I've been seeing some English and European football for the first time this year. Fox and CNN have been carrying some Premiership games a week delayed and also they carried one match per week of the UEFA Champions League. I've been enjoying them a lot. I am not a fan of basketball, so the English and EU football seasons has been filling the sports void between the end of the US NFL and MLB seasons.
So, I see from various on-line sources that the FA Cup is being played soon. What is it? I know the FA is the Football Association, but beyond that, what decides the teams to play? Man Utd vs Arsenal sounds like the top two from last year's Premiership but my memory is a bit hazy on that. But it sounds a bit strange to someone familiar with US customs: why not let this year's top teams play against each other?
I've looked for a decent FAQ that could help a newbie understand what all the darn championships/cups are in UK and Europe, but haven't found one, so I'd appreciate a link to one if you have one.
I realize all sportscasts presume a knowledge of the game and the teams. I more or less know the rules of the game (they aren't all that hard, are they?) but I don't know much about the teams. For instance, all the teams seem to have one or more nicknames. How can I get up to speed on the lingo?
What are some of your favorite links for keeping up with the happenings of the game? Keep in mind I haven't developed much if any attachment to any particular team, so I'd like to find one that covers the sport broadly.