By Dantzler Smith
College football is over and the NFL is nearing the end. As a football fan, this can result in depression or being forced to spend time with your loved ones. Fortunately, there is an alternative to those unappealing outcomes: start following English Premier League (EPL) soccer.
It’s an obvious transition when you think about it. You can still say you’re watching football, the games are on Saturdays and Sundays (but in the morning, which is a great excuse to miss church and start drinking at 9am), and there is an EPL team that matches up nicely with whichever SEC team you support.
So check this SEC football team to EPL soccer team translator and start embracing the fact that your Saturdays and Sundays can remained filled with drinking and TV watching all the way through May.
Tennessee = Liverpool
A once proud team with great championship history that has fallen on hard times and now has one rebuilding year after the other. The fans are fiercely loyal and the foundation for success exists, but the team can’t seem to recapture the caliber of its once-upon-a-time greatness. Hope is abundant, wins are not.
Alabama = Manchester United
The team that’s the gold standard of English football. The fans enjoy a rich tradition of winning matched by the current team’s dominance. Even if you hate this team, you respect how good they are year after year. The authoritarian coach may not like the media much, but he is so respected by pundits and laymen alike that he was knighted.
If Alabama could knight Nick Saban, they would.
Georgia = Manchester City
An exciting team loaded with talent that often plays second fiddle to rival Manchester United. Nevertheless, the team always seems to attract the most talented players to its ranks. The coach is always on the hot seat, however, because the various highly touted prospects struggle to mesh together. Even when they win they’re looking over their shoulders at the ever present specter of Man U.
Bulldog fans, go from living in the shadow of Alabama to the shadow of Man United.
Florida = Chelsea
A fan base that feels entitled to championships and a team famous for featuring players that divide public opinion. There’s been a great deal of coaching turnover as those who found success moved on, and field generals who failed to live up to the team’s high standards were quickly shown the door. Player personnel and playing style are hotly debated by administrators and fans alike as they fondly remember the glory days.
Morally speaking, John Terry is the anti-Tebow.
LSU = Arsenal
Led by a mercurial coach who might be vaguely insane, they have been enigmatically good and inexplicably bad. They’re typically at the top of the league, but have a problem keeping players and are often weak at one key position. Postgame interviews with the coach don’t shed light on the situation as his words can either be interpreted as gibberish or spoken word poetry.
Cajuns pulling for a team coached by a Frenchman is too perfect.
Tottenham = Vandy
An exciting team on the rise after years of broken promises to finally break through. They demonstrate an inferiority complex compared to the more dominant teams, but a new coach has brought in the right kind of players and created a team that can score on anyone. They may never win the league outright, but they’ve certainly put themselves in a position to be in the mix for years to come.
If any SEC coach could pull off a trench coat with Spanish side buckle, it’s James Franklin.
Everton = South Carolina
This team has a bad habit of almost making it to the top and then falling just short. There is a good coach in place and plenty of talented players, but the team consistently fails to make it over the hump. Barely outside of the top tier of teams, there is always hope, but so far bad luck and a legacy of losing big games have triumphed.
David Moyes is ‘The Old Ball Coach’ of soccer insofar as he’s reputed to be a genius despite middling success.
Swansea City = Texas A&M
A team that is exceeding expectations and doing so with a very attractive style of play. As a result, everyone enjoys rooting for this team. One player in particular is demonstrating his monumental skill and it’s a wonder that one of the bigger and better teams didn’t unearth him. They may not be a threat to win the title, but they can certainly upset the title contending teams.
Michu should dress up as Scooby Doo and party with the hottest ladies Wales has to offer.
Newcastle = Auburn
Few teams are as up and down as this one. After previously exceeding expectations and reminding people of their proud history, this year the team is way down in the standings. People generally agree that the league is better when this team is competitive, so it’s unfortunate to see this potential giant play so haplessly.
Cam Newton would’ve been Newcastle’s highest paid player.
West Ham = Ole Miss
This is a middle of the road team with fans who are extremely dedicated and from an often derided part of the country. Unfortunately, fans of this team have a bad reputation for hooliganism and racism, both casual and overt. Thus, pulling for this team means compartmentalizing the product on the field from the actions of a radical and sometimes far too vocal minority.
Singing ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ is the British Empire’s version of ‘From Dixie With Love.’
Stoke City = Miss State
A quality coach has this team, not typically familiar with success, playing at its best. The team isn’t replete with talent, but they are tough and grind out games. Though they are easily overlooked, they manage to finish with respectable records just shy of the top teams in the league.
Underappreciated overachievers within proximity to the most celebrated teams in the country, sound familiar?
Southampton = Missouri
A team that recently joined the top flight division. Unfortunately, winning against lesser competition earns you the right to make more money getting stomped by the best teams in the country. There’s nothing particularly enticing about this team, but pundits like to dap them up to seem like ‘outside the box’ thinkers. Despite media well-wishers, this team promptly gets put in its place by the bigger and better teams.
You’d be forgiven if you forgot either team was in the best league in their sport.
Queens Park Rangers = Arkansas
A team with rich benefactors and high hopes, but languishing at the bottom of the league thanks to a revolving door of coaches. The latest coaching hire has fans hoping that they can finally compete with the big boys, but the previous caretakers of the team might have dug too deep a hole to climb out of.
The Hogs are lucky the SEC doesn’t relegate embarrassingly bad teams.
Reading = Kentucky
A team that exists, but if they didn’t no one would notice.
Plus, associating Kentucky with the word ‘reading’ is a rare treat.