Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Drew You To The Team You Support / Play With

I was wondering what drew all of you to the team you currently support as well as play with in the League.  Some of you had teams "forced" on you due to the ones you wanted already being picked.  Have you become somewhat enamored with your team in the League?  Do you follow them in the real EPL?

My story
I have always had some affinity for soccer (football to most of you).  I always become engrossed in the World Cup and this year was no different.  I guess the fact that the USA had some exciting games in the first round helped tremendously keep my attention a little more.  I do tend to root for Mexico and Brazil more than the USA.  So during the World Cup, I decided I wanted to follow a team.  Didn't know what league.  Didn't want to pick an obvious team.  

I decided on following the English Premier League.  But, I still had to pick a team.  I initially wanted to follow Chelsea but after reading up on them, I just didn't like how the team was run.  So with Chelsea out of the picture, I researched all the teams.  My choices had come down to Arsenal, Everton, Fulham and Liverpool rounding out the list.  Now as superficial as this sounds, I based my pick on the team with the jersey I liked the most because honestly I couldn't support a team with an ugly jersey.  I'm not a jersey "snob" per se, but I like classic looking jerseys with not a lot of activity going on the shirt.  Being a Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan, there is something to be said about the simple and classicness of their jerseys.  That's what I like and what I'm drawn to.  So after researching those four teams and countering that with their jersey, I descended upon Arsenal.  What really drew me to them though was the style of play they exhibit.  I'm not one for brute force or cheating in soccer.  Finding out that the team was not one of the debt heavy teams in the EPL was a welcome plus.  

With my new team in hand, I set out to learn more about the players.  Luckily some were in the World Cup and two of the stars faced off in the World Cup Final.  Lucky me!  I was pulling for Spain because I sided more with Fabregas as he has become my favorite player.  So after the World Cup and during the preseason, I watched their exhibitions and simply fell in love with the team.  Even though I'm fairly new in my support of them, I feel like this is my team.  I wake up early on Saturdays to watch the games via internet stream or if I'm lucky on ESPN2.  I can spout off player names and positions and formation tactics like I've been knowledgeable of the team for years.  Arsenal simply feels like home.  

As for Blackpool, I picked them for this League because I didn't figure anyone else would so I took one for the "team" so to say.  But honestly, they are a surprising team.  Playing like they belong in the EPL and are not a one and done type team.  I look forward to following them and learning more about them as the season progresses and hoping they fight to stay above relegation.  

25 comments:

  1. Awesome story Martin.
    My story is pretty similar actually. I am VERY new to the sport itself. In fact, it was this years' World Cup that sucked me in. Now wifey calls me obsessed. I wanted to to follow a league so I just decided on the EPL. So then I needed to support a team. I did a LOT of research in the months of July/August. Some of my reasons/decisions on who to support are a little unconventional . Spurs (for their style) of play . Man City (they won it the year I was born) and Liverpool (for their history). Now I dig Everton since that is who I'm playing as in this league. Of course one can't root for Everton AND Liverpool. Can they? My natural choice should be Man U since their owners also own the Tampa Bay Bucs and that is my home (NFL) team. But I don't like the owners so I threw them out. Looking back, maybe I should have chosen them over Liverpool. So I guess I am just a fan of the league. And that is what really drew me to this FIFA11 league. Plus everyone here has been great . I've learned so much in the past 4-5 months that this seems natural to me. During the week, I can't wait til the games come on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been following football since 2005 when I moved to Ukraine for a year to do mission work. I started following the national team and saw them play and fell in love with Andriy Shevchenko. I then carried over into 2006 WC. When I returned home I knew my friends all followed EPL and had their favorite teams, so I decided to pick one for myself. It just so happened that after the world cup, sheva signed with Chelsea. And Chelsea was blue, which was my favorite color. Therefore it was decided I would follow Chelsea. Ever since, I have learned more and more about their history and getting to spend time with other fans and Chelsea legends remind me everyday why I support the greatest club on the planet.

    As for playing as Newcastle on the game, it was the only team left on the game, but I'm getting better and better with them once I figure out what they are good at and when and where to use what players. I don't see myself ever liking them in real life, but I don't mind playing with them on this game. It's a fun and new challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Newcaslte. I like the beer so I like them too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i've been an avid supporter of the us national team for a long team, and played the sport as a kid through middle school.

    i was never really into league based soccer, until after watching the 2009 confed cup i decided to pick a club. I've always been a fan of the azzurri so i decided to cheer for the club with the biggest impact on the national team, Juventus, without knowing much else about them.

    I cheer for a certain team in every league, and Fulham happens to be my favorite English club due to the large number of americans that have worn the fulham jersey. i was more than happy to learn that they were still available when i joined the league.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been playing football for 30 years straight now (started when I was 4). I have been watching the WC since I can remember and I am a rabid US fan. I watch most leagues around the world but the club I support and have been supporting since the early 90s is Manchester United. I grew up in CT and their is a big English presence there. A lot of the guys I played with were English UTD supporters and quickly got me involved. It was easy from there on, I fell in love with everything about the club, players, history and stadium. I am no glory chaser and understand why a lot of Manchester Untied fans get called that, being what they are globally.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ballgame,

    I have learned so much about the EPL in such a short time as well. At times I feel like my head is going to explode with learning all the nuances. It would be easier if I lived over there and could follow the teams closely. But I guess it'll take time for me to rattle off other team info like I can with the NFL, MLB and NBA.


    Mikethomas,

    Funny how simple things draw us to our teams. Your favorite color drew you to Chelsea and not wanting an ugly jersey drew me to Arsenal. I'm seriously thinking about starting my Career Mode with Blackpool once the patch is released instead of Arsenal. I ran through a quick summer transfer window with them and it was a challenge upgrading the team with such a small budget.


    David,

    What other teams do you support in other Leagues? The American presence on Fulham is what initially drew me to them too.


    Josh,
    Do you play on a semi-professional level? I remember first getting into the World Cup around 1990 but really didn't pay attention until 1994 and watching Baggio miss the PK in the Final. I loved watching Romario and Bebeto for Brazil.

    ReplyDelete
  7. No, I work too much to play semi-pro! LOL. I play Div. 1 in a NYC/NJ league. It is actually the oldest league in the country, very historic. I love playing in it. The name of the league is the Cosmopolitan Soccer League.

    You can read about here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmopolitan_Soccer_League

    ReplyDelete
  8. Josh,

    Which is your team? Have you tried recreating your team in the Creation Centre?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I meant to type Div. 2, typo. I play for NY Ukranian SC. We are historically a Div. 1 side, but the club has suffered a bit financially in recent years and has caused some disturbance in the team. We have played friendlies against Eintracht and Fiorentina in the 50s, great history. We are in a re-building stage right now, but the future looks bright. We just brought on an excellent new manager.

    I have never made my team for FIFA as of yet. I do have two friends that have done this for some other teams I have played on. My good buddy from back home created our high school team! LOL! Another friend of mine created an Argentinean/Uruguayan team that we played on in a Brooklyn league. I have yet to see either of them, but cannot wait to.

    ReplyDelete
  10. All of this is pretty interesting. I'm digging these replies .
    Im sure that most of you have heard that Paul the Octopus has passed on.  Where else can you pass along this information and have it mean something.
    I say that the next season, we honor the psychic cephalopod and call the league PAUL's EPL.
    : )

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am with that. I feel bad for the guy. He probably died from all of the stress put on him from camera flashes, being moved around, etc. All of that hype he endured was pretty silly. RIP Paul.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Question...

    Who else out of the group has played or plays competitively in their life? I am curious. Martin, did you play?

    ReplyDelete
  13. No, never played outside of gym class.

    ReplyDelete
  14. LOL! Gym class, good one. I know you love the game and that is all that matters.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nothing like that. I was more skilled at basketball and football. Didn't have the endurance to play soccer.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I forgot you follow other sports. Do you still play basketball and football?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Not since college. I only played intramural basketball in college. After I graduated, I hardly played any sport. My workouts were simply going to the gym. Now, in my early 30's with 3 kids, I have no real time to play "real" sports. besides, it would eat into my FIFA 11 playing time lol.

    ReplyDelete
  18. 3 kids! Wow, congratulations! Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. yep, 2 year old twin boys and a 3month old baby girl.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My story about my following Arsenal begins in 2005. After playing Football, Baseball, Basketball growing up I had never played, watched, or cared about Soccer. Being a college student, I was watching hours upon hours of ESPN in the middle of the day. I caught the 05 Champions League Final and was completely riveted. Once the 2006 Champions League season started I caught a few Arsenal games, and fell in love with the style of play and particularly Theirry Henry. I followed them, thanks to ESPN, up until the Champions League Final. At that point I had become emotionally invested in the success of the team. So beginning with the next EPL season, I bought a kit and followed every Arsenal game I could on FSC, ESPN, illegal stream, torrent, etc.

    Having never played the game before i truly learned how soccer 'worked' from playing FIFA. I put hours a day into learning the movements, formations, and flow of the game. I would guess in my first 100 matches on FIFA 08, I probably won 20. But it was through that desire to learn, and the "freshness" that came with following something completely new. Now I follow the Arsenal with all my heart, rock my kit on weekends, and try to convert my colleagues into soccer fans.

    I've been saving up, and cant wait to travel across the pond for my first match (hopefully Spring next year).

    I got a couple games in last night, and i am thourghly enjoying this league!

    Cheers,

    JJ

    Arsenal 'til I Die!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Also, I played 2 years of Intermural Soccer at UCF and loved every minute of it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great story Double J. Yeah, the Champions League will make ANYONE a fan. It is simply amazing. I love hearing about stories like yours.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Double J...win the League with Arsenal please!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Even though I'm an obsessed sports fan, I've never played soccer. Years and years of baseball a a little football, floor hockey. But never - and I regret it....soccer. In fact, I just bought a soccer ball just to say that I have one. Yeah. I've been called "obsessed" since I found the EPL.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have read everybodies reasons for supporting their team with great interest. My Dad took me to my first Chelsea game in 1988 when we were in the old 2nd division (Now the Championship). Ive had a season ticket at Stamford Bridge since 2001/02 season and havent missed a Chelsea home or away league game since 2002. I for one am enjoying our reign at the top as i can remember the bad times watching Chelsea. I just want to say respect to Martin for setting up this league Im well and truly addicted to playing and think the games are great and played in the right spirit

    ReplyDelete