The American Scouser family has grown exponentially since I started writing for the magazine as its Scouser In Training. Today, I’m flashing back a little to the early days of fandom for all of us. As supporters, especially Liverpool supporters, we carry the badge of being intelligent, compassionate, passionate, and loyal. And it’s that last trait that sometimes causes me to pause. I think fans are occasionally reticent to dig deeper into things. Today I ask about the WHY regarding our chosen sports peccadillos.
That stops here. Today I ask you questions that puzzle me after eight years with LFC and EPL fandom. I pose the questions to you that might make you think. And yes, those thoughts may be “Has this Cutler guy even been paying attention?!”
Let me say, that I’ve been going through life without all the answers. The struggle is real. So, here are twenty or so Premier League, Liverpool, and general futbol questions in no particular order.
PLEASE TELL ME WHY…
-Why do players seemingly follow no pattern when placing a first or last name on the back of their kit? Diogo or Jota? And so on. Is there a league rule on how a player’s name should be presented?
-Is the yellow and red card fixing a scandal that could ruin the league? Or, if it’s cleaned up completely, will players stop flopping on the field in a stiff wind?
-Are banners in the stadium such a tradition that people are willing to sit behind one for a large portion of the match? Or are banners put away and only used in times of extreme action?
-What does “weak in the tackle” mean? I first heard it as the “Week In The Tackle” podcast, which I thought was a roundup show. Now it seems being weak in the tackle is a player deficiency. Help!
-We have Everton as our sister and Merseyside Derby opponent. Does every team have a “nemesis” club? And yes, I concede that Everton is not currently a dangerous nemesis.
I BEG OF YOU, TELL ME WHY
-Does every side have the same number of kit variations? Home, away, third, other, other, other? Are teams allowed to bring back retro styles for current matches?
-Following up, how many little EPL lions are on a standard jersey? I tried to count this weekend but the Peacock audio lag and resolution made it hard for me to determine.
-What characteristics determine when a boot is finished? I understand a catastrophic sole tear or rip up the boot’s side. But do players wear boots for a match and then toss them? Do they have two pairs and use one for away and one for home?
-Wouldn’t it be amazing, and possibly aggravating, to be able to hear the VAR conversations? Would this increase or decrease affinity for VAR?
WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?
-Why do players seem to be talking into the palm of their hand? I think they either have little walkie-talkies or are paranoid about lip readers. If the latter is the case, what could they be worried about people seeing/hearing? Trash talk is trash talk, so I can see that. But even when players are hugging and leaving the pitch they still cover their mouths. This alone makes me paranoid as a fan. I want to know what they are hiding!
-How much does prior experience with a player affect how a referee calls a game? One example is Mohamed Salah. He frequently doesn’t win fouls because he’s struggling to keep the ball at almost any cost. When he eventually ends up on the ground, he does not win a foul. Is it too much to expect the refs to pay more attention to real versus imagined fouls? And (GASP) should VAR play a bigger role in dives versus fouls.
WHY OH WHY?
-If you’ve run a marathon, you’ve been beside folks who soil themselves and keep running. In American football, players often do the same thing. If you’re peeing in the locker room, you’re not making plays on the field. Does the same thing happen in professional futbol? Or would it be more noticeable?
-The one thing that makes me think they might pee on themselves is the too-frequent watering of the field. What’s with all the water? I get that it makes the play a bit speedier. Nevertheless, what are other reasons for drenching the pitch before each match?
-Can you tell me how to tell if a match ball is worn out? Other than the ball being flat or popped is it one-and-done for match balls? Do the used ones end up in the training ball collection?
-If I go to Anfield, will I have to stand up all game? Can I have a beer in the stadium at my seat?
-Some players wear electronic monitors between their shoulders. Does every player do that? Can a player refuse?
-Is soccer as clean as it could be? The preponderance of betting organization sponsorships causes me concern.
-Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had microphones in the frame of the net for corners and penalties?
-Are you as excited as I am about the start of this season? That’s all I’ll say.
Please answer some of my questions right here in the comments or post them on the American Scouser Facebook page. I’ll see you here next month!