Delighted to see that #FPL superfan Walt aka @EPLFanForLife has submitted this guest post on the return of the Fantasy Premier League. Brace yourself – he gets emotional!
Check out @EPLFanForLife on twitter. Always open to chat and discuss all things FPL/EPL.
Like my daughter’s summer vacation between kindergarten and first grade – the EPL/FPL off season began as something that seemed like it would last forever and now seems like a window that’s closing more quickly than most of us are prepared for.
ED.. I make that 3 American references within the first sentence Walt, you’ll be calling it soccer next? 😉
It’s hard to believe that after all of the waiting, we only have 4 more days to cram as much info into our FPL sponge-like heads and finalise our teams.
For the early Wildcard folks the preparation is manageable, and starting today would be no problem whatsoever. Just scan the fixtures, read a few articles about pre-season form, and pick the best 2 week team you can put on the field, knowing a Wildcard for gw3 is waiting for you at the end of Chelsea’s (I know, I know – and Villa’s) opening double gameweek. But alas, the international break preceding opening weekend, the unfortunate Sun-Wed scheduling of the double gameweek for Chelsea, followed by a gw2 fixture with Man United, has left many questioning the logic of investing heavily in the unpredictable Chelsea lineup for the first few games. Maybe those wildcards can wait after all.
In which case, welcome back to reality; you have 4 days left to pick your team.
Let’s set aside the FPL side of our brain for a second and switch to the EPL side. On that side of the brain something truly special and void of FPL stress/secondguessing/handwringing/hyperventilation is on offer. On that side of the brain all is blissful, intoxicating, and anticipatory. The skies are blue, there’s no hint of rain, and a short-skirted waitress (yes female friends, there is a shirtless waiter for you) is on hand with a bottomless supply of pints to serve you as you sit back (or stand up) and soak in what is about to unfold before you. It’s the English Premier League, and it’s the best that the most popular sport in the world will give you in a single country, club league format.
Regardless of who’s in your FPL squad, we once again will be blessed with visions of Michu sliding the ball home and running towards the corner, turning up the volume on his imaginary headphone as if egging on the fans of Granada from his time at Celta Vigo. We will watch in awe as RVP produces highlight after highlight, giving us that contrived look of surprise as he bags his third of the day and pumps his fist in the direction of the Old Trafford faithful who stand 75,000 strong, “protecting” a home field so amazingly difficult to walk away from with a point (let alone 3).
All focus and attention will be zeroed in on the exact spot we like it; the league that sets the men apart from the boys, where on any given weekend we will see something that many of us will remember for the rest of our lives and tell story after story about to all of the people near and dear to us who we can shove into a corner and force to listen or who ask us to open up a part of our soul that is tender and share with them.
Specific incidents of the previous few years are memorable and temporarily make us forget about how our FPL team did that week or how many points we needed to gain ground on our mini-league rival. They’re more important to football and they end up being more important to us. Whether it’s Aguero’s late heroics vs QPR, Crouch finishing off a goal that didn’t hit the ground from the time it left his own goalkeeper’s foot until the time it folded the Man City net, the astonishment that befell an entire stadium when RVP’s free kick sealed victory in an all-important Manchester derby, or an unfortunate chomping situation involving everyone’s favorite Uruguayan and his Chelsea counterpart, everyone remembers where they were when they saw it and the unforgettable feeling it stamped on their soul.
We are 4 short days away from that. Another season that will leave us with more memories. More highlights, more debates, more adrenaline rushes that make us feel as if we were the one out there running around, one of the best athletes on the planet, creating memories that people will talk about for decades.
We connect with it for reasons that are unique to each of us; we enjoy it for reasons that are obvious to many, and we rejoice in it partially because it keeps us all connected for 10 special months. No matter with which team your allegiance lies, you are first and foremost a fan of the greatest league in the greatest sport this world currently knows. And in that regard, you have way more in common with your most bitter rival than you do with someone who doesn’t appreciate the English Premier League for what it truly is.
I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am. In 4 short days, we all win.
A good friend of the site Walt is a genuine great follow, knowledgeable, insightful and clearly bonkers about Fantasy Football. Follow Walt on Twitter at @EPLFanForLife and you can check out his blog at http://whatiwantmykidstoknowaboutfootball.blogspot.co.uk/
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