1. Having to only refer to it as “soccer.” Technically I call it both soccer and football and I probably always will. But then you confuse other people and have to clarify. (But when in Rome…)
2. For BPL (or other leagues in Europe), you may have to wake up at ungodly hours sometimes to watch the games LIVE. Or having very important mid-week games that are smack-dab in the middle of your work day. (All hail the working from home life.)
3. Listening to virgin soccer fans pretending to be experts. Please just stop.
4. Soccer banter is unlike any other sports banter. You must learn it and never apply other sports’ jargon to it. Lest you become “that guy.”
5. A lot of people telling you, “Soccer is boring.” Okay. LOL. Bye.
6. Explaining why a “draw” or “tie” is a perfectly legitimate end to a game, and that it doesn’t take anything away from the excitement.
7. A lot of people simply not caring about the sport unless the USA is involved in some shape or form. Lame.
8. Having to talk to the new wave of Man City and Chelsea “fans.” Congrats, brandwagonners. (Also, COYG!)
9. People going on about how male soccer players can be a bunch of “girls.” First of all, there’s nothing wrong with being a girl. Secondly, try to run at the pace, and for the length of time these guys run. Any change in momentum is not fun. Especially when it’s a kick to your shins.
10. Explaining the offside rule. And then being told said offside rule is “stupid.” (Mind you, it mirrors the rule in hockey.)
11. Not having enough people for a legit fantasy league competition. :(
12. If you live in a big city, finding a place to watch games is probably easy. But if you aren’t friends with other fanatics, finding people to watch games with, can be difficult.
13. If you live in a small city or town, competing with American sports at bars is going to be a pain. (Might just want to get a subscription and call it a day.)
14. The constant and never-ending comparison with American football. PSA: These are two different sports. And while American football is probably the most popular sport in the USA, football/soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Two different kinds of talent, body intelligence, and athleticism are needed for each.
15. Getting people to understand that your entire day/week/month can be ruined by your team not winning or drawing when they should have. Alternatively, why your entire day/week/month can be made by your team winning or drawing.
16. That loving soccer with all your heart does not mean loving FIFA with all your heart. Because yes, FIFA is the worst.
17. The struggle that is bringing your non-soccer watching friends to a game so they can get acquainted. But also not wanting to answer 45678 questions while the game is on.
18. Getting excited when people ask if you caught the big game this weekend. Only to have your hopes dashed because they weren’t referring to the same big game you had in your head.
19. People not always quite understanding the global religiosity of the sport, which can only be captured by this Bill Shankly quote, “Some people think football [soccer] is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”