As an American, I must poke fun at our national under-appreciation of the game of football, which we rudely call soccer and which is the most popular sport in the world. I've always enjoyed watching the big global events such as the World Cup every 4 years, but I have never gotten into following the sport on a regular basis. That has changed recently as I have started to watch the Premier League during my free time in quarantine, and it's been pretty awesome. I have a newfound appreciation for the sport, athletes, and the team cultures.
First, football itself is extremely difficult. From someone who doesn't have coordination in my feet and legs, I can't fathom how the players are able to accurately shoot and pass the ball, and control it with ease when it comes screaming towards them. Yet they absorb half field passes on their feet with perfect control, and are able to juggle the ball and do other crazy moves with it. Yes, the games are typically very low scoring, but it is fun to watch all of the extra effort and athleticism of the players throughout the game - not all the joy in football comes from just scoring goals. After watching more games I have a better and more nuanced awareness of this fact.
I have also been reading up on the different teams in the English Premier League, and their history and supporters cultures. This is because I am trying to pick a team to support with consistency and start watching (and probably buy a cool looking jersey). I think I am going to pick Tottenham, but I haven't made a final decision yet. Anyways, back to the point - football fans are passionate and crazy. Most teams have multiple unique songs that their supporters have created for them, and these are sung loudly at games. They have rich histories going back over 100 years, with famous players enshrined as in statues outside of the stadium, and plenty of nearby neighborhood pubs that are packed with memoribilia. Having been to a few Premier League games in person in London firsthand, I got to experience a few of these fan cultures firsthand, and the games were a lot of fun.