Comparing EPL Teams To NFL Franchises

Stew FlatsCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2011

Comparing EPL Teams to NFL Franchises

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    The English Premier League (EPL) and the National Football League (NFL) have a lot in common.  They display some of the best players in the world in their respective sports, and they are two of the most recognizable marketing brands in the sporting world.

    With American ownership entering the EPL, talk of Premier League fixtures being played in the USA, and swirling rumors of a London based expansion franchise in the NFL, the similarities between the two may grow further.

    Here, we look at all the EPL teams and see which of their overseas counterparts matches them best.

    Feel free to add your comparisons and reasons for them below.

Arsenal = Miami Dolphins

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    The Gunners and the Dolphins both hold very prestigious feats in their respective league that can never be beaten.  Both teams have completed an entire league season undefeated.

    The 1972 Dolphins were led by quarterback Bob Griese and won the Superbowl after a perfect 17-0 campaign.

    In the 2003-04 season, Arsene Wenger's 'Invincibles' were led by Thierry Henry to an unblemished Premier League title.

Aston VIlla = Cleveland Browns

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    You don't have to look far for the link here; both franchises are owned by American entrepeneur Randy Lerner. 

    Both the Villains and the Browns have also undergone recent coaching changes due to poor on-field performance.

Birmingham City = Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Neither franchise has an outstanding history of success, and both have spent much of their history in the shadow of a more illustrious local rival. 

    While Birmingham City has often been in the shade of Aston Villa in England's second city, Tampa Bay has long been second fiddle to Miami Dolphins in the state of Florida.

    This season, both have managed to perform better than their local rival while not being quite good enough to be among the elite.

Blackburn Rovers = St. Louis Rams

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    Both the Rovers and the Rams are undergoing unspectacular fortunes on the field currently.  Sadly for fans of both clubs, this is fairly typical of their franchise history.  However, for one sweet season, both fan bases have felt the joy of being the best in the business.

    For Rovers, it was the 1994-95 season, when a free scoring partnership of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton fired the club to its only Premier League title, a feat the club has not matched since.

    For the Rams, their crowning moment was the 2000 Superbowl.  Kurt Warner led a free scoring offense known as "The Greatest Show on Turf" to a Superbowl title, an achievement unmatched by them before or since.

    Neither club looks set to emulate those feats anytime soon.

Blackpool = New York Jets

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    For Championships with these franchises you have to go back quite a way.  Blackpool won an FA Cup title in 1953, wile the Jets achieved their only Superbowl win in 1969.

    Both teams are experiencing upturns in on-field fortunes of late, and both are led by coaches who are very entertaining in press conferences.

    For some Ian Holloway quotes see here:


    Meanwhile, this clip shows that 'Sexy' Rexy Ryan is no shrinking violet himself:

Bolton Wanderers = Baltimore Ravens

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    Over the last decade, the Wanderers and the Ravens have developed a similar reputation regarding their style of play.  they were primarily defensive outfits with an offensive strategy that revolved around getting physical and throwing high balls up to big target players.

    Things are changing right now and not all fans are giving these teams due credit for it.

    At Bolton, Owen Coyle has Bolton playing some entertaining football and riding high in the league.  In Baltimore, the play of young stars such as Joe Flacco and Ray Rice is making the Ravens a more entertaining proposition as they head into the NFL playoffs.

Chelsea = New Orleans Saints

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    Both teams entered the current season as defending champions with a deserved reputation for racking up high scores.  Both teams have shown defensive frailties and an inability to maintain their high standards this season.

    Chelsea has won only two of their last nine games in all competitions, while the Saints conceded 41 points as they crashed out of the NFL Playoffs last weekend.

Everton = Houston Texans

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    The perennial little brother in their respective cities/states; so far this season, Everton has as many points as Liverpool while the Texans finished the regular season with as many wins as the Dallas Cowboys.

    However, it seems no matter what they do, these franchises will never receive as much attention as their more famous local rivals.

    Another similarity is that despite their current middle of the pack status, each of these teams boasts a player who is among the league's elite.

    While Tim Cahill is among the best goal scoring midfielders in the EPL, Andre Johnson is one of the NFL's elite wide receivers.

Fulham = Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Fulham and Jacksonville are middle of the pack contenders in their respective leagues, with neither franchise able to draw huge crowds.

    As much as a mediocre on-field product doesn't help, geography hurts both clubs when drawing a crowd.

    Fulham play in the city of London and compete for crowds with Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham United to name only a few of the professional clubs on their doorstep.

    Jacksonville compete for a notoriously fickle Florida fan base with the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both of whom have won a Superbowl title.  Jacksonville also go up against the very well supported college teams in the area such as the Florida Gators.

Liverpool = San Francisco 49ers

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    There was a time where these two franchises were the measuring stick for greatness.  During the 1980's Liverpool won six league titles as well as numerous other trophies.  During the same decade, the 49ers won four Superbowl titles.

    These two former giants are currently going through miserable times on the field though, and hope coaches hired within the last week can change things.

    This week, San Francisco signed up Jim Harbaugh from Stanford University while Liverpool have brought back club legend Kenny Dalglish in a bid to bring back the good times.

Manchester City = Cincinnati Bengals

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    These teams went into the current season having stockpiled attacking talent.  City are doing a better job of getting wins, but off the field issues have haunted both clubs.

    In Cincy, the idea of pairing Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco as targets for Carson Palmer has not quite panned out.  Constant rumors of problems behind the scenes have been blamed for the poor performance of number 85, and Owens openly criticized the coaches during the season.

    At City, many players who have been on the team, such as Emmanuel Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz, are wanting out of the club.  City has also been no strangers to training ground fights.  Boastful young forward Mario Balotelli fought with Jerome Boateng, while Adebayor and Kolo Toure recently came to blows in front of the news cameras at training.

Manchester United = New England Patriots

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    Simply the two most dominant forces in their league over the previous decade.  United and the Patriots have raked in the trophies with a consistent focus on team over individual.

    Sir Alex Ferguson is a wise old veteran who commands respect from younger stars with egos and if he does not get it, then those players are shown the door. It is a remarkably similar situation in New England with Bill Belichick.

    Both teams entered this season with tempered expectations and the belief a few big stars could have been brought in, yet both teams have plugged away and currently sit at the top of the tree.

    The Patriots and the Red Devils are also both more than capable of replacing star players.  United has lost David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and Cristiano Ronaldo yet always kept winning, while New England recently ditched star wide receiver Randy Moss without missing a beat.

    Since the turn of the century, the Patriots have won three Superbowls, more than any other franchise.  United lead the way in England with five Premier League titles in that time frame.

Newcastle United = Oakland Raiders

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    The 'Silver and Black Attack' and the 'Black and White Army' have similarities on and off the field.  Both have passionate fan bases who are notorious for creating a hostile atmosphere for opposing teams.

    The Raider franchise has an illustrious history of maverick players that have, at times, been on the wrong side of the law.  The current Newcastle squad is doing a good job of gaining that reputation.  Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll have been in court for a reported cocaine fueled party that included dancing girls and hookers.

    One more similarity is that this season, both clubs achieved a famous win over a bitter rival.  Newcastle destroyed Sunderland 5-1, while the Raiders overwhelmed the hated Denver Broncos by a score of 59-14.

Stoke City = Indianapolis Colts

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    Both teams have done a wonderful job of having their quarterback/throw-in merchant launching dangerous high balls to create scoring opportunities and penetrate opposing defenses.

    Both teams have failed to get the job done with ball on the ground this season.

Sunderland = Philadelphia Eagles

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    Neither team was heavily favored to challenge for the title this season, but both have shown the ability to score in bunches.

    The Eagles boast a high-octane, quick strike offense that features Michael Vick, Lesean McCoy, and Desean Jackson.  The Black Cats boast a powerful strike force of their own, including England striker Darren Bent, Ghana World Cup star Asamoah Gyan, and former Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck.

Tottenham Hotspur = Kansas City Chiefs

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    Both of these teams have not threatened to win their league championship since their glory days of the 1950's and 60's.

    Bill Nicholson led Spurs to league titles in 1951 and 1961, while Hank Stram was in charge of the Chiefs and oversaw 3 AFL Championships during the 1960's.

    This current season both teams have performed well above recent history, thanks to the savvy guidance of Todd Haley and Harry Redknapp.

West Bromwich Albion = Arizona Cardinals

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    Both teams have offensive weapons and the ability to score on their day.

    Both teams lack defensive steel, and lack the ability to perform on a consistent basis.  The Cardinals finished last in their division, and West Brom will have a fight on their hands to stay in the Premier League.

West Ham United = Washington Redskins

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    Teams that play in the nation's capital have a glorious history, yet are currently in disarray?

    Step forward West Ham United and the Washington Redskins.

Wigan Athletic = Buffalo Bills

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    The Bills and the Latics are struggling both to get wins, and to be the premier sports franchise in their own city. 

    The constant losing of the Bills has them second to the successful Ice Hockey franchise Buffalo Sabres.  Meanwhile over the pond, Wigan are battling for respect in what will always be a Rugby League town.

Wolverhampton Wanderers = Detroit Lions

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    Wolves and the Lions share more similarities than having a cool, animal related nicknames.  Despite their current struggles, the Wolves have a history of success even if it is a while ago and believe it or not, so do the Detroit Lions.

    Wolves won three League Titles between 1953 and 1959, while Detroit won three NFL Championships in the 1950's.  Neither franchise has won a league title since those heady days.