Hey Football Fans, Convert Me

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst IApril 9, 2009

GENOVA, ITALY - APRIL 28:  Roberto Baggio #10 of Italy applauds the fans during an International Friendly match between Italy and Spain at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium on April 28, 2004 in Genova, Italy.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

I consider myself to be a pretty typical American sports fan.

I'm a huge fan of the NFL and Major League Baseball. I get pretty geeked up for the NHL playoffs, and I sit in awe at the athletic ability of many NBA players.

One sport I have never been able to become a fan of is European football or soccer to the common American sports fan. So, I'm asking the football fans of the Bleacher Report community to help me out: teach me what I need to learn about the sport and make me a fanatic like so many of you.

Now I should tell you, I'm not completely void of the sport in my life. I am a rabid follower of the World Cup and think it's a competition unlike any other in sports.

I first became infatuated with the sport in 1994 when the World Cup was held in the United States. I became fascinated with Roberto Baggio, the Italian star who at the time was the face of the sport.

My heart broke in the final as Baggio's penalty kick sailed over the crossbar giving Brazil the title. Unfortunately, that was the last match I watched until the next World Cup four years later.

I appreciate the beauty and athleticism of the sport. I've seen countless players do things with a ball that would probably paralyze me if I ever attempted them.

Where I get lost is in the amount of leagues around the world. I have never watched an entire MLS match simply because I know it is sub par quality football compared against other leagues around the world.

It also seems like players are being traded between teams and leagues on a daily basis. I would think so much player movement makes it harder to root for individuals and frustrating for the fans of teams that routinely trade their best players.

Who do I follow and root for? Do I pick one league and just follow the teams in that league or do I follow all the different leagues and choose a favorite team in each? Or would it just be easier for an uninformed fan like me to just come back every four years for the World Cup?

I am a blank canvas to your sport and am willing to submit to those with a greater knowledge than myself. Educate me and maybe pass along and share with me your passion and love for a game which I have no feelings for.