I've detailed before my reason for following Newcastle. It is, admittedly, a weak connection. I chose them because Bill Simmons did not and have from that day forth loved Newcastle United and taken a sick pleasure whenever Tottenham loses. I think it boils down to my "don't pick a bandwagon team" mentality, which I have followed either by nature (growing up a Seattle fan in everything), by circumstance (beginning to follow the NHL's Vancouver Canucks before they became good), or by luck of the draw (I base my fandom of the Parramatta Eels down in Australia's NRL on their name, then they got Jarryd Hayne and it sealed the deal) to the letter in all but two choices, one of which (AFL's Essendon) isn't as good as they once were.
In short, I love a lot of teams, most of them mediocre, but no matter what David Hirshey says, I have no room in the inn for Fulham.
I don't hate Fulham. They're the club that signs Americans for the most part. So, good on ya, Cottagers. I wish more Americans could break into the Premier League, or would go over there in the first place (looking at you, Mr. Donovan) and those that do make it into the Prem, I support. Though I think there's a difference between wanting Clint Dempsey to do well at Craven Cottage and supporting Fulham. Hey, I like watching Aaron Rogers play quarterback, but I'm not a Packers fan. The main reason why I don't understand Hirshey's point that Fulham is or should be everyone's second favorite team is that European soccer has so much more to offer than just the English Premier League. Sure, the English competition is the top dog, but why sell soccer fans short of some of the action going on in Spain and Italy? I think Grantland did feature Lazio (while not mentioning the....extreme vices of some of its fans, ESPN in general does a poor job of covering European soccer outside of England. Which is why I'm excited about what the future will bring for SB Nation. I'm awaiting an AC Milan blog (my other break from non-bandwagon teams) so I can kill even more time on a blog devoted to one of my favorite clubs (head on over to Sounder at Heart for the other!) I'm not holding my breath for a Dundee United (wanted a Scottish team that wasn't Celtic or Rangers) or Hannover 96 (hosted an exchange student from Hannover once who gave me a team scarf) blog to pop up soon, but I wouldn't be all that surprised if an SPL and Bundesliga blog pops up in the next year or two (much like SBN's FMF State of Mind covering the Mexican League). I have grown fond of my teams that I have chosen to follow for the most random of reasons, and am always grateful to find communities to be a part of. I think because of its set up, SBN is in a unique position to bring soccer fans the news of clubs in Europe's other leagues. I look forward to seeing the network grow. Now, if you excuse me, I have to pick a J-League team.