Sports

Diehl ’18: Picking an English Premier League team — part two

By
Sports Columnist
Friday, October 2, 2015

Last week, I tackled the first five English Premier League teams. This week, I’ll cover seven more teams with more cynicism and even cruder assessments. Let’s get to it.

6. Everton

NFL team comparison: Cincinnati Bengals

Everton is a relatively young team that was supposed to do great things last season after an encouraging fifth-place finish the previous year. Alas, its young midfield engine Ross Barkley lost his promising form and the team tanked to 11th place. Year after year, the Bengals with quarterback Andy Dalton lose their composure in the first round of the playoffs. Both franchises have a similar mix of promise and disappointment.

Sports-hipster category: supporter of the wrong microbrewery.

You say you’ve found the one. Snail’s Shell IPA is the next big thing to hit Williamsburg. Then you realize the beer is way too hoppy, and you’ve fooled yourself once again. That’s like rooting for Everton to become globally relevant.

7. Leicester City

NFL team comparison: Philadelphia Eagles

Leicester City is one of the most exciting teams to watch in the EPL. It attacks with an all-out attitude amid a shaky defensive line. But for as much excitement as it brings to the pitch, its roster has the chance to implode at any moment. Kind of like the Eagles.

Sports-hipster category: exclusive organic honey buyer

News flash: all honey comes from bees. They all fly around and pick up shit from the air. Organic honey isn’t any less polluted. Supporting Leicester is like trying too hard to buy organic honey. If you support Leicester, you’ll probably be proud of yourself until someone tells you Bournemouth is doing the same thing but is way more trendy and practical.

8. Liverpool

NFL team comparison: New Orleans Saints

After finishing second two seasons ago and scoring over 100 goals in the league, Liverpool tumbled to a seventh-place finish last year. The Saints have suffered a more gradual but no less spectacular decline. Neither team will be successful with its current roster construction, but don’t tell that to their fans.

Sports-hipster category: someone who thinks hipsters are still cool

Supporting Liverpool is all about denial. You think after being one of the most successful teams in the past, Liverpool will soon return to glory. Nonsense. You’re in almost as much denial about Liverpool being cool as someone who believes hipsters are relevant today. Haven’t you heard about the New Age Urban Intellectual Yuppie? Oh, you haven’t?  I guess you’re mainstream then.

9. Manchester City

NFL Team comparison: Seattle Seahawks

Two important connections. Each team has its league’s richest owners. And they’re both really good at their sport. In fact, both of them won a championship two years ago.

Sports-hipster category: Hard-core glamper

Glamping, or “glamorous camping,” isn’t even hipster at all. It’s a rich person’s dream that is kind of different from what everyone normally does. Supporting City is the exact same idea.

10. Manchester United

NFL team comparison: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This doesn’t make any sense in terms of the successes of the two teams. But they’re both owned by Malcolm Glazer, and it feels wrong to not pair them together. I also can’t bring myself to say anything cynical about my beloved Red Devils.

Sports-hipster category: Oliver Peoples wearer

Oliver Peoples were all the rage a few decades ago, and now they are fully back. They never really go out of style, but sometimes they’re really in style. Supporting United has the same logic behind it. Sometimes they’ll do poorly in a year, but you’ll never fully reach full hipster credibility with this team.

11. Newcastle United

NFL team comparison: Buffalo Bills

Newcastle is in the north of England and has pretty horrible weather. Buffalo is in the north of New York and has even more atrocious weather. Newcastle has a book written about its long and painful history entitled “Fifty Years of Hurt.” Someone should write volume two for the Bills.

Sports-hipster category: failed co-op owner

You opened a co-op somewhere in Canada, refusing to put heat anywhere in the name of saving the environment. You spent all of your considerable fortune on adding a free-range chicken farm in the middle of your complex. The first year, you had five people stay there, leave in three days and vow to never return. As you stoke a fire in the Canadian wilderness, you feel utterly hopeless and depressed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about Newcastle.

12. Norwich City

NFL team comparison: Green Bay Packers

Same color scheme, same model of ownership, same historical aura — three things you could say unite Norwich City and Green Bay. One thing you cannot say about the teams: they’re both good. Hint: Norwich is not good.

Sports-hipster category: minimal tattoo enthusiast

Getting arrows and anchors on your wrists is cute and all, but it ultimately doesn’t really mean anything. Unless you want to be a barista or barber. Supporting Norwich will only get you the same obscure benefits.

Joe Diehl ’18 secretly wants to be stoking a fire in the Canadian wilderness. Contact him at joseph_diehl@brown.edu to venture up north.

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