Goal!

Every weekend from now until June, thousands of fans across the world will gather at taverns in anticipation of their favorite soccer team’s game. Of all these fans, none are more die hard than those of the English Premier League. With riots and bar fights more abundant than the local beer on tap, English futbol fans make even the most die hard American football fans look as docile as kindergarten nap time. The mere presence of an opposing team’s jersey is enough to ignite a rowdy tavern brawl. However, passionate fans are only one reason why the EPL is so intriguing. Unlike its American sport counterparts, the EPL punishes teams that fail to perform up to standard. Tanking a season in order to acquire a top draft pick has become common practice among professional sports teams in the US (see Charlotte Bobcats). Because there isn’t a draft in the Premier League, this practice never occurs. Teams finishing at the bottom of the league are relegated into lesser leagues where they must spend the next season in mediocrity, attempting to return to Premier status. Replacements for these bottom teams come from the best of the second league which provides a yearly supply of small city underdog teams that easily capture the attention and love of fans. The lack of a draft also allows for the creation of supervillain teams such as Manchester City and Chelsea, who use their abundant resources and wealth to buy any player they desire. Despite its recent success, Manchester City was once a team that lingered near the middle of the league, never moving up or down that much. However, with the acquisition of a very rich manager, they set out on a quest to buy as many skilled players from as many different teams as possible, working their way into the top of the league. This is heavily frowned upon. Heavily. Frowned. Upon. Most fans would rather throw their support at small teams such as Swansea City, who eventually claw their way into a respectable positions in the premier league. In fact, Swansea is currently on a winning streak. Even if tavern brawling and hating the incredibly rich entities aren’t your cup of tea (but let’s be honest, it totally is), the Premier League has countless other entertainment options, especially the outlandish antics of Mario Balotelli, who with his ludicrous blond mohawk and (failed) reverse back heel attempts, is by far the athlete most deserving of the nickname Honey Badger.