With the Premier League starting this weekend, it’s safe to say…THANK FUCKING GOD! From all the offseason managerial hires and new talent coming into the league, I think this year has a chance to be the best Premier League season ever.
So if your new to the league, let me help you pick a team. I compared every 2016 Premier League club to their equivalent NFL team. A bunch of factors went into these comparisons such as: fans, location, history, and current team success. Enjoy! And make sure to check out my EPL preview dropping Friday.
Arsenal: Dallas Cowboys
Let’s start with a spot-on comparison. Arsenal have severely under achieved in recent years under manager Arsene Wenger, and it doesn’t look like this is their year either. The Gunners haven’t won a league title since 03-04, but talent has certainly not been the issue. From 1988-2004 Arsenal won five league titles, which is considered the club’s golden era. Now look at America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones has not been afraid to accumulate a ton of talent in his time as the owner of the Cowboys, but the team hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1995. The 90’s were a fervent time for both the Cowboys and Arsenal. On the Cowboys side, being led by Troy Aikman, Emmett Smith, and Michael Irvin, while Arsenal had legends like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Tony Adams. Both teams are hugely popular in other countries to boot.
Bournemouth: Jacksonville Jaguars
True underdogs. Bournemouth and the Jaguars are both considered the minnows of their respective leagues. But that narrative may be changing. The Jaguars have a ton of great young talent, and also splashed money out in free agency. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jags ended up making the playoffs, while Bournemouth should make a big leap up the Premier League table. After a storybook rise to the Premier League, Bournemouth did the hardest thing for small clubs–survive. They didn’t get relegated in their first Premier League season, and doubled down on their success with a £15 million signing of Jordon Ibe. Both teams, which reside on the coasts of their countries, should have mid-table expectations for this upcoming season.
Burnley: Cleveland Browns
Dumpster Fire. Disaster. Shit Hole. All words that describe both Cleveland and Burnley as cities. But god dammit do they love their teams. Burnley is back in the Premier League after a year in the Championship, and they had the fortitude to win the league after being relegated two years ago. But in reality they’ll be the favorites to be relegated again, because once they clinch promotion they don’t spend the money needed to improve the squad. The Browns suck, plain and simple. If there was relegation in the NFL, the Browns would be heavy favorites to be sent down to the lower leagues this season. There’s no real bright spot for both these franchises and their fans live in terrible cities, but the passion is there.
Chelsea: New York Giants
Chelsea are considered the Premier League’s ‘Posh’ club as they’re located in a wealthy neighborhood of London. But the club was relatively irrelevant until Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich swooped in to provide an infusion of cash. Success came with that. The club won League titles in 05, 06, 10, 15, but Chelsea are coming off a disappointing season where the club finished 10th and they fired manager Jose Mourinho. All these same things can be said for the New York Giants. Truly New York City’s team, the Giants won Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011, but went 6-10 in 2015-16 which led to the firing of longtime coach Tom Coughlin. Both teams will be looking for much improved 2016-17 campaign.
Crystal Palace: Oakland Raiders
In my humble opinion, the Raiders and Crystal Palace have the most zealous fans in their respective leagues. Not to mention both groups of fans are the type that you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley after the game. Palace and the Raiders both have lofty expectations this season, and will somehow screw it up, because that’s what both these teams do.
Everton: New York Jets
So many similarities here I really don’t know where to start. First off, they’re both the little brother in their cities. The Jets have always been second fiddle in NYC to the Giants, and Everton are the red-headed stepchild in Liverpool to the almighty Reds. Second, both these teams are always on the precipice of greatness, but just can’t make it over the hump. The Jets had a great run under former coach Rex Ryan, but didn’t make one Super Bowl with an extremely talented team. Everton sing to the same tune. They seem to look unbeatable against the big boys of the EPL, but falter against lower competition. Everton and the Jets are just two mediocre franchises looking to make headlines.
Hull City: San Diego Chargers
I was trying to think of all the AFC West teams and I could only come up with three. The one I was missing was the San Diego Chargers. How soon I forget the once proud franchise which has fallen on tough times. Chargers owner Dean Spanos is also looking to move the team to Los Angeles, which will anger much of Bolt Up Nation. Hull City is having some problems with their fans as well. After being promoted to the Premier League this year, rumors have been swirling that Chinese investors are going to be taking over the club. Now this would seem like a good thing, right? New money into the club would make them competitive. But the soon-to-be Chinese owners want to change a lot about the historic club. Things including the team colors, crest, and name are on the chopping block. Testing times to be a Hull and Chargers fan.
Leicester City: Denver Broncos
Coming into the NFL and Premier League season, you’re looking at the teams to beat. Leicester beat all the odds and won their first Premier League title last season, while the Broncos gave Peyton Manning the send off he deserved in Super Bowl 50. Can both teams repeat? I would say no. Both teams have lost significant pieces off their championship teams. Leicester lost energizer-bunny midfielder N’golo Kante to Chelsea, while the Broncos lost Peyton, back up QB Brock Osweiler, as well as defenders Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan. I look for both teams to have down seasons, after last year’s championship exploits.
Liverpool: Pittsburgh Steelers
You smell that? That’s the smell of history. The Steelers and Liverpool are two of the most historic franchises in the world, not just the NFL and EPL. Plus, you won’t find two more passionate fan bases who will follow their teams anywhere they play. The onlyr real difference between the two teams is the success as of late. Liverpool are in the midst of a 16 year title drought, but the club won 18 titles before 1990. The Steelers have had a bit more success lately. They won in both 2005 and 2008, but like Liverpool, have under achieved in recent years. I look for both of these teams to make some noise in 2016 and challenge for their respective titles.
Manchester City: Arizona Cardinals
Here come the new boys on the block. Whenever I think of Machester City and the Cardinals I just think about new money. Both teams are not afraid to open the checkbook for skilled players. Since 2008, when Manchester City were bought by the Abu Dhabi group, money has bought the club success. The Citizens won the EPL title in 2012 and 2014, and have qualified for the Champions League every season since. City is constantly trying to outshine their neighbors Manchester United, and with the money they’ve spent this offseason, don’t be surprised if they’re hoisting the EPL trophy at the end of the season. When you look up and down the Cardinals roster, you don’t see a weak spot. But they haven’t been able to get over the hump after losing to the Steelers in the 2009 Super Bowl. The Cardinals also live in the shadow of their NFC West foe, the Seattle Seahawks, who lifted the Lombardi trophy in 2013. If neither of these two teams are hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the season, I’ll be very surprised.
Manchester United: New England Patriots
The institution. Team first mentality. Those phrases bring to mind both the Patriots and Manchester United franchises. Both teams had an extreme amount of success in the early 2000’s combining for 10 titles from 2000-2010. While Manchester United have boatloads more history, when you think of success in the recent NFL, you think of New England. It’s funny though, both teams have sort of under achieved the last couple of years. New England because of injuries, while Manchester United struggles were more about the talent and coaching. The Red Devils brought in a ton of quality players, like Paul Pogba and Zlatan, in the offseason, along with hiring Jose Mourinho to run the team. Again, if neither of these teams is hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the season, I’d be completely surprised.
Middlesbrough: Chicago Bears
Neither of these teams have a lot going for them. The Bears went 6-10 last year and haven’t gotten better, and might actually have gotten worse. Middlesbrough finished second in the Championship last year, which clinched their long awaited return to England’s top league. Middlesbrough will face a real uphill battle in the Premier League, and I’d be surprised if they weren’t in the middle of the relegation fight. Both these teams have to capitalize on their frigid weather to have any success this season–which is sad.
Southampton: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Not a lot of substance here. Southampton is one of England’s only top clubs on the south coast, so obviously it’s easy to attract players. Southampton has become a feeder club for the the bigger teams across England and Europe. Players like Sadio Mane, Gareth Bale, and Theo Walcott got their starts with the Saints. Tampa Bay right now has to be the youngest team in the NFL. Not only young, but ultra talented. On offense, they have a chance to be unstoppable with Doug Martin totting the rock and Mike Evans stretching the defense. Not to mention, famous Jameis Winston throwing the ball all around the field. Two great places to vacation and catch a game.
Sunderland: Detroit Lions
Sunderland and the Detroit Lions deserve each other. Both teams are located in almost arctic climates, but the Lions have the solace of a dome, while Sunderland have had multiple games cancelled because their pitch is frozen. I would describe both the Lions and Sunderland as lonely losers. It seems like both coaches and players on both squads do just enough not to get fired, but never show any signs of taking that next step. Both franchises are also undergoing big departures. The Lions in the form of WR Calvin Johnson, and Sunderland with the loss of Big Sam Allardyce, their former manager.
Swansea City: Buffalo Bills
Buffalo and Swansea fans are both the laughing stock of their leagues. Buffalo fans are a wild bunch who smash each other through tables, and set shit on fire, while all being inbred. The same can be said for Swansea fans who’re called “Sheep Shaggers,” by opposing fans. Neither team has had recent success either, which causes the fans to go even crazier, while drowning their sorrows in hard liquor. #BillsMafia
Tottenham Hotspur: Cincinnati Bengals
This one was easy. At the end of the day, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong for Tottenham and the Bengals. Talent is not the issue though. If you go up and down every roster in the EPL and the NFL, both these teams would be near the top of the list. The sad part is both sets of fans are so delusional. Each and every year they think it’s the year that they break the curse and win their first title. And every year, when the end of the season comes, both ‘Spurs and Bengals fans wonder, what the fuck happened? Both are a loud, boisterous bunch though.
Watford: Los Angeles Rams
Another set of teams just marred in mediocrity. Watford finished 13th out of 20 teams last season, while Jeff Fisher casted his middling spell and the Rams finished 7-9. What a whirlwind of a offseason it’s been for the Rams. They traded for the first pick and took Jared Goff, moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and are on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Watford have had a similar summer window. They hired famed Italian manager Walter Mazzari, and their starting lineup could feature 5-6 changes from last season’s campaign. Plus, both teams’ facilitates aren’t far away from movie sets, as Watford is where all the Harry Potter movies were filmed, and L.A. is Hollywood baby!
West Brom: Tennessee Titans
If you were going to try and name all the NFL teams and EPL clubs, you’d 100% forget both these franchises. That’s why they’re perfect for each other and don’t really warrant a write-up.
West Ham United: Washington Redskins
Don’t know whether it’s the claret and yellow colors, but the Redskins and West Ham United have a lot in common. These are two teams on the up-and-up. The beloved Redskins made the playoffs last year behind the play of QB Kirk Cousins, who’s been a real leader for this team/franchise. West Ham have their own leader in Mark Noble, who led The Hammers to a 7th place finish in 2015/16. I might be speaking crazy here, but I love both these teams to due a ton of damage this season and surprise a lot of pundits. Both located in their nation’s capital cities, the diehards for West Ham and the Redskins are some of the best in their leagues. I have a feeling Slaven Bilic and Jay Gruden would be friends too.
Disagree with me? That’s fine, let me know in the comments.