Growing up in the United States, it was a rare thing to run into a fellow soccer fan. Even rarer, to find a fan of a team such as West Bromwich Albion or Burnley. Most fans in the United States were clinging to the bigger teams of the world for one main, and justifiable, reason. You couldn’t watch those teams on television and there was no internet to stream from. That was all before the days of NBC Sports and massive television deals that, in an ironic twist, has leveled the playing field when it comes to fanship. I’m amazed when I see kids running around New York with a Bournemouth shirt on or donning a Gylfi Sigurðsson jersey.
Can you imagine what your reaction would have been ten years ago if you asked a man from Wyoming his favorite London club, and his response was “Crystal Palace”? It just didn’t happen. People stuck to Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, and Manchester United for their English football fixes. These days, television and the internet has surely thrown all of that out the window.
Enter, West Ham United. For an American fan, there’s an attractive quality to following West Ham. We love the underdog, but not too downtrodden. We appreciate a rich history that we can submerge ourselves into. We also love potential. Regardless of everything else West Ham United might lack, they have those attributes in spades. Becoming a fan of West Ham United today is appealing because it’s almost like entering the ground floor of a new tech firm or buying a great stock when it’s low. There is tons of upside, and if successful, the payoff is massive.