Saturday, June 22, 2024

Korked Bats

That Funny Sports Blog

I Want To Get Into European “Football” But Don’t Know How To Pick A Team

For the first time ever, the World Cup will be entertaining the masses over the holidays. For the first time in 8 years, the United States Men’s National Team will be participating in the World Cup. Every time the competition comes around, I get super hyped for soccer. Look, I’m going to continue to call it “soccer” to avoid any confusion. I mean no offense. It’s just…most of us think of something different when we hear “football.” Why did I put “European Football” in the headline then, you may be wondering. I was being polite. I didn’t want to start this on the wrong foot. No pun intended. But, I digress…

It’s been 8 years since we’ve been able to root for our country in the FIFA World Cup. 8 long years since we all believed that we will win. We believed that they will win. Watching that team was exciting until the bitter bitter end against Belgium. For the first time since the last World Cup, I was interested in the sport. Like…real interested! I was watching all of the games, learning tactics, and finding out about individual players. 2014 was a nice introduction for me, as a sports fan to the game. My interest went further than just watching the games on TV, I started playing FIFA on Xbox, as well. Crazy fun game. Even for the casual fan. My interest in the sport was so high that if I were a more athletic person, I would have joined a local club. Soon after, my interest began to fade as it wasn’t on TV all the time. I got swept into other activities like work and failed relationships. It wasn’t long until soccer was a forgotten interest of mine. Football, baseball, and basketball were all able to fill the void. Then in 2018, the United States didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Ouch. I didn’t have as much interest in watching the games, er matches, sorry, without my team being involved. I paid next to no attention, and haven’t really since.

Now, with the World Cup coming back, and the United States Men’s Team playing in it, I’m ready to get interested and invested again. These games are going to be starting up in November meaning we will get matches on Thanksgiving Day and more. That’s going to be some quality couch time. It’ll be getting cold, soup or chili will be in the Crock Pot, and sports on TV. Mmm I can feel it now. However, this time around I want my interest to go beyond the World Cup. I want to still pay attention to the sport after the trophy is hoisted and everybody has left Qatar.

I always think it’s cool to see my friends and follows on Twitter rooting for some European professional team. I have friends cheering for Arsenal, some supporting Liverpool, Tottenham, Man U, Man City, PSG, Barcelona, Real Madrid, they seem to have a ton of teams covered. I always wonder how they became fans of these teams, with none being local ties or anything like that. I never ask because I feel like it could be a stupid question, and I don’t want to talk to people, so I leave it be. Now, I’m feeling vulnerable and ready to get real. I want to find a European team to root for, but I have no idea how to pick a team. Here are some ideas I had, while avoiding asking anyone how to go about picking a team. Maybe one of these will work? Is this how they pick their teams?

Watch Games And Find A Team I Like

Well, this seems obvious but is probably the best way to find a team to root for. A little bit of trial and error. I could buy the package on TV, I think NBC Sports has some sort of deal. I could wake up at 6am for the matches and find a team that excites me. Maybe one that plays the sort of game I like. Heavy on the offense, lots of finesse and flash? Who will show me that.

The problem with this? Ain’t nobody got. time for that! I’m the least patient person you will ever meet. I don’t want to do real research or put in a lot of effort in finding a team. Can’t there just be some sort of BuzzFeed Quiz to tell me what team I should root for? Oh, there is? I should try that, I suppose…

Find A Player You Like

This seems like a logical way to find a team. I can watch the World Cup, find a player I really like and then I will support the club they play for! Unfortunately, not a lot of US players play over in Europe for prominent teams. So, I’m sure I’ll be interested in Christian Pulisic, the current US star. That would make me a Chelsea fan. Okay, they are good and get international attention. Being a moderate fan of the sport, I’ve at least heard of them. I know they’ve won a championship recently. I could be on board for that.

The problem with picking a team based on a player, however, is that players can change teams…and often do. I don’t want to support a player, I want to support a team. I want a club I can get behind through thick and thin. So, I don’t think this theory will work for me. I’m sorry.

Pick Based On Kit Color

Not a bad idea. I have to imagine that this isn’t the way people pick their teams, as cute of an option as it may be. After a quick look through, I don’t love what I’m seeing. Pretty much anywhere. I guess Bournemouth has some pretty cool ones? Even that is a stretch. Why don’t they have cool looking jerseys? What are these half collar things? Half of the kits seem to resemble the attire of referees. Is that part of the strategy? Is that intentional? It has to be. Picking a favorite kit is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I don’t think this will be the way I pick my team.

Hit The Random Team Button On FIFA

Go into Exhibition Mode and hit the randomize team button three times (I think it’s X on Xbox?) then pick your team out of the three teams provided. A little randomness, a little control. Really would make things interesting. High risk, high reward. I could be into this. Better than the option of having to watch all the games…

Support A Friend And Ride With Their Team

This would be awesome, but I have to come clean about something. I know earlier I mentioned seeing my friends and follows Tweeting about teams that they support, but I wasn’t telling the full truth. It’s just my random follows and celebrities I see posting about their teams on social media. I don’t have any friends. There’s nobody I’m close with who I could ask if I could become their partner in rooting for Team X. I can’t just ask LeBron if I can join him in supporting Liverpool. We aren’t in touch any more. I suppose I could find a celebrity I like and then support the team they support? That’s kind of the same thing. Okay, now who’s a celebrity that I like…hmm…shoot. Okay maybe this isn’t the best option for someone who doesn’t like most people. Does Larry David root for a team? No, but I guess there is a coach out there who resembles the comedian?

So, even if all of my favorite celebs aren’t interested in the sport, I’m sure there are some out there who I can tolerate or pretend to be interested in enough to side with. Snoop supports Burnley. That seems oddly fitting, cannot be a coincidence. Margot Robbie is a Fulham fan. She looks good in their colors. Adele roots for Tottenham Hotspur, so does Adam Richman from Man v Food. The late great Kobe Bryant was a Barcelona fan. America’s favorite man Tom Hanks cheers for Aston Villa. Idriss Elba is an Arsenal guy. Funny man Will Ferrell is very into Chelsea. Hey remember Craig David? The crooner roots for Southhampton 7 Days a week! These are interesting little random facts, but I don’t feel a pull towards any specific team because of this.

Location, Location, Location

Since Detroit doesn’t have its own team, due to being in the wrong continent, I can’t pick a team based on where I grew up. There are no local connections for me. Mayhaps I can find a connection another way? I visited London before, do they have a team? Yeah, only like 15 of them. That doesn’t help. I don’t have close family in any European city. My ancestors come from Ireland and Sweden for the most part, so my genes are no help in picking a team. Thanks Great-Greats! Amsterdam was a fun city I enjoyed visiting. Maybe I could be an Ajax fan? Ugh. People will just think I’m talking about the cleaning product. That won’t work. I don’t see this working for me.

I feel like I’ve gone through all options at this point. I guess I finally have to ask…how did you pick your team? What am I supposed to do? Pitch me to join your team on Twitter, I need as much help as I can get. Only about a month until the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. I believe that we will win.


Cort isn’t just a sports fan, he’s a sports professional. He’s worked for the NFL, NBA, or his local hockey rink. He supports Detroit teams, which means come time for the playoffs, you can recruit him to root for your team!