I was introduced to soccer in a different way compared to many who read this site. Like a typical American, I was never raised watching the game, and watched my American sports instead (which I still do). My first introduction to soccer was by Playstation, when I purchased FIFA Soccer 97. After that, I didn’t watch my first live games until the 1998 World Cup. Yes, I might have never seen a soccer match, but I knew the players well just by the fact that I played them on Playstation numerous amount of times.
Therefore, my first ever soccer game that I ever watched was US vs. Germany in the 1998 World Cup with my good friend Kartik Krishnaiyer. Yes, that wasn’t exactly the best match for me to watch. And yes, what made it even worse was the fact that Steve Sampson was an idiot using a 3-6-1 formation. But still, I saw both teams play with heart. Unfortunately for the US, we saw Yugoslavia and Iran play with the same heart. I, of course, watched the final in which France defeated Brazil. And with my trip to Paris less than two weeks later, I was both hooked on soccer and French football. Also, due to my extensive hours of playing Playstation, I became a supporter of Paris St. Germain (the reason I am not now is a different story).
Being an American, we are used to not having the same teams win every single season. If a team dominates for a while (like San Francisco and Dallas in American football in the 80s and 90s), other teams still have a chance to knock them off. But even when dynasties are created, like the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s, they eventually fall and become the Oilers of 2011, the worse team in the NHL. Therefore, there is diversity when it comes to watching sports in the United States. Even the mighty New York Yankees in the salary capless MLB get scares in their own division from Tampa Bay and the Boston Red Sox.
This was the reason that I only followed the EPL closely for two years. It only took a tiny bit of observing to realize that the same teams win over and over again. And unless you get a lucky break, like your team being bought out by a billionaire like Manchester City, you have no chance of ever celebrating anything, or even have the thought of celebrating anything, if you aren’t one of the big boys. That is what makes American sports so great, as even the Tampa Bay Lightning can claim a Stanley Cup.
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