Author Archive

The day that Samuel Pepys did not play football

The day that Samuel Pepys did not play football

In the whirl of 17th-century London life, diarist Samuel Pepys had too many appointments to indulge in the well-established practice of street soccer. But, one frosty morn in Jan 1665, he notices a street “full of footballs.”

Cleats of many nations now rooted in Georgia clay

Cleats of many nations now rooted in Georgia clay

Liberated from apartments outside Atlanta, 75 kids play in a Martin Luther King Day soccer tournament. Local nonprofits use soccer to help children from warring countries, whether Angola or Burma or Sudan, adjust. With video (8:39) »

Northern latitudes helped make Marta a player of Sol importance

Northern latitudes helped make Marta a player of Sol importance

Marta Vieira da Silva, 22, announces that she will leave her home of five years—Umeå, Sweden, the northern coastal city that nurtured her game and personality but that could not keep her from the bigger world. With timeline and podcast »

‘The negotiation was long and difficult,’ says Farah of creating Marta’s LA story

Drawing primarily from online sources in Brazil and Sweden (links provided), our timeline summarizes some three months of negotiations over Marta Vieira da Silva‘s Jan 09 transfer to Los Angeles Sol.

USA | Taking a second chance at building women's premier league

USA | Taking a second chance at building women’s premier league

The Atlanta Beat’s successors announce their ambition to join Women’s Professional Soccer in 2010—a second, perhaps final, chance to give professional women’s football a foothold in North America.

Israeli writers' trophy leads to 'emptiness of the day after'

Israeli writers’ trophy leads to ‘emptiness of the day after’

Assaf Gavron, captain of the Israeli writers’ XI (see 9 Dec 08), regards football as a legitimate literary subject: “The main appeal is to accomplish the boyhood dream of many men really, not only writers. It is to be a football star.” With podcast »

For 3 days in Tel Aviv, football becomes more than metaphor

As part of a broader cultural exchange, Israel hosts an international Writers’ League tournament, including England and Germany, from Dec 14–16. A side of Israeli authors reprises a May friendly against Germany in Berlin, during which novelist Assaf Gavron confirmed his intuition that Germans do not miss penalties. (Dec 12)

Global Game YouTube™ channel

We offer a separate YouTube™ channel featuring video previews for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press) as well as miscellany, including pre-game pomp from a 1978 friendly between Cuba and the Chicago Sting in Havana.

Earlier films appear on the Yahoo! Jumpcut channel. (Nov 26)

USA | Sarah Palin, ‘soccer mom’ at a new frontier

Oct 19 | Soccer moms have existed in North America at least since mixed-gender indigenous football games early in the 17th century. Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has stalked caribou but says we must look to the soccer sidelines to find the real America.

Brazil | Marta's story deserves to be told, but who deserves to tell it?

Brazil | Marta’s story deserves to be told, but who deserves to tell it?

A package of articles published Oct 5 on Brazilian Web portal Terra details the unique pressures facing Diego Graciano in promoting his biography of sensational 22-year-old Marta Vieira da Silva (see earlier articles, Sept 15 and 12 Sept 07). (Oct 13)

In Atlanta, spreading soccer contagion at parade rest

In Atlanta, spreading soccer contagion at parade rest

Ron Newman helped build the U.S. game, calling on carpentry skills to construct goalposts out of discarded building materials. In Atlanta in 1967, he jumped off a Memorial Day float and kicked a ball to youngsters. With podcast »

Books | Born in ‘invisible town,’ Marta gains life in visible ink

Diego Graciano makes clear in the title of his biography the nature of Marta’s struggle. Você é mulher, Marta! (You Are a Woman, Marta!) alludes to Marta’s mother’s reply when, as a girl, Marta asked her for a real ball.

Islands | America’s internationalists have ‘a vague idea’ of Cuban life

Watching the Sept 6 World Cup qualifier between the United States and Cuba, at Pedro Marrero Stadium in Havana, offered a glimpse into the fierce inequities within the CONCACAF region. (Sept 7)

Cinema | A soccer player's escape from Argentina ... into philosophy

Cinema | A soccer player’s escape from Argentina … into philosophy

Claudio Tamburrini—philosophy professor and former goalkeeper—speaks about his Mar 1978 decision to “opt for life” and escape an Argentine prison. With podcast »

Media | What’s that echo? Gary Smith, on the Fugees

Long-form Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smith again has applied his odd epistemology to soccer (“Alive and Kicking,” Jun 23). In 8,000 words, he writes passionately in his familiar mode of author-vacated all-knowing about the Fugees of Clarkston, Georgia—ground already well plowed by Warren St. John of the New York Times (see 25 Jan 07). (Jun 19)

Iran | In clothing meant to conceal, football becomes ‘a means of fighting’

Toward the end of a Jun 17 National Public Radio interview, Marlene Assmann of BSV Al-Dersimspor discloses that her multicultural Kreuzberg side from Berlin again will brave Islamic strictures for a second friendly match in Iran.

In 1937 appearance, Joyce joined Hungarians ‘in the middle’

Why has a 1937 alignment of literary stars not featured in Vienna in the European Championship’s cultural program? Vladimir Nabokov lectures in a Parisian literary salon and espies James Joyce “sitting, arms folded and glasses glinting, in the midst of the Hungarian football team.”

Canada | Far west of the Carpathians, Ukraine unites

Football universes exist in parallel. Such was the case in May 08 when Ukraine United and Shakhtar played a friendly, not in the motherland, but on an artificial pitch at Ontario Soccer Centre.

Grassroots | A big day for Haiti, a big day for little Haitians

Miami | Haiti past, present and future came together early in May on an urban oasis in Little Haiti. After 10 years of negotiation and bureaucratic delay, a rare inner-city, full-sized pitch opened on what was industrial ground north of downtown. With multimedia and podcast »

Ukraine | Near Chernobyl, the ‘football forest’ designed to radiate life

Twenty-two years ago, more than 1,000 buses commandeered from Kyiv rumbled north toward the company town of Pripyat to evacuate its 50,000 residents. By sunset on 27 Apr 1986, as Chernobyl reactor no. 4 burned, in one soldier’s recollection, like a “beautiful blue fire,” the town was empty.

Left behind in the silence: a newly built football stadium sitting just to the north of a bright yellow Ferris wheel, a gift from Soviet authorities in commemoration of the upcoming May Day holiday.

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