Are You Ready For Some Futbol?

This past Sunday afternoon, I was watching the early NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals on Fox Sports.  I must say that I was quite pleased with the outcome.  The Packers easily took care of the Cards, handing them a 31-17 loss at Lambeau Field.

As that game was winding down, I clicked the “Guide” button on my remote to find out which teams were going to be playing in the second game.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that the 4:00 p.m. match-up on Fox Sports would be pitting Newcastle United against Liverpool!

Say what!?

What could be more unheard of than the live broadcast of an EPL (English Premier League) game in a Sunday afternoon time slot which has been a home to the NFL since time in memoriam!

Lions are going to be laying down with lambs any day now!

Given the steady decline in the quality of programming available, my TV generally is not turned on unless I’m watching sports; or unless there’s a new episode of Ancient Aliens airing on H2!

In recent years, as I’ve scanned through the TV listings in search of a good sports event to watch, I have been aware of a slow but steady increase in the number of soccer games being broadcast here in the states.  And I’m not talking about U.S. based MLS (Major League Soccer) games or Mexican league games on Telemundo.

Case in point, Sunday’s English Premier League game was followed up with the live broadcast of another EPL game, Southampton at West Bromwich Albion, on Monday afternoon.  Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, two Champions League games were broadcast live; Arsenal (Eng.) at Schalke (Ger.) and Barcelona (Spa.) at Celtic (Scot.) respectively.

By the way, Celtic put a big-time thumping on Barca in that one! Go Hoops!

Ten years ago, one could not have imagined watching live English football on U.S. television, much less four live European matches in a single week.

I have a closely kept secret to reveal.  For years, I’ve been a closet soccer fan.  I played the game in my youth, long before the arrival of organized youth leagues.  And I’ve been watching games between European teams on the internet for some time.  I even have the Barclay’s English Premier League app on my iPhone so that I can keep up with scores and league standings.  Such is my fervor for the “beautiful game“.

As far as I’m concerned, being able to watch more EPL and Champions League coverage is a positive trend, and one which I hope to see continue.

At this rate, how long will it be before the names Messi, Gerrard, and Rooney are as recognizable in the U.S. as Manning, Romo, and Vick?


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