January 23, 2013 | 6:55 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I was at a bar last weekend where everyone was a San Francisco 49ers fan. When San Francisco won the game to get them into the Super Bowl, people went nuts. I saw grown men crying for joy and it was fascinating. While I like the Super Bowl, I watch more for the commercials than the game, and I don’t really know anything about the 49ers other than a bar in Santa Barbara made a fortune off the drunken joy that their win brought last weekend.
When it comes to Chelsea football, or soccer, I am invested in not only the game, but the players. While I am still angry my beloved Roberto Di Matteo was fired for no reason, I believe in the Blues and I love to watch them play. Dating an Englishman has given me my newfound love for soccer and his unbridled love for Chelsea hs been passed on. By passed on of course I mean there was no other option in terms supporting a team.
My Englishman has loved Chelsea since he was a little boy and he knows their history like the back of his hand. My Dad was a Manchester United fan and while my boyfriend respects the memory of my father and knows he was a wonderful man, when it comes to football, there is no other choice and my loyalty to the team of my father is a thing of the past. We are officially Chelsea people and I now support a different kind of football even though I often call it soccer not football.
American football has a lot of great things about it, but soccer is truly where it is at, for a lot of reasons. For example, lets talk about uniforms. You can watch men in a bunch of gear that allows only the occasional glimpse of a nice tight ass, or can see legs that are so beautiful you want them wrapped around you. The legs of an English footballer are chiseled works of art. Plus in soccer, shirts are often removed for no apparent reason.
I like the chanting of the crowd in English football, but I also like the cheerleaders in American football. According to the Englishman, English football does not require “artificial support” because the crowd is good all on their own. When it comes to cheering on the crowd there is nothing like a group of Chelsea followers. I know every team thinks their fans are the best, and I agree that all football fans are amazing and carry a team, but the songs of Chelsea are awesome.
I rely a lot of my son and the Englishman to explain the rules of English football to me, but just because I don’t get the game, does not mean I don’t love it as they do. From Torres and Hazard to Terry and Lampard, I care about these men in blue. In learning about the team my favorite Chelsea player is legend Gianfranco Zola. I love everything about this man and how he played the game. He was classy both on and off the pitch.
Not all footballers are classy, which is also very entertaining. Reading about the pesonal lives of some players is like a soap opera. From drunken brawls to sleeping with each others wives, there are a lot of thugs and bad boys in football. The more I watch and learn about them, the more I realize I like a bit of a thug. If a bad boy is your thing, I guarantee you will fall in love with an English footballer or two.
Watching these men, who have played since they were little boys, is exciting. English football is full of history and stories. There are even fairytales in the game and it is those games that make this sport so much fun. Last year Chelsea won the FA Cup, which us fans knew they would, and it was magic. This year Bradford City is headed to the League Cup finals and it is remarkable. They are more than just the underdog, they are unbelievable.
There are different levels in English football, with the Premiership being the top rung. Bradford City is in the fourth level and yet they are about to play against Swansea, a Premiere League team in the League final. I had hoped they would play against Chelsea, but we got knocked out last weekend so now I am free to pull for the boys of Bradford City. They play to a few thousand people each game and now they will be at Wembley.
Wembley seats 90,000 people so can you imagine what that will be like for Bradford City? Amazing! I want them to win for every kid who plays soccer and dreams of being a professional player. I also want them to win because if they do, shirts will come off. I am routing for Chelsea always, Bradford City in their League Cup final, and the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Whether you support football or soccer, embrace your team and keep the faith.
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