Cody Thrift provides us with his second guest post and his views as a passionate Liverpool fan based in America. This time his subject is the start of the new Premier League season which is now rapidly approaching us.
American Perspective: The New Season
We are under two weeks and counting.
This is the time in the US when the NFL starts to sprinkle it’s magic. Training Camps are about to open up, players are being signed and predictions are being made. The ever popular “beast” known as Fantasy Football is already in full effect, people trying to find sleepers and organize their keepers (for the record, Fantasy Football has added a great depth to a product already fun to watch. Oh… and I have two championships to my name).
But there’s also “another” big time sport that some of us in the US follow…. soccer. With each passing year the off-season has me yearning for the next day of news and rumors. Who’s coming in? Who’s been given their walking papers? What 300m player will Man City sign next? The Soccer pre-season is so much more taxing on the mind, than the NFL. The NFL doesn’t have transfers, world tours, or meaningful pre-season games (qualifiers anyone?). Some could take this as a direct bash on the NFL, which it isn’t. I love the NFL, following the Carolina Panthers religiously. The NFL puts out a great product, it builds drama at every turn but soccer, the EPL, Serie A, La Liga, Champions League, you name it, has this allure of magic. I have yet to find anything more exciting than Anfield on a European Night. The hairs on my arms still stand up when I see “This is Anfield” and, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. This is why you follow soccer. It’s the piece of pride you carry around with you. Whenever anyone asks me whom I support, I sort of puff my chest out and say… Liverpool.
So, while all my friends are researching and following the latest happenings around the NFL, I’m working double duty. I know what’s going on with the NFL, you reach a point where you know everything, because you’ve seen the ESPN loop 4 times already. But unlike the NFL, European soccer is complex. The tides are constantly changing, where a thin line separates truth and gossip. I usually get my news 6 hours after the fact, unless I stay up late. But throughout the day I’m getting news in, not on just Liverpool but everyone. I have found the American Liverpool community to be a very educated group. They too have discovered if you want to jump in the deep end with Liverpool, you better know your stuff. All avid fans of soccer here in the US have developed the 6th sense to pick out those who just wear jerseys and those who can hold a soccer conversation.
Liverpool, England! Here us loud and clear, we’re amped up across the pond this season. It’s been a while since we have had this kind of excitement going into the season. A new coach, some new players and maybe a new owner. This is a chance to wipe away a lot of wrongs and start fresh. This is the chance to bring the luster back to the gates of Anfield, where no fan or player shall walk alone.
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