This past Sunday I got out of bed at 8:30am–something I never do–to watch Everton and Liverpool battle to a 1-1 draw in Goodison Park. After that game, I snoozed lightly as Arsenal mollywhopped Manchester United, 3-0, on the TV. I then proceeded to ignore the NFL games for the rest of the day. I don’t even remember who was playing.
I was a fan of European soccer way back in the day (born from that exquisite WC back in ’94), but it’s hard to stay interested when the games were never regularly shown here in the States. But these past two years have been different. Last year I watched a few games on my phone using the NBC Sports app, but that was awkward and tedious. Now the app is on my AppleTV, and that, my friends, has been a revelation for me this fall.
So now I’m getting up at 8:30/9am on the weekends, watching a bunch of burly British men in shorts slap up against a bunch of svelte and well-coiffed internationals, all playing for teams with ridiculous nicknames like The Toffees, Pensioners, Magpies, Potters, and the Lilywhites. (How silly is this?) But then all the games are over by 1pm EST, right as the NFL starts on Sunday. But by that point, I’ve gotten my sports fix for the day, and I’m ready to do something real. And so, goodbye NFL.
It doesn’t help that, when you compare an NFL game to a standard EPL match (as we did with the Miami/New York game that was played in London concurrently with the Merseyside Derby), you really start to understand how incredibly boring american football really is. The games take three hours to play, but for all but 11 minutes of that, it’s just guys standing around. Meanwhile, the EPL match last two hours with a solid hour and a half of action. But there’s also this asshole Barkley diving all over the pitch, a runty little scotsman name Naismith chewing on the opposing goalkeeper’s gloves, and the former US Secretary of Defense strutting around without a beard. Then there was all that drama surrounding Liverpool’s manager (which, oddly, mirrors all the drama surrounding Miami’s head coach, except classier because Brendan Rodgers wears a suit on the sideline while Philbin wears sweats). What’s not to get excited about?