I expect that I'll lose count of the number of excited Tweets and breathless blog posts about the start of the English Premier League season by early this afternoon. A new season in the world's biggest/best/richest/whatever league is about to begin, and people from the world over are losing themselves in anticipation. My own countrymen, specifically, are abuzz, aflutter, and, dare I say, annoying.

But that's just because I have an aversion to exclamation points.

And I hate to see people who never express the same excitement over MLS go gaga over a league thousands of miles and an ocean away. I don't begrudge anyone their fandom, and of course the Premier League is great soccer, but the start of a new season over there predictably dims the spotlight (such as it is) over here. In the endless debate over the MLS calendar and a shift some are adamant should happen, I wonder if competing with the European season from August to June for attention isn't the strong argument against a move. Forget weather; even timezones can't alleviate MLS getting short shrift when America's favorite league is in-season.

Lots of people just add the Prem, to say nothing of Germany, Italy, Spain, France, etc., to their MLS-inclusive soccer itineraries. That means Europe in the mornings and early afternoons and MLS in the evenings; in fact, when I'm able to get to the TV first on the weekends, it's the program I usually follow. But with television ratings for MLS lagging despite having the American soccer world to itself over the summer, I can't imagine the availability of better quality soccer will make them any better.

Sour grapes over the second-class status of my preferred league as Americans scurry to throw themselves at the alter of the England? Sure, and I admit it. The easy counter is that more of us would care about MLS over anything going on in England if MLS was better. Which leads to me to note that MLS won't get better until more people care. It's a chicken-and-egg dilemma, and no wonder the league is stepping out of their financial-restraint box to bring in names like Henry and Marquez. Until MLS smacks people across the face with their product, some will just never acknowledge its existence.

I'm guessing this is the first European club season for many people who jumped on the USA bandwagon during the World Cup. Maybe they were aware in the past, but finally decided to really dive into the game post-South Africa. Will they forsake the intimate gathering in their own backyard to join the neighbor's glitzy gala up the street? If it's true that Americans only care about the biggest and best (something I don't totally buy) then they'll go running for the Prem. They'll jump into "pick a team" waters and thrash around until they predictably grab onto one of the Big Four. Apparently it's a rule that Americans must arbitrarily choose an English club to attach themselves to in order to enjoy the league.

I blame Bill Simmons.

Me, I watch for American players in England, the occasional big game, and because it's on TV when nothing else is. I care much more about MLS, and with the playoff race heating up, I know the American competition will be more compelling than early season games in England. Until November, anything happening in Europe will be mostly an afterthought. I expect that I'm solidly in the minority with that thinking.

While I'm here, I might as well make a prediction, just for the hell of it. Who's good in England again? Oh, right.

1. Manchester United
2. Arsenal
3. Chelsea
4. Manchester City

I more or less chose those teams randomly from the five or six that have a legitimate shot at the top four. Should be another exciting status quo year in the best league in the world.

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