Archive for June, 2006

Trove to treasure | Marañón’s ‘Fútbol y cine’ makes marriage work between film and soccer

Fútbol y cine: El balompié en la gran pantalla (Football and film: The soccer ball on the big screen) represents the most striking book on football—on any subject—to come across our desk in some time. Which speaks volumes, because the text by Navarre native Carlos Marañón is in Spanish—traditional for books published in Spain—and his coveted spot for top football film goes to Victory (1981), the John Huston–directed star vehicle in which goalkeeper Sylvester Stallone has to be told where to stand on corner kicks.

Lure of the local | Passionate postmortems for the USA

Englewood, Florida | On holiday, near the one-time home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League and Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer, soccer and, specifically, the 2006 World Cup finals did not seem misplaced. Wait staff at a Tampa International Airport tavern did not object to tuning to the U.S.–Czech Republic in the first round, as long as you were stuffing your face with mahi-mahi. Others waiting for a lull in Tropical Storm Alberto set up camp, murmuring as the goals rained into the U.S. net.

Brush with round leather worlds | Football arts in the American South

Decatur, Georgia | Rare is the time when we can write from our own town about cultural happenings related to football. But the World Cup arts program has seeped into even this sweltering corner of the all-encompassing FIFA universe. The Vinson Gallery on 8 June inaugurated a showing of the 14 official art posters commissioned for the finals. […]

Global voices | Intriguing stories, beyond FIFA’s control

Cambridge, Massachusetts | We long ago realized the value of Global Voices Online, the Harvard University–based project that sorts and translates Web logs worldwide, but its ability to circumvent the predictability of mass media makes it a must-read during the World Cup finals. The writing lacks a high gloss but shows the integrity of individuals, […]

Football’s island charm | Brian Ching, Oahu and how Hawai‘i gained a World Cup spot

Haleiwa, Hawai‘i | Our fascination with football on islands continues, this time with good reason. Brian Ching has become the first Hawaiian to suit up for the U.S. national team and appears certain to appear in the World Cup finals in Germany.

Women’s soccer haze | Even with World Cup rush, sex always gets headlines

Evanston, Illinois | We had intended to let this one lie, but a recent posting from Newsweek columnist Mark Starr on the hazing scandal affecting the Northwestern University women’s soccer team made us reconsider. The actions of the players depicted on a vigilante-style website intended to document misbehavior among athletes cross all boundaries of decency. Yet the “girls gone wild” approach that male sports writers have taken in discussing the incident indicates more of a prurient interest in women athletes and their sex lives than genuine concern with misdeeds.

Armenian activist | Eskandarian strikes blow against an athletic cliché

Washington | “A 23-year-old professional athlete with a social conscience. What gives?” So asks Mike Wise of the Washington Post in his profile of D.C. United forward Alecko Eskandarian. The statement troubles both for what it says about the inner lives of athletes as well as about the assumptions of sports writers, who often lack time […]

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