As a soccer fan, you go through a lot to follow your club, especially if your team isn’t in the same country or region as you are. It’s not easy to follow a club that isn’t in your neighborhood. The games aren’t on television, the newspaper doesn’t talk about the team, and your friends don’t care that your team just got hit with a transfer ban, or that the 19 year old phenom that your club has been placing all of its hopes and dreams for a good season on has decided to leave the club and go back to his home country of Bulgaria because he is homesick. They don’t care, nor do they understand.
They don’t understand why you get up at 4 AM to watch a two hour match in a country they can’t pronounce. They don’t understand how you can watch it on your computer where all of the players look the same due to the grainy eight-bit-like video you found on some website that is written entirely in Arabic or Japanese. They don’t understand that the result of this weekend’s matches determines next week’s mood either. The only people that do understand are other football fans.
Before the advent of the internet, an American football fan would go years without actually seeing another that followed the same team. Since I was not old enough to really be a fan at that point, I don’t know what they did to find out information about their beloved club, but I assume carrier pigeons and telegraphs were used daily.
Now, fans from all around the world can gather on forums and blogs to argue the finer points of the 4-4-2 versus the 4-3-3 and etcetera. It really is a great time to be soccer fan as games are finally being shown on ESPN and other local outlets. The world is becoming smaller and more intimate and the best way to see that is through the explosion of popularity for the English Premier League in places like North America and Asia. The world’s game is finally becoming worldly and I am excited for the future. Where will we go from here?
UPDATE: So as I was traveling around the internet, I found some other articles on fandom by some much more intelligent people than me. So, forget everything I just wrote and go to these sites.