Football season is fast approaching but I’m not talking about the National Football League here in the United States. The football to which I’m referring is the Barclays Premier League. Still befuddled? It’s the top league in English soccer, or football. As an aside, it really doesn’t make sense that American football is called football, since the focus isn’t on kicking. In fact, punters and field goal kickers are the least respected players on an American football team. Quite a conundrum, isn’t it? But I digress.
Premier League play starts this weekend and I’ve decided to follow it. Bear in mind that I know practically nothing about soccer in terms of rules, players, etc. I tried to get into it back in high school when I had crushes on two handsome French-Italian brothers with whom I had gone to grammar school. I’d go to their games and sit with their parents, taking pictures with my Olympus OM-10. I went to three Proms with the Fontana brothers in 1982. Ah, yes. They were such handsome boys. But, yet again, I digress.
There are a couple of rules I have that are mandatory when I watch a sport: (1) I need to have a basic understanding of how the game is played and (2) I need to have someone for whom to root. In terms of Rule Number 1, I may have to read this book. I have the book for golf but like my golf clubs, it hasn’t been used much. Rule Number 2 is much easier. I have adopted the favorite team of my friend Rob Marshall, the Wolverhampton Wanderers, aka, Wolves. I met Rob on my first, and so far only, trip to England in 1990. He was playing music at a wine bar close to where I was staying in Kensington and we immediately hit it off. We’ve kept in touch all these years and he even visited me back in 1993.
So, I follow the Wolves on Twitter. I “Like” their Facebook page and I may even check out a local Wolves fan group in San Francisco that I came across. If you’re under the impression that I seem rather gung ho about this, you’d be right. I tend to get obsessive about something when I first get into it. If I like a musician, I tend to want everything he or she ever recorded. I got into comic books last year (Batwoman is my avatar on Twitter) and now I’m on a first name basis with the staff at my local comics store. The trick is sustaining my interest over the long term.
It will be difficult to catch matches live. There’s the time difference for one and where to watch them is another. I know Fox Soccer channel airs many matches and I’ve already been doing research on bars in San Francisco that air the Premier League. The thing is, even though I’m very outgoing, the idea of going to a bar by myself to watch soccer is a tad uncomfortable. So, if you happen to be a Wolves fan in the San Francisco Bay Area and you somehow stumbled upon my little blog, contact me. We’ll raise a pint and cheer on the Wolves.