth tier still has hope of one day climbing the soccer pyramid. In America, those small cities would just have minor teams with almost no hope of getting a professional team. 
The statistics speak for themselves. Every promoted team has an average of 3.6 years in the Premier League before they get relegated. Every team that gets relegated doesn't always get promoted back the following year. 
Every home game is valued, with soccer having a fair share of 1-0 and 2-1 games. Every game could be a turning point in the season. 
I think that's what gets me up bright and early every Saturday and Sunday. The element of intrigue that soccer brings. NBCSN has a handful of games per week while in Canada, about 75% of the games are televised on standard satellite. 
Also, every country has their own league. Every continent has their own Champions League. The international competitions are even more competitive. 
There is really something special about soccer. I haven't been able to be a fan of any team really yet. Tottenham Hotspur has been the closest thing. They are getting a new stadium in two years as they turn the corner to become one of the juggernauts. 
I want to adopt a team but it's impossible to know which team is your favorite when the majority of the teams are in a league below. 
That's why I like to read about all the teams. What city there in, where they their name, etc etc. It truly is a cultural experience. 
Despite all the negativity soccer brings, there is a whole new adventure that watching soccer brings that is hard to duplicate in North America. That's why I watch it. There is always something new to learn in the world of soccer. 

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