As a geek, it’s very easy to find fellow geeks who understand the complexities of comic books. But as a fan of English Premiere League Football, I find it difficult to find others who fit that particular Venn diagram. Often when I attempt to bridge the gap between the two I’m met with looks of bewilderment. So this is my attempt to bring some of my fellow sunlight shunning geeks into the bracing sport of football. To do this, to make things more clear I’m going to attempt to describe each Premiere League team by matching them with a Justice League member.
Before we get started there are two things to explain for clarity. First, England plays on a promotion/relegation system. See there are almost a hundred football teams in that tiny country. Thankfully they are divided into ascending leagues. At the end of each season two teams are promoted into the higher league and two teams are relegated to the lower league. This ensures a constantly rotating playing field—it’s also really simplified but works for my purposes. Second? Football, soccer–doesn’t really matter what you call it. It’s a bunch of guys on a field kicking a ball. There, on with the teams.
Superman/Chelsea-Both are true blue beacons of strength and inspiration; true powerhouses that are indomitable—is what I would have said last year. Chelsea, usually sitting atop the leader boards with a comfortable lead are lagging, falling way down to the bottom of the board. And in a weird twist of coincidence Superman lost most of his powers and is now severely weakened.
Batman/Manchester United-If you are not a fan this will be the only name you recognize. If you are a fan—first of all, east a bowl of dicks. But also, you’re insufferable. Every potential matchup you ardently claim your side would win despite ever mounting evidence that suggests otherwise. True, they are a powerhouse but their power is vastly inflated.
Wonder Woman/Manchester City-When it comes to teams to truly fear, Manchester City is the end all be all of dominant teams. They are yet to find someone who can contain them and they are only getting better. True, there was a troubled patch in the late eighties/early nineties but they’ve climbed to the top and they aren’t going anywhere.
Green Lantern/Liverpool-You know what, these guys are usually pretty good—Usually! But Liverpool is a team with huge ups and downs. There have been years where Liverpool is the team to watch. And then this year they’re kind of mediocre. Hey guys remember Blackest Night? Wasn’t that great! Can you tell me what Hal has been up to since then? Didn’t think so.
Flash/Arsenal-They are a consistent performer, always amongst the top teams but rarely reaching the peak. Also? They’ve got a huge, rabid fan base. Usually talent from this team is poached for other teams (Remember the Mark Waid run? And Geoff Johns had a good run didn’t he?) But take heart, this seems to be your year. You’re near the top of the table… but there’s that one team overshadowing you…
Vibe/Leicester City-Where the Hell did these guys come from? They got promoted to the Premiere League last year! They were 14th place at the end of the season! Now? They’re the top of the leader board. First Place and no one can give a good reason as to how. From obscurity to champs, their rise has been bizarre.
Green Arrow/ Aston Villa-I used to love Green Arrow. He was this plucky hero who punched way out of his weight class. That was Aston Villa, always the underdog. But no matter how much I like Green Arrow I always wanted to ask him if he really belonged on the Justice League. There’s other teams out there that he’d be perfect on—he’d probably be the best. And that’s the way Aston Villa is looking right now. They’re at the bottom of the league and they look doomed to relegation.
Shazam/Tottenham-Who’s the only hero who could stand up to Superman? Answer: nobody, kind of a given. But boy oh boy does Shazam come close. Every time those two go toe to toe Superman comes out on top but it’s usually a Hell of a fight. Likewise, Tottenham has none of the popularity and can’t stand up to Chelsea but man do they have some power.
Crystal Palace/Aquaman-Every time someone counts out the members of the Justice League they always forget one of their most prominent members. Likewise Crystal Palace is easily forgotten about until they go up against your team and knock two in the back of the net. It’s easy to count them out or make jokes about them but time after time they have made me eat my words.
Newcastle/Martian Manhunter-They are a solid team who are an essential part of the Premier League and will never make it to the top of the tables. It’s really sad too because they really try so hard and give decent performances but they always manage to get overshadowed despite having a lot of underutilized skill.
Stay tune for the second half next week.