Are You Ready for Some English Football?

(By Christopher Wilson, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four. Originally published Feb. 12, 2011, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

It may be awhile before there is another football game, with an NFL lockout looming and many fans still trapped in Dallas at the Super Bowl, circling Cowboys Stadium looking for the entrance. Furthermore, the outlook is not optimistic, seeing as how labor negotiations were recently taken over by Bud Selig and Donald Fehr.

Without an NFL season in 2011, there may never be a better time to confuse football fans into becoming English football fans. In fact, to assist in marketing, the Barclays Premier League is free to use "A Football League Not Run By Roger Goodell" as its slogan, without fear of me trademarking the copyright.

But unless one is from England, picking a team to root for can be as vexatious as singing the national anthem is for Christina Aguilera. (I just said "vexatious.")

Residents of Cleveland are Browns fans. Homeowners in Seattle root for the Seahawks. So what English football team does one root for if the only Big Ben one knows is the one from the nightclub bathroom rather than the London clock tower?

It was easy for me to choose what football, basketball, baseball and soccer teams to root for, as I was threatened with a swift kick in the teeth if said teams were not based in Texas.

Fortunately, being the die-hard fan that I am, I continue to support my favorite teams, even when I leave home. No matter if I am vacationing in Malibu or fighting for survival on Neptune after being abducted by space aliens, the Dallas Cowboys will always have my support.

Having obviously received this abundant ability to be loyal from my ancestors, I reached the conclusion that in order to determine what English football team deserved my support, all I had to do was research where my English ancestors were from. This ability to reason is what led me to make straight "A's" in high school.

Much like the first team that children in other countries hear of when becoming interested in baseball, Manchester United are considered the New York Yankees of England (although no one from United has yet been hand fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz, as if they were a zoo animal).

However, this also means that Manchester United cannot be an American's favorite team, unless one's ancestors used forceps to birth Sir Alex Ferguson. Though, it would have been a good excuse and help explain why I own both a Yankees and United jersey.

Instead, I learned that I have ancestors from at least five different English counties, two of which field teams in England's Football Association (although neither team was in the Premier League or the second-tier Championship). I also learned that I am not of royal blood or a werewolf.

Approximately 300 years before Colchester United and Northampton Town were formed, I had relatives contemplating family expansion in both Colchester and Northampton.

And thanks to supernatural record-keeping, I may be the only person in Texas who supports League One and League Two sides (England's Double A and Single A equivalents) because that's where my family lived 400 years ago.

Granted, rooting for third- and fourth-tier English football clubs that play in front of 4,000 fans on average is somewhat dissimilar to watching the Super Bowl at my favorite team's home stadium before a crowd of over 100,000 fans, many of whom actually had seats inside the stadium.

But on the bright side, no matter how large or small the English football team or how important the game, one aspect is certain: the Black Eyed Peas will not be performing at halftime.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

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