As Americans were just waking up this past weekend, the 2018-19 campaign of the English Premier League kicked off, many tuning into NBC Sports—the network that has spearheaded the league's increasing popularity here in the states.
With viewers flooding in to bars for the big games, or simply staying at home to watch on sleepy Sundays, the football frenzy in America only seems to grow. However, as Americans, we are often tasked with one big question: which team should I support in this foreign league?
There are plenty of routes you can go: for you underdogs, there are teams like Wolverhampton Wanderers with great history in the league; for you storytellers, there is the brilliant fall and rise behind Leicester FC; for hooligans, there is always West Ham; for cup-chasers, there are the big four in Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea; for those who want and ethnic spin on their team, look no further than Tottenham's 'Yid Army,' — whatever way you shake it, you can always find a reason to support a club in the Prem.
But perhaps that is too much effort, perhaps your hearts are already full with your favorite NFL, MLB, or NBA teams, perhaps supporting a team across the big Atlantic is too much a reach for local loyalists, or perhaps supporting a foreign team just feels disingenuous. Fear not! Besides all of the drama and controversy behind the play, we have a foolproof way to enjoy the league without having to be bogged down by full-on fanaticism:
Just root against Arsenal.
Simple concept in theory, immensely satisfying in action, rooting for the demise of Arsenal Football Club is more than enough reason to tune in on the weekends. Here's why.
They've Had Their Time on Top
A timeless team in the Prem, Arsenal have seen their glory days come and go. Once a perennial power-house and almost European Champions, the Gunners have 13 league titles to their name as well as a record number of FA Cup titles, along with one unforgettable, unbeaten, league-winning run in 2003-04 which saw the team touted as 'The Invincibles.' Fair to say they have had their moment in the sun, so don't feel bad as you watch this team crumble to dust in front of your very eyes.
A team that will show up on a big Saturday game against a top team and put on a show, but then lose to Wigan in the 90th minute, they sure know how to please their haters.
Want to root for a team that defends with passion, counters with pace, and scores in rapid succession? Me too. Arsenal isn't that.
A fan group that called for its beloved manager's head on a spike for years, only to applaud his greatness when he finally stepped down, these fans know no loyalty, even going so far as to protest their team by not showing up to games when they weren't winning. Personally, the Arsenal fans I know are among the worst human beings in the world, and collectively they stand for nothing but bandwagoning, entitlement, and a cheap brand of anti-fascism.
You're in Good Company
You won't be the only one cheering against Arsenal this season, so feel free to walk about the streets or troll social media with your own blind hatred, knowing you will definitely have somebody to back you up in case you need to get in a fight.