Don’t call them WAGs | Readings for 16 November 2006

Dick, Kerr’s Ladies of Preston began playing in 1917 and continued through 1965, winning 758 of 828 games.

London | Following Luton Town manager Mike Newell‘s criticisms of female referees, Denise Winterman recaps 111 years of women’s football in England. This history dates to the first recorded match at Crouch End Athletic Ground in north London in March 1895 and features women in much more active roles than that of WAG (wife and girlfriend). “The really sad thing is that women in football only make the headlines when some man has made a sexist comment,” notes Marianne Spacey, a former England international. (BBC News Magazine, 14 Nov 06)

England | Everyone’s going conkers

Image by Luke MacGregor | Reuters

“Conkers”

Edginess about “conkers”—the 200-year-old tradition of dueling chestnuts, in quest of schoolyard superiority—has created a backlash from those who fear that an “antirisk culture” is stifling childish fun. Conn Iggulden‘s Dangerous Book for Boys advises how to win at conkers and football, “as well as how to skip rocks across water and experiment on insects,” writes Brendan O’Neill. (Christian Science Monitor, 14 Nov 06)

Australia | Our Aloisi anniversary and the world has come to the party

One year since John Aloisi‘s penalty kick lifted Australia over Uruguay into the World Cup finals, a move into the Asian confederation and boosts to grassroots soccer have helped position the game relative to other domestic football codes. Before success in Germany over the summer, “Australia was greeted in the corridors of power in much the same way that, say, Romania would be greeted in rugby union—with polite, well-meaning condescension,” writes Aaron Timms. “Now, Australia counts for something.” (Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Nov 06)

Theater | ‘A Night in November’

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