when in the UK …

For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of the big four North American professional sports. In descending order, I love the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL [with the order of basketball and baseball probably being flipped around up until the Raptors came into existence].

I think it’s time to add a fifth sport onto that list. I have officially become a fan of the beautiful game.

I suppose it started innocently enough. Lauren and I traveled to London a few years ago, and my goal was to come home with a football jersey as a souvenir. I picked up an England national jersey and a Chelsea jersey, and decided that I would check the scores from time to time so that if anyone who saw me wear the shirt asked a question about either squad, I wouldn’t look like a complete poser. I followed England through the ’06 World Cup and watched all of their matches in their entirety. As for league play, I didn’t really watch it due to lack of cable [which I now know doesn’t really matter thanks to a couple helpful websites.] I did chat about it some with my friend Jon at Prov last year and was right into the Champions League final last May [which Chelsea lost on penalty kicks to Manchester United … boo].

And now that we are in Aberdeen, I actually have a local team to cheer for, Aberdeen FC. The Dons got off to a bit of a slow start, but led by SPL player of the month for December Lee Miller, they are now 1 point out of third spot, and to make it there would allow them to qualify for Champions League play next year. Lauren and I are planning on attending a match possibly next month, but will probably sit in the family section to avoid excessive rowdiness. Although judging by some of the kids children around here, that might not necessarily be the case! I also have decided to become a regular Chelsea supporter. I have been to the pub to watch two matches so far, the last being a total beat down by Manchester United. Ouch. Their prospects for this season are not looking the best.

One more thing. Living in Canada, one can’t imagine that there is anything bigger than hockey. It’s the first thing covered on all sports shows, and it’s talked about and reported to death. But I have to say that nothing compares to the level of interest and coverage that football receives over here. The entire sports section is filled with detailed information about every match, and the seedier papers are right into the players personal business. There’s the odd rugby or tennis article, but football, on a global perspective, is without question the most popular sport. And from what I have seen of the TV coverage, it’s non-stop on the sports networks.

One more thing. I really like the idea of in season on going tournaments too. I think the NHL and NBA should look into that to spice up the regular season months.

All that to say, I’m hooked. Here’s to Scotland qualifying for the 2010 World Cup!

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  1. January 26th, 2009

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