First, with the games starting Saturday, I better tell you where the games are and when they are:
Here is the link you should bookmark for all of your EPL viewing: http://www.epltalk.com/premier-league-tv-schedule.
It is what I use, and I anticipate this is what you will find serves your purposes. Here is Round 1 of the 2010-11 EPL season.
Saturday, August 14: EDIT: ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN! ADJUST ACCORDINGLY!
7:45am: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com
10am: Aston Villa v West Ham United, Fox Soccer Channel
10am: Blackburn v Everton, Fox Soccer Plus (and FoxSoccer.tv)
10am: Wigan v Blackpool, FoxSoccer.tv
10am: Sunderland v Birmingham City, FoxSoccer.tv
10am: Bolton v Fulham, FoxSoccer.tv
10am: Wolves v Stoke, FoxSoccer.tv
12:30pm: Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Fox Soccer Channel
Sunday, August 15:
11am: Liverpool v Arsenal, Fox Soccer Channel
Monday, August 16:
3pm: Manchester United v Newcastle, ESPN2
You may call it opening weekend, but they call it Round 1. Why? Because they know that there are 38 matches in an EPL season.
20 teams in the EPL. So, you play the other 19 clubs, 1 home and 1 away. Which equals 38 matches.
3 points for a win. 1 point for a draw. 0 points for a loss.
Maximum total of possible points: 114
Most points in a premier league season: 95, Chelsea '04-05
Last year's champion: 86, Chelsea.
Most points ever for a team that did not win the premiership: 85, Chelsea '08, Man Utd '10
Points expected to be needed to avoid relegation: The last 3 years, the 17th place team (the highest team not to be relegated has finished with 35, 35, and 36 points). 40 is where we usually agree the "safe zone" starts for teams that don't want to be relegated.
Dear EPL Mailbag,
Could you give me a feeling on who is the most popular player over there? Who is there version of Lebron? With Beckham and Ronaldo no longer in the Premier League, who are the players that are the most famous?
Doug, here is what i found recently, from a story that showed the most sold jerseys in the last year :
Top 10 selling named shirts
1. 'Torres 9' (Liverpool)
2. 'Gerrard 8' (Liverpool)
3. 'Rooney 10' (Manchester United)
4. 'Fabregas 4' (Arsenal)
5. 'Arshavin 23' (Arsenal)
6. 'Lampard 8' (Chelsea)
7. 'Drogba 11' (Chelsea)
8. 'Owen 7' (Manchester United)
9. 'Carragher 23' (Liverpool)
10. 'Tevez 32' (Manchester City)
It seems odd that Liverpool goes #1 and #2 and that Chelsea has no player in the Top 5, but there you go. John Terry has seen a major drop in popularity since scandal has invaded his life. Ah the price of love.
I played soccer as a youngster but gave it up in high school for other sports. (Most of the guys that played soccer in my high school were stoners and not guys that I wanted to hang around with anyway...so there's that.) Anyway, I love the World Cup and watched avidly this year. The Americans' run was inspiring, and I am excited to follow the USMNT in the coming months/years. Also, for the first time I am committed to carrying over my World Cup excitement to the EPL and, like many others, I have been trying for weeks to decide which team to support.
A few questions:
Do you think supporting a team because it has American players (re: Fulham) is valid?
How do the Brits feel about Amercians adopting their teams?
Are the various ELP teams taking steps to woo American fans?
Do you think Landon will end up back in England either on loan or as a transfer and, if so, where?
By the way, I'm leaning toward following Everton, but could be easily swayed.
OK. First, "Do you think supporting a team because it has American players (re: Fulham) is valid?"
Sure. I don't see any problem with that at all. As an American, there are no real Geographical rules that can be followed. So from there, guys like me would look down upon you if you sign up for Manchester United and Chelsea and cite bandwagon and front-running bylaws, but otherwise, there are no real laws in place that would keep you from selecting a team honorably.
And if Clint Dempsey plays for Fulham and you love his work (I do) then why not? There is one issue to sort, though.
What if, in 3 seasons, Dempsey leaves for Newcastle. Will you follow him? Or will you then be Fulham for life? I think rooting for a team requires you not to jump from team to team because of one player's employ, but I suppose that is for you to decide.
Next, "How do the Brits feel about Amercians adopting their teams?" - probably amused, or indifferent. How interested are you when you hear people from Europe are Cowboys fans?
Then, "Are the various ELP teams taking steps to woo American fans?" - Yes. They are touring here constantly. They are making their tv rights available. They are making merchandise available. It is happening.
Finally, "Do you think Landon will end up back in England either on loan or as a transfer and, if so, where?" I desperately hope so. It needs to happen. Trouble is, nobody is spending money in England this year. Nobody. And to get Landon, they have to spend. So, stay tuned.
Bob, Good idea!..
I've watched WC's in the past but watched 2010 closer (because of HD) and enjoyed it alot.
Question.. I have DirecTV. What channels show the games?
Suggestion.. You should pick one or two "matches to watch" per week that will be televised and give a brief rundown of each (along with TV info)..
Directv: 209, 619, 621 are the 3 channels with EPL matches. 209 is ESPN2, 619 is Fox Soccer, and 621 is Fox Soccer Plus. Fox Soccer Plus will cost you some money, but they are ALL in HD now! I think I have mentioned that 10 times now.
Does Newcastle have any hope? Top ten chance? Will they even stay up this time? At least it will be nice to watch games in St. James' Park again, if only for one season.
Newcastle is one of those teams (Chicago Bears, New York Knicks, Boston Bruins, St Louis Cardinals) that has a huge fan base, and although they would not be confused for the best team in the sport, it is clear to me that we would miss them if they vanished.
Well in English Football, that happens. Newcastle had a lousy year 2 seasons ago, and were relegated. I need to spend an entire mailbag on relegation sometime down the road, but basically it means you get kicked out of the league because of a bad season. You get sent to "AAA" and must win your way back to the big leagues. Newcastle is back, and Mario is right, if only to see St James Park again, it is good to have them back.
Will they be any good? I don't think so. But, I am hoping they shock me. But their squad is very weak by EPL standards.
Intern Will found this list of the top salaries in Europe. Keep in mind the numbers are in Euros. A Dollar is about 78% of a Euro. 6.5m dollars is about 5m Euros. Also, the money is from last season.
Futebol Finance, a Portuguese marketing agency, has released a list of the top 50 footballer salaries for this season. The guy at the top is obvious, but the rest of the list is pretty interesting. Do keep in mind, though, that the wages shown are just for this season and this season alone. Also, try not to laugh when you spot Robinho's name above Drogba or Torres. Here's the full list via The Mirror...
Futebol Finance's 50 highest paid players in world football
1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, £11.3million)
2 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona, £10.4million)
3 Lionel Messi (Barcelona, £9.1million)
4 Samuel Eto'o (Internazionale, £9.1million)
5 Kaka (Real Madrid, £8.7million)
6 Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City, £7.4million)
7 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, £7.4million)
8 Carlos Tevez (Manchester City, £7million)
9 John Terry (Chelsea, £6.5million)
10 Frank Lampard (Chelsea, £6.5million)
11 Thierry Henry (Barcelona, £6.5million)
12 Xavi (Barcelona, £6.5million)
13 Ronaldinho (AC Milan, £6.5million)
14 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, £6.5million)
15 Daniel Alves (Barcelona, £6.1million)
16 Michael Ballack (Chelsea, £5.6million)
17 Raul (Real Madrid, £5.6million)
18 Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United, £5.6million)
19 Kolo Toure (Manchester City, £5.6million)
20 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, £5.2million)
21 Robinho (Manchester City, £5.2million)
22 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, £5.2million)
23 Victor Valdez (Barcelona, £5.2million)
24 Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla, £5.2million)
25 Deco (Chelsea, £5.2million)
26 Didier Drogba (Chelsea, £4.8million)
27 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, £4.8million)
28 Francesco Totti (Roma, £4.8million)
29 Luca Toni (Roma, £4.8million)
30 David Villa (Valencia, £4.8million)
31 Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich, £4.8million)
32 Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich, £4.8million)
33 Ashley Cole (Chelsea, £4.8million)
34 Fernando Torres (Liverpool, £4.8million)
35 Gareth Barry (Manchester City, £4.8million)
36 Patrick Vieira (Internazionale, £4.8million)
37 Charles Puyol (Barcelona, £4.3million)
38 Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, £4.3million)
39 Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, £4.3million)
40 Andreas Pirlo (AC Milan, £4.3million)
41 Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich, £4.3million)
42 Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, £4.3million)
43 David Beckham (AC Milan, £4.3million)
44 Wayne Bridge (Manchester City, £4.3million)
45 Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid, £4.3million)
46 Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United £4.1million)
47 Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal, £4.1million)
48 Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea, £4.1million)
49 Ryan Giggs (Manchester United, £4.1million)
50 Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus, £4.1million)
That is all for this week.
Huge match Sunday with Arsenal visiting Liverpool. Enjoy your football. This journey is only beginning.