Are Liverpool back from their two-year hiatus? The one mighty Reds have contrived to tumble out of European football altogether thanks to an awful 2010/11 season, but there's hope yet in the form of returning manager Kenny Dalglish, who managed to steer the club to sixth place with a strong second half. Noel Chomyn of the Liverpool Offside takes you thought a rejuvenated team. Maybe.
This is a preview. There are many others like it, but this one is Liverpool's.
Some parts will be true. Others may be less so. Not out of any desire to deceive, you understand, but simply because this is a preview largely aimed at an audience that likely has no great desire to read about an English football1 club's fifth-choice center back.
Oh, you can protest. You can say that you want to know. But then you'd have to read about the first choice pairing and the back-up defensive midfielder and the utility forward and the reserve goalkeeper. And then your eyes would glaze over. Because you don't really want to know about the reserve center back who might make three substitute appearances over the course of the season.
Which is all a roundabout way of saying that certain parts of this preview may be made up. Not out of any desire to deceive, you understand, but simply because accuracy takes effort, and we can all agree that said effort would be largely misplaced under the circumstances.
So. Liverpool. It's in England. It's where the Titanic was registered on account of the White Star Line headquarters being stationed there. It's also where Liverpool Football Club plays—I know, I was surprised when I found out, too.
Now, Liverpool hasn't won much domestic silverware in recent seasons, but that doesn't mean they haven't been bringing home trophies. Just a few years ago Liverpool won the European Championships. And then a few weeks back they went and captured the Copa America in Argentina.
A few of our more pedantic readers may point out that the European Championships and Copa America are competitions between countries, regional tournaments held to help carry bored football fans through the summer when there isn’t a World Cup. They will probably also point out that the record books list Spain as being the most recent European Championship winner and Uruguay as the current holders of the Copa America.
Which would make them pedants. Or Manchester United fans. And nobody likes pedants or Manchester United fans. It's probably why they have no friends2.
So: Liverpool are the current European and South American champions. On account of more Liverpool players being involved in winning said championships than can be claimed by any other English club. The parade's next Thursday. Don’t try to take this from us or we’ll cut you.
Liverpool. In England. The Titanic. Current holders of the Copa America and European champions. Also, Liverpool hated Rupert Murdoch before you did and would appreciate fruit baskets and quality liqueurs for being ahead of the times.
As for Rupert Murdoch, he's the Australian who got bovine spongiform encephalopathy by planking a cow before going on to found Fox News. But you probably already knew that. Plus part of it may or may not be true and I don't entirely understand what planking is.
In any case, now the whole world hates him, and therefore you hate him. Unless you don't. In which case, hello, you must have missed the part where SB Nation was founded by Daily Kos creator Markos Moulitsas.
And when you boil things down to that, it pretty much means that if you're a regular visitor to SB Nation you have a moral obligation to follow and support Liverpool Football Club. Or else you probably shouldn't be spending time on SB Nation in the first place. Because SB Nation is one step removed from the center of the internet commiesphere and Liverpool hated Rupert Murdoch3 before Markos Moulitsas knew who Rupert Murdoch was.
If that's not enough, Liverpool also have Luis Suarez, the single most exciting player currently plying his trade in England's top flight. He plays the game like he has a knife in his teeth, and one time he was suspended for two months for biting an opponent. Presumably he took the knife out to do that. Though he may have kept it in when his hand-ball on the line stopped Ghana from advancing in last summer's World Cup. Which are the sorts of things that suck if you're from Ghana or afraid of being bitten by rabid Uruguayans who just won player of the tournament for leading their country to Copa America glory, but for most—once they've seen the magic he can weave with the ball at his feet—just seems an added bit of excitement. Because when the price of having a player who could at any moment beat the opposing team single-handedly is that he could also snap and be given a red card for gnawing at an opponent’s kidneys, you take a shot and call it crazy awesome.
Liverpool also has one of the world's top goalkeepers. He's Spanish and sometimes when he takes his shirt off at the end of the match it's hard not to notice that he shaves his armpits. Which is a mildly disturbing look for somebody who appears as though he wouldn't be out of place playing linebacker in American Football, but will assuredly be a selling point for somebody. If that somebody is you, then you should probably keep that bit of information to yourself.
Then there are some other good players. And some kind of okay players. Plus some not very good ones who hopefully won't play very much, like Joe Cole and Christian Poulsen. Also the club has signed some new English players over the summer, which will be good if they can play together in a way that isn't reminiscent of how the English national team plays together. Because the English national team hasn't been relevant since 1966 and collectively wouldn't know modern football if it stabbed them in a dark alley and took their Monte Cristo.
Speaking of which, Liverpool's holding midfielder Lucas Leiva is one of the top five holding midfielders in Europe. People who think England's national team isn't broken don't like him very much. This tends to say more about them than it does about him.
But since you probably already either did or didn't know all of that, those quick overviews likely didn't do anybody any good. Which was probably the point back at the beginning before your eyes glazed over and you stopped paying attention. In any case, Liverpool's going to win the league this year. Or at least win next summer's European Championship. And they may look great or horrible while doing or not doing it, that, or something else. Though in any case we'll hate Rupert Murdoch, and isn't that what's really important in life?
1 Look, I know that many of you say "soccer," but just go with it. I mean, it should be fairly obvious that if I'm talking about Real Zaragoza I'm talking football, and if I'm talking about Utah State I'm talking football. Simple.
2 Nobody likes you. Or you. Seriously.
3 Margaret Thatcher might be worse.