Hello and welcome to your new Tuesday morning time-waster. This is a place for people (like me), who are fans of both the National Football League (NFL) and English Premier League (EPL) to get weekly updates of the action that took place in a given game-week. While each sport is very different in the ways that they are played, the leagues have the same goal in mind – Global Dominance!
I have always played with the idea of writing, but there were a few motivating factors to start this blog – I read a great book that guided the idea (Soccernomics), the meaning behind the NFL lockout and World Soccer Challenger and knowing I had a tremendous editor on my side (my Dad).
This entry will serve strictly as an intro into the style and will be following by a thorough preview of the English Premier League, then the NCF and finally the AFC. I am from Massachusetts and have always supported Liverpool, so while that may come out in my writing, I will attempt to provide an unbiased opinion. I hope that my friends will read and potentially contribute, while anyone who read this finds some sort of enjoyment and knowledge from it. Also, I value the opinion of anyone who reads this column, so please send your feedback after you read. And now without further adu — .
National Football League
There was one storyline that dominated the majority of the offseason – the Lockout. Sure I was nervous about the first couple games of the regular season, but when it was all said and done, we got the best case scenario; no missed games, no Brett Favre media slobfest was non-existent, the free agency frenzy was awesome and the shortened preseason has to benefit veteran teams like my beloved Patriots.
For me, the interesting part of the negotiations is that the NFL is trying to become a global brand and with the revenue growth that has been created in the past couple years, who knows how valuable each franchise will be when the contract is finished. Currently, American football is only popular in America. The NFL created NFL Europe (1991-2007) and has recently forced two teams to play a regular season game in England in order to extend their market share overseas. There is no doubt that there will be more efforts like this in the coming years.
English Premier League
Similar to the NFL, the EPL is looking to expand their brand globally and the biggest untapped futbol market in the world is the United States. For the fifth consecutive offseason (NOT SURE IF THAT IS TRUE) teams played friendly matches against both MLS teams as well as teams from other parts of the world (XX, XX , not sure if we should include other teams). Along with the World Football Classic, Manchester United played the MLS all-stars for the second straight year and proved that they are a class side (not that there was much doubt). On the other side, there was a bit of controversy in one of the games, when Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli tried this move (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2So22P6cbkY&feature=player_embedded) with poor results and received harsh criticism. Personally, I do not think Balotelli deserved the backlash (note – my editor disagrees). These players are now playing year-round and this game was seen as a chance to extend the brand of futbol to America. The way to do that is by playing an exciting style and create awareness.
The ideal way to improve soccer in America is to have the best teams available to watch. In order to learn how to play the game, we need to learn from the best. Americans are treating to the best league in the world for Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey – the four major sports in this country. While I do not think that the MLS will challenge the European leagues in terms of talent any time soon, we could learn from their style and create a long-term plan to improve the talent in this country.