Friday, September 11, 2009


It's that time of year. My favorite athletes have had their cleats and pads on for a while now. The preseason is over and we (my team) won every game. Our bench is solid and we've got plenty of cash on hand to cover our expensive roster and then some. Our owner is filthy rich and extravagant. Our players are cocky but have earned it and if you have any of them on your fantasy team you are guaranteed points. Oh and we have the best fans and stadium in the world.

If you have picture of an NFL team in your head, perhaps the Dallas Cowboys, you'd be dead wrong. I just described for you, in ambiguous terms, Chelsea Football Club of the English Premiere League and the Champions League. They are one of the most storied and greatest sports clubs in the world. The past decade has been good for The Blues. They won Premier League titles in '05 and '06 and made it to the Champions League final, only to lose out to Manchester United (our most hated rival). Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool are together called "The Big four". These teams are or were the "best" teams in the English Premiere League. They are the powerhouses of the EPL and are often powerhouses in the Champions League as well.

Our owner is Roman Abromovich. He owns a cool boat. He's filthy sinking rich and will do what it takes to get good players to come to Chelsea FC (CFC). We fans are big fans of him.

CFC's pitch (stadium) is called Stamford Bridge and it is located in Fulham, West London. It's huge!

We also have some of the biggest names in Football. John Terry, Deco, Petr Czec, Drogba, Anelka, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, and Michael Ballack. Both Terry and Ballack are the captains of their national teams (England and Germany respectively).

So what who cares? I know, I know, this is America we play American Football NFL style. But that to me is boring. Think about this: In a typical NFL game there is a break in the action every 20 seconds. A play is executed and yards are gained or lost. Then everyone stops, groups up in a huddle to talk strategy, then lines up again to execute another play. Which takes longer? Executing the play or all the stuff in between? And don't get me started on commercials! In a Football (soccer) game there are two 45 minute halves and there is no stopping for strategy or commercials. It's all Football, all the time. Sure the halves may go over 45 minutes but usually only by at most 5 minutes. There is a 20 minute break between the halves where the commentators do their job and the commercials come at you en masse. The final half often has some more stoppage time as well. So the grand total for the game then comes to 120 minutes. When did the last NFL game you see end in 120 minutes (including commercials and half time)?

Football (soccer) gets a bad wrap for it's so called "lack of action". This is not true! How much action is in an NFL game? About 20 seconds at a pop. In Football the action goes all game but the game is nuanced. If you can handle a hockey game you can handle a Football game. Low scoring but high action. Lots of passing and lots of setting up. What a player does 40 yards from the ball makes a huge difference in the way the game plays out. There is blood in almost every game and often there are broken bones or noses. It's an action packed game you just have to learn where to look. Learning about the NFL took time. Take some time to learn about Football.

Here's the best part. ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Soccer Channel, and your local Fox sports affiliate (FSWisconsin, FSN, FS...) are carrying many of the UEFA Champions League, and Premier League games as well as the World Cup. So check it out. Learn a little. Have some patience and read into the nuance of the game. Why did your favorite NFL team choose a nickle D or run a slant route on that play? If you wonder about that or know the answer then you should pay attention to a good Football game. You might just fall in love.

Who's your famous CFC?


  1. Finally a blog about REAL football. But, Lampard plays for England and he's not the captain. The Germany captain is Ballack.

  2. Thanks for the correction Dan. I wrote that while talking to 3 people in the coffee shop. No excuses!