Part of the Story:
The FA CUP
Association Football (what we Americans call soccer) is so firmly entrenched in England (Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, and 7 dozen other countries) that it is part of the social fabric. For example, during the month of March in the United States basketball fans are treated to March Madness with a bracket of 68 seeded teams who play each other to determine a winner. This basketball frenzy sweeps the nation for several weeks and then it is over.
The oldest association football competition in the world, the FA Cup, is an annual knockout competition in men's domestic English football. The competition is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 in the English Football Pyramid. Each year the competition features over 600 teams with the first game in August and the FA Cup Final in the month of May. There is nothing closely resembling this competition in the US.
Early in the competition, when lower ranked teams play teams that are much higher in the pyramid the possibility of "giant killings" is greatly exciting to the football public. The fact that a poorly funded team that centers on a small village could play and beat (it has happened!) a top ranked Premier League team (a giant) is an unexpected delight to the competition.
A Football Term Defined:
Transfer Window - Tranfer Deadline Day
The transfer window is not some pane of glass on the back side of a transfer truck. No no no. The transfer window for the Premier League is twelve weeks of public speculation bordering on the side of insanity about which club is going to buy or sell which player. If you are a fan of a team then you can expect that the amount of discussion and speculation will rise and fall with the revolution of the earth. Yes, after midnight it calms down and then picks up again about 6 am. However, since the earth is round, and at every moment in time it is daylight somewhere, then the pace of the frantic speculation never really ceases.
There are two transfer windows in Premier League Football. A four week window in the middle of the winter (January) and the eight weeks comprising July and August. Today, the last day of August, is Transfer Deadline Day. In case you missed it, here is all of the activity during he Summer Transfer Window.
Most importantly what on earth happened to Liverpool during the summer transfer?
This article is part of a series where I discuss, define, experience and try to explain my passion for Premier League Soccer, primarily as it is expressed in my semi fanatical support for the best team in the world: LIVERPOOL FC .