I moved to London from New York nearly six years ago, but every time this question comes up I still have no good answer: What’s your team?

That would be football, the British obsession I’ve assiduously avoided because it seemed, well, obsessive. I sometimes respond, "I follow restaurants not football.” That elicits a smirk or a polite "ha.” Then everyone goes back to talking footie and I’m left staring at the froth in my beer.

It’s not just a British thing. Over dinner the other day, my dining companion — a visiting American — told me he was in the country because he’d only just got a ticket for a Liverpool match at Anfield Stadium. He’d been a fan all his life and never seen the team play at home. He was ecstatic — despite a pretty desultory result for the Reds. As he and our server embarked on a spirited conversation about the sport and the standings, I focused on deboning the rather ugly fish that had just been placed on the table.