Fans of English Premier League teams have some advice for newcomers on how… (Getty Images )
Most fans have some geographical connection to the teams they root for.
Whether you grew up near a major city, went to a certain school or had family in that particular town, it's rare to find someone who simply picked their favorite team out of a hat.
Of course, unless you grew up in England or have family there, chances are you're starting from scratch when it comes to the English Premier League.
So how does one pick a favorite team? Longtime EPL fans advise against tossing your hat in with the front-runner. And they have plenty of other advice.
GO WITH YOUR GUT
"There's no rules for it," said Louis Uhler, a 25-year-old Chelsea supporter and North Center resident. "Whatever crazy thing makes you like it. Maybe it's one player, maybe it's a jersey, maybe it's the stadium, maybe it's the city. Don't force it. Just be pure and whatever crazy thing you want, like it."
GET ALL THE INFORMATION
"What you should really do is watch a lot of games," added Denny Watkins, a 35-year-old Tottenham Hotspur supporter and Andersonville resident. "Watch all the teams play. There might be an individual player that you latch on to or identify with, there might be a team where there's just something about them that you like."
POLL YOUR FRIENDS
"Go talk to your friends who are currently supporting a club and ask where do you watch, because when you get to watch a game with people who are really dedicated fans, that's when you start to witness the experience of being a part of it," said Alex Conner, a 28-year-old Manchester United supporter and Wrigleyville resident.
"Pick an EPL team that reflects you," said Joe Thomlinson, a third generation Tottenham fan and 34-year-old Roscoe Village resident. "Don't pick somebody that's popular."
TAKE YOUR TIME
Katherine Rupp, a 27-year-old Tottenham fan and Gold Coast resident, said it's best to take your time just like you would with any long-term relationship. Once you're in, you're in.
"You don't have to be a fast fan right away," she said. "Just kind of feel it out. If you don't like that team, don't commit right away. Once you're committed, you're committed for life, in my opinion."
Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.