Broadcasting in 212 territories spanning 643 million homes and a potential TV viewership of 4.7 billion people, the Barclays Premier League is the most watched soccer league in the world. These numbers reflect the popularity of a sport that has continuous action on and sometimes off the pitch. It’s also a testament of an increasing fan base that covers almost all continents around the globe. However, for American sports fans, it’s still somewhat of a challenge appreciating the league as a whole and rooting for a specific club.
Part of the United States’ lack of appeal with soccer is it’s equally fascinating sports teams in major leagues such as the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the Major League Baseball, and the National Football League. Take our beloved Chicago, for instance. Our city takes pride in having the most marketable teams in the world. The teams obviously include the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Cubs, and the Bears – all of which consider the Windy City their home. But for prospective fans of the Premier League, it’s not too late to start cheering for a soccer club; all it takes is a little mirror comparison with these Chicago-based teams.
Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Like the Chicago Bulls, Chelsea has seen a lot of ups and downs in recent memory. The club has gone from the pinnacle of the Premier League to the base of relegation and back. Before the beginning of the season, Chelsea were favorites to recapture the crown. Now though, they are facing life without successful manager Jose Mourinho and their captain John Terry who announced his intentions to leave when he becomes a free agent. Additionally, as the roll of the ball would have it – like the Bulls – the Blues are underachieving this season. On the other side of the coin, it still has iconic players, akin to the Michael Jordans, the Scottie Pippens, and the Derrick Roses of the NBA, like John Terry, who has been with the club since the start of his youth career in 1995, for now at least.
Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have become perennial contenders for the Stanley Cup trophy. Manchester City, on the other hand, have also comfortably settled with competing at the top of the Premier League table in the last 5 seasons. Both teams recently won championships and even continued to revamp their rosters from top to bottom. For Chicago Blackhawks sports fans, City remains their soccer counterpart, especially with all the key acquisitions and the potential to once again bag the title.
Chicago Cubs (MLB)
They say that misery loves company. And what better way to share the dishonor of decade’s even century’s worth of frustration than in sports. The Chicago Cubs and Newcastle United have a common denominator in terms of being a wealthy team that has never won a league championship in almost a century. In layman’s term, they are these popular, overly attractive prom queens who grew up to always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. With the way things are going right now for the Magpies, the team looks like they will drop down from maid of honor to an evening guest.
Chicago Bears (NFL)
After selling Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke to Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively, Aston Villa’s future in Premier League looks bleak. There will always be history involved when talking about the Villans, as they are (or were) a strong English team that are appealing and intriguing at the same time. With the infamous Tim Sherwood receiving his pink slip in the midst of a dismal season, who knows what the future holds for Aston Villa in the Championship next season.