European Soccer could be the savior of DFW sports

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Two players collide in the FA Cup match between Everton and Oldham. (Courtesy of AP)

This is a pretty tough time of the year to be a fan of sports around this area. The Cowboys are looking like they will be mediocre for a few more seasons, the Mavericks are in turmoil for the foreseeable future, and the Rangers did everything they could to disappoint their fan base in the offseason.

What can a DFW sports fan do in times like this when success seems so distant and unpredictable?

Do what I did one year ago and start to follow soccer.

Now don’t go looking away from this article just because you don’t care for the perceived shortcomings of European athletes. Don’t assume that just because Lionel Messi can’t tackle a 250-pound running back at the goal line that soccer players are weak and fragile.

These men are freaks of nature, running an average of eight miles per match, not to mention getting checked and elbowed the whole way.

It’s difficult to branch out and accept certain players as genuine whenever a bit of air rushes over their arm too quickly, but it’s not like an American football player’s never taken a dive before either.

Toughness aside, it’s easy to pick up on who’s who, especially now that the Champion’s league, the equivalent of the NFL playoffs, is in full swing right now.

The simplest way to go about picking a team is to do it before you ever sit down to watch a match. Your best bet is to follow a team in either the English premier league or one of the two juggernauts in the Spanish league, La Liga.

Now I am not one to condone front running by any means, but in this instance, it is almost impossible not to when your options really only include names such as Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

These are the safest bets by far simply because you will almost always be able to find a way to easily watch their matches without having to pay outrageous fees for a new cable package.

After picking a team to follow, find a way to watch their next three matches. Most teams have some way to watch their games online, but if that is not a practical solution, there are several sports bars and clubs to join in DFW that can offer watching parties.

Personally I became a fan of Chelsea this time a year ago because of these ample options and to give myself something new to follow and root for. It’s not difficult to do if you just give it a chance.

If Europe isn’t something you think you’ll enjoy watching, don’t forget FC Dallas’ season begins next month, and you can’t tell me Frisco’s too far away for a match.

So go ahead and branch out for a while. Give in to a more European state of mind and watch a little football.

For more DFW sports opinions follow me @matt_costalot.  

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