View Full Version : Any Premier League fans?



elitespy
09-20-2013, 09:03 PM
Just curious if anybody on here follows the Premier League and what teams you follow. How do you feel about the few weeks that have already been played?

AP
09-21-2013, 08:32 AM
Come on you Blues.

Pete
09-21-2013, 09:10 AM
I'm a HUGE Arsenal fan and have been for some time.

About 15 years ago I befriended a big group of people in London and they took me to me first English soccer match: Queens Park Rangers v. Sheffield United. (I later realized that match was chosen due to proximity and ease of acquiring tickets.) I was instantly hooked by all the noise and enthusiasm -- reminded me a lot of college football.

After that, I read Fever Pitch which is an autobiographical account told by Arsenal matches. It's still one of my favorite books and I learned all about the history of the club and related to the passion the author felt for "his" team. My friends were generally Liverpool supporters but I soon started to care a great deal about the Gunners.

On subsequent trips to London I went to see Arsenal play a couple of times, once in the European Champions League. I went to the pub before the matches, learned all the songs and loved everything about going.


One of my favorite stories is about the first time I went to an Arsenal pub alone.

I was in London while Arsenal had an away match in Europe, and since England has ridiculously strict broadcast rules, I had to find a place that was showing the match on PPV. I decided to go to the Gunners, a pub right by the stadium that I had been to a couple of times before matches. My friends weren't interested, so I took the tube to North London on my own.

When I got there, I realized for the first time that that neighborhood is pretty rough. I had only been on match days when of course, the large crowd made it feel very different. When I walked into the pub by myself, I quickly picked up on an edgy vibe; it felt down-right dangerous. And worse yet, everyone seemed to know each other which meant I stood out like a sore thumb.

As I was standing in line to get a pint at the bar, I noticed a menacing dude behind me that seemed to be staring me down. When I ordered in my American accent, several people turned to look and I had the strong feeling I may get my arse kicked at any moment.

I quickly decided to proactively strike up a conversation with the tatted-up guy behind me: "Who's starting up front tonight? I heard Bergkamp and Henry?" He gave me a look up and down, like "What do you know about it??" But then realized I knew a lot about the team and before long said, "Are you here on your own?" Sounded more like an accusation than a question but I didn't know what else to do but answer honestly.

I said, "Yeah, I'm here from the States but I'm a huge fan. Have been to several home matches."

He gave me another long look then said, "Right. You're with us, then."

He invited me over to meet his crew, who were every bit as rough looking as he was. I learned they were part of a big group that traveled to most the away games -- probably the type that got into scuffles everywhere they went. I learned ALL the songs and figured out that the pubs is where they were invented in the first place (they have songs for each player plus loads of dirty, taunting, funny ones in general).

They bought me pints all night and it was one of the funnest and most unique experiences of my spectating life. :)

Pete
09-21-2013, 09:34 AM
This is a photo of me (on the right) with one of my London friends outside of Gunner's pub before a match.

This pub and crowd was *way* different the night I went on my own. :)

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/gunners.jpg

bradh
09-21-2013, 09:52 AM
I really got into the Premier League when Stuart Holden went to Bolton, started following and watching their games. Since his injury and Bolton's relegation my interest has decreased. I am a big MLS fan though, and I wish more would support the domestic league as much as they do leagues half a world away, it only helps grow the game.

AP
09-21-2013, 09:58 AM
I support our National team, but most of our talent plays over there. It's also tough to support with no local team.

Pete
09-21-2013, 10:00 AM
I've been to a few other EPL matches, including a Liverpool home match against Man U when Beckham was still playing for them. When the Liverpool Kop sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" before the match, it will send chills down your spine.

And as a part of a bachelor's weekend, a group of us went to Bradford (yes, they were briefly in the top flight) to see them host Newcastle, as the man of honor was a big Magpie fan. That was an incredible blast and Bradford is a fun college town, although they were promptly relegated and have not sniffed the EPL since.


I still have a soft spot for QPR since that first-ever match for me, and they were up for a while and now struggling to get back there.

bradh
09-21-2013, 10:15 AM
I support our National team, but most of our talent plays over there. It's also tough to support with no local team.

Yeah I guess if you've never lived somewhere that had a team it'd be hard to pick up. I follow the Dynamo since I'm from Houston.

There is still some good talent in MLS, and plenty of national team guys as well. With Omar Gonzalez getting DP status in LA this summer, that may open the door to more guys staying in MLS. Nothing irks me more than guys like Brek Shea going overseas, only to ride the pine. I only want to see our guys going to Europe if they're good enough to play.

worthy cook
09-21-2013, 10:20 PM
Arsenal is my team too. Still have an old Henry jersey that's a little over a decade old

elitespy
09-21-2013, 10:54 PM
I'm a West Ham fan, so it's pretty much heartache after heartache for me, lol, but I love my team and wouldn't trade them for any other in the world.

I try to follow MLS as much as I can, but games aren't televised all that often. I can't wait to get the team here in OKC, will definitely be gettin season tickets and be apart of what ever supporter group pops up for em. I love watching the USMNT play, the watch parties and skinny slims are a blast, can't wait for the world cup next year.

bradh
09-22-2013, 08:20 AM
My wiife and I are going to the qualifier in KC vs Jamaica. Can't wait!

mkokc
09-22-2013, 10:53 PM
Aston Villa here.
(and the new OKC NASL team, of course.)

potsy
09-23-2013, 01:48 PM
Have always been an Arsenal fan since I started watching "football" way back in the 90s. I'm pretty happy with this season so far. Hopefully we'll end our trophy-less streak by nabbing at least the premiership. CL wise if we can progress pass the group stages we have a good shot at going quite far. It'll be awesome if we win our next game against Napoli.

Speaking of which, anyone know any good pubs/places to catch games? Its kind of hard time wise when most games are played on mornings local time but it'll be nice to catch a CL game every once in awhile at a pub or something.

Pete
09-23-2013, 02:09 PM
Skinny Slims in Bricktown shows lots of EPL and CL matches.

Also, did you know there is an Arsenal supporter's group in OKC? They meet at Skinnys.

SOONER GOONERS - Sooner Gooners (http://www.soonergooners.com/)

elitespy
09-23-2013, 03:51 PM
I second what Pete said, Skinny Slims is THE soccer pub in OKC. The bartenders are great, and the people there are friendly. Haven't seen any EPL games there yet, but I have seen a few USMNT matches there and it's always a blast.

Pete
09-23-2013, 03:57 PM
Follow Skinny's on Twitter (and/or Facebook) for more info. about what games they will be showing:

https://twitter.com/SkinnySlimsOKC

rte66man
09-23-2013, 08:00 PM
Nice! Been a Gooner since 1971. I was 12 when we moved to a small town just outside London. Arsenal was on its way to winning the Double that year. Wilson, McLintock, Charlie George, John Radford, et al. What memories. I only got to see them live once as a trip to Highbury was a big deal. Saw them thump Crystal Palace. Some thing never change :-)

Pete
09-23-2013, 08:30 PM
Poor Palace!

Have you read Fever Pitch? Sounds like your life paralleled the author's (Nick Hornby).

bradh
09-23-2013, 08:37 PM
I second what Pete said, Skinny Slims is THE soccer pub in OKC. The bartenders are great, and the people there are friendly. Haven't seen any EPL games there yet, but I have seen a few USMNT matches there and it's always a blast.

I'm assuming this is becoming more known, the question is, how are the crowds? Place is tiny with what, one TV (maybe more, it's been a couple months since I've been). I have no doubt the atmosphere is awesome, just curious on actually viewing games.

AP
09-24-2013, 08:39 AM
I'm assuming this is becoming more known, the question is, how are the crowds? Place is tiny with what, one TV (maybe more, it's been a couple months since I've been). I have no doubt the atmosphere is awesome, just curious on actually viewing games.

The crowds are pretty big for USMNT games. There is no difficulty actually seeing the tv though. You can see it from everywhere in the pub. I will add that I think I remember Aaron mentioning that they are trying to get waterproof tvs for the patio.

elitespy
09-24-2013, 09:14 AM
The crowds are pretty big for USMNT games. There is no difficulty actually seeing the tv though. You can see it from everywhere in the pub. I will add that I think I remember Aaron mentioning that they are trying to get waterproof tvs for the patio. Yeah I remember hearing about that. Would be pretty nice to get some TV's out there, especially with the weather we have been having the past few days.

bradh
09-24-2013, 12:13 PM
The crowds are pretty big for USMNT games. There is no difficulty actually seeing the tv though. You can see it from everywhere in the pub. I will add that I think I remember Aaron mentioning that they are trying to get waterproof tvs for the patio.

What would be awesome there was if the street facing wall was fitted with some roll up doors/windows and it could be turned to an open air facility.

CaptDave
09-26-2013, 06:48 PM
Swansea FC fan - when my kids were playing and I was coaching at NOKC Soccer, we held camps for the kids with Swansea players coming over to give instruction. One of the NOKC/OFC coaches is Welsh and once played for the Swans development team. I was glad to see them move up to the EPL and they have acquitted themselves rather nicely.

I also like Everton for giving Landon Donovan a shot. I think he should have sought a transfer a couple years ago but I think that door may have closed.

What are the opinions on last Sunday's Manchester derby? Man City looked tough in dismantling Man U - I am not sure Van Persie would have made much difference.

elitespy
09-26-2013, 11:16 PM
I wasn't able to catch the match, but when I saw the final I was surprised. I thought it would have been closer than that. A Swansea fan in OKC is probably just as rare as a West Ham fan here, lol.

Pete
09-27-2013, 09:00 AM
I wasn't able to catch the match, but when I saw the final I was surprised. I thought it would have been closer than that. A Swansea fan in OKC is probably just as rare as a West Ham fan here, lol.

As it happens, a good friend of my in OKC is a fan of both those teams!

elitespy
09-27-2013, 11:59 AM
You know a West Ham fan Pete? I'll have to find this fellow hammer.

CaptDave
09-28-2013, 12:14 PM
Swansea and Arsenal on NBC now!

Pete
09-28-2013, 12:19 PM
Swansea and Arsenal on NBC now!

Had no idea... Thanks for the heads-up.

I didn't even realize that NBC was carrying EPL games.

potsy
09-28-2013, 01:42 PM
and top of the table we go! Awesome week of results. Its good to be an arsenal fan.

Pete
09-28-2013, 02:16 PM
Aaron Ramsey is a huge difference maker.

Suddenly, the Gunners have a pretty lethal attack and are looking solid at the back as well.

Squad is still thin though and that always takes it's toll when you are in 4 (!) different competitions.

CaptDave
09-29-2013, 12:39 AM
Had no idea... Thanks for the heads-up.

I didn't even realize that NBC was carrying EPL games.

NBC & NBC Sports Network carry all EPL games now. Between F1 and EPL, it has become my favorite sports network.

soonergooner
09-29-2013, 12:25 PM
NBC & NBC Sports Network carry all EPL games now. Between F1 and EPL, it has become my favorite sports network.

I had hoped for better. Fox Soccer was much better IMHO. It is still light years ahead of the old days of just reading about matches post game. I hope the next maps includes a soccer dedicated stadium on the south side of the river.

CuatrodeMayo
09-29-2013, 01:30 PM
I just spent a good deal of time in Kansas City's new $200M stadium...wow, wow, wow.

elitespy
09-30-2013, 01:42 PM
Good article about the NBC coverage of the EPL

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/sports/soccer/premier-league-coverage-pays-off-for-nbc.html?ref=soccer&_r=0

Pete
09-30-2013, 01:48 PM
^

Thanks for sharing that.

Glad to know there is a growing market for these matches, as hopefully we'll continue to see more coverage.

The EPL clubs have started to do more touring in the U.S. which will help as well.

bradh
09-30-2013, 08:36 PM
I just spent a good deal of time in Kansas City's new $200M stadium...wow, wow, wow.

heading there next Friday to see USA vs. Jamaica...heard there's not a bad seat in the house.

elitespy
10-06-2013, 03:47 PM
What a beautiful day to be a West Ham fan, I love this game

Knees up Mother Brown - West Ham United FC Online: News (http://www.kumb.com/story.php?id=127073)

Spurs-0 3-West Ham

bradh
10-06-2013, 07:04 PM
There are three TV's in there. I've never had a problem seeing the game, even when it is pretty busy.

I could only remember the big one on the small wall next to the long community table, where are the others? Behind the bar? Like I said, it's been months since I've been down there.

Pete
10-07-2013, 08:52 AM
Was in Skinny's Saturday morning during the Man U v Sunderland contest and there were about a dozen Man U supporters and a handful of others in soccer jerseys (Liverpool, etc.) and it was a fun atmosphere, with lots of beer flowing, loud cheering and singing.

And it was very easy to see the game.

If you like the EPL, you should try and make it down there on Sat or Sun mornings or other times when they are showing matches. Pretty darn cool.

arsenalsooner
10-08-2013, 10:28 AM
So I was going through the soonergooners.com web stats the other night and I noticed someone had stumbled upon our website through this forum. It's awesome to see the football community in Oklahoma City growing the way it is. We started Sooner Gooners in 2010 and there is no way we could have imagined a soccer bar in OKC back then. If you are an Arsenal fan and haven't gotten involved with us yet you should! We have an awesome forum on facebook and you can follow us @soonergooners on twitter. Cheers!

Pete
10-08-2013, 12:29 PM
So I was going through the soonergooners.com web stats the other night and I noticed someone had stumbled upon our website through this forum. It's awesome to see the football community in Oklahoma City growing the way it is. We started Sooner Gooners in 2010 and there is no way we could have imagined a soccer bar in OKC back then. If you are an Arsenal fan and haven't gotten involved with us yet you should! We have an awesome forum on facebook and you can follow us @soonergooners on twitter. Cheers!

Thanks for posting and welcome to the forum.

I'm a huge Gunner fan but actually live in L.A.

When I was in Skinny's this Saturday for the Man U match, some of their fans mentioned that Arsenal always pulls a decent crowd for their matches. Keep up the good work and Up the Gunners!

arsenalsooner
10-08-2013, 03:30 PM
We had about 20 in Tulsa for the match a couple of weeks ago. We have group photos on the web site.

elitespy
10-08-2013, 09:40 PM
I created a group on Facebook for any West Ham fans that might be on the forums here, it's open so anybody can feel free to join to discuss the Hammers or just soccer in general.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/191603167691086/

andrew3077
10-08-2013, 10:04 PM
I'm a huge fan of Real Madrid and Spanish football, but I guess since Özil is playing for Arsenal now (:banghead:), I'm going to have to join y'all as Gunners and start following them.

elitespy
10-17-2013, 04:01 PM
My son is definitely a Hammer fan, lol.

http://i.imgur.com/biMRWf4.jpg