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Football Friday: How Can I Convince My Son to Let Me Watch?

August 16, 2013
  1. I’m grateful for the cool, fall-like temperatures this morning.
  2. I’m happy the Premier League season kicks off tomorrow.
  3. I’m thrilled we’re going to get to see my parents, and Meg’s mom and dad this weekend.


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The newest English Premier League season kicks off tomorrow, with Man United (my favorites) playing Swansea in a game to be televised on … NBC?

Yes, NBC. They bought the broadcast rights to the Premier League for $250 million, and will start, as one blogger put it, an orgy of soccer coverage this weekend. My focus will be on the United match, to be broadcast on the mothership, NBC. Other matches will be broadcast on NBCSportsNetwork (alloneword), the network formerly known as “Versus,” and before that as the “Outdoor Life Network,” and probably before that as “Jake and Skeeter’s Public Access Network.” (Maybe not.)

Anyway, I’m hopeful the broadcasts will be as good as what we had with the Fox Soccer/ESPN coverage last year, with Ian Darke and Steve McManaman anchoring ESPN’s matches,. I’ve had very little time to get myself educated on who’s doing what with the new programming, with the exception of Jason Sudeikis’ commercials prepping the ‘Merican audience for this new fangled football.

I, however, have a young son, so I’ve been focused elsewhere. Saturdays, I typically get up early with Owen and allow Meg to sleep a little while longer. (Meg returns the favor Sunday mornings, allowing me to sleep in a little.) During this time, Owen and I watch “Sesame Street,” “Super Why” and “Caillou.” (The last two shows are terrible.)

This morning I started laying the groundwork for something that, if it works, could make me a happier fellow on Saturday mornings. As Meg was getting ready for work, I said to Owen, “Are Owen and Daddy going to watch soccer tomorrow morning?” Typically he’d respond enthusiastically with “SOCCER!” or “YEAH!” This morning, however, I was met with a quizzical stare. I have a feeling Owen will be watching videos on my iPad while I attempt to get some soccer in tomorrow morning.

I’m trying to be optimistic for the David Moyes era at United. I’m tempering any of the typical enthusiasm I have by the knowledge that (with last season as an exception), his Everton teams typically got off to an incredibly slow start, only to make their run for UEFA Cup spots in the latter portion of the season. United didn’t add the midfielder they desperately needed (even though I’d rather have no one join than that prick Cesc Fabregas), but there were talks that they’re trying to lure either Mesut Ozil or Luka Modric from Real Madrid.

Also, the Wayne Rooney saga rolls on. I don’t care about him anymore. If it were up to me, I’d have him train by himself for the remainder of his contract. Better yet, I’d sell him to Chelsea, because it’s just a matter of time before he burns his bridges there, or eats his way out of his contract, or some combination of about a dozen different things he could do to screw up the situation. (Maybe prostitutes will make an appearance. It’s always a possibility when Wayne Rooney’s involved.)

The reality of the situation, though, is that United won the Premiership with this team, and there’s a real possibility some of the players will make improvements over last season. (I’m looking at you, Shinji Kagawa. I’ve been saying all summer that this year will see big things. Don’t make me look bad.) I think De Gea’s going to have a good season, I think the back four will be solid, and hopefully Patrice Evra can use smoke, mirrors, or whatever else he’s been using to make people think he’s still one of the best left backs in the world. (There were times last season where I thought he should have been left back, but Alex Buttner just leaves me awash in apathy.) Hopefully Carrick can reproduce his great form, and they’ll get more production from Chicharito and Welbeck.

It’s a long season for a reason. It’s not about what happens on the first day of the season, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll get to watch a good United team, and that I’ll get to watch some soccer at all.

(Full disclosure: The photo above is over a year old. Owen is due for a new United kit.)

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