Category: History

Wor(l)ds for football | From ‘ball-coise’ to ‘kaduregel’ to ‘voetbal’

A long explanation for why we include “socca’ ” and “socker” on our newest T-shirt offering.

Don’t smoke ’em if you got ’em | Coming ban in England stadia another blow to terrace nostalgia

London, Mar 16 | Any traces of the UK terrace culture after which nostalgists now pine may be snuffed out permanently as of Jul 1, at 6 a.m., when a nationwide public smoking ban comes into force.

Protected: In Scotland’s Valley of the Rule, searching for modern soccer’s carnival roots

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Mind over rattan | In a meld of meditation and footvolley, the Burmese excel

Doha, Qatar, Jan 3 | In the family tree of football variants, cuju begat chinlone begat sepak raga begat sepak takraw.

While this genealogy may be speculative—less formalized and less freighted than that in the first chapter of Matthew—the importance is that the stylized kickball game of imperial China has found expression in the modern era.

Ahmet Ertegun and Lamar Hunt | Adding spice, foreign and domestic, to American soccer

Istanbul, Dec 20 | New York Times popular-music critic Jon Pareles refers in the opening paragraph of his appreciation to the “sheer improbability” of Ahmet Ertegün‘s career.

A reading of Ertegün’s life, even a superficial reading, demonstrates the often covert international influences on seemingly indigenous American art forms—on soul music and rhythm and blues, in Ertegün’s case—and on American soccer. The late Lamar Hunt, too, sought to bring the international spice of football to the U.S. sportscape.

Magnum opus | From Charlton to Cantona, book charts a Devilish history

Manchester, England, Dec 15 | The Independent calls them “£imited editions.” These are books seeking the reverence once granted the Gutenberg Bible, instant collectibles demanding coffee tables with reinforced legs.

The latest megabook publicity splash concerns the Manchester United Opus, nearly 80 lbs of silk-coated pages with a base price of £3,000.

Hungary | Ferenc Puskás dies, aged 79

Articles on the death of Ferenc Puskás at 79; Hugo Sánchez‘s first statements as coach of Mexico; Ligo Revelacion in Decatur, Alabama; a grumpy columnist in Israel; and another study on sectarianism in Scottish football.

Mundane observations | In ‘Worktown,’ games of chance, snapshots in time

Bolton, England | A New Yorker article by Caleb Crain has peaked our interest in the Mass-Observation phenomenon and its relationship to football in Britain. Near the top of Crain’s treatment, “Anthropology of football pools” appears, tucked between “The aspidistra cult” and “Bathroom behaviour,” as one of the potential objects of study.

Documenting the passed | ‘Cane ball’ trapped on celluloid

Mandalay, Burma, Apr 20 | Dry dispatches announcing chinlone tournaments appear occasionally in the New Light of Myanmar, the mouthpiece of Burma’s military regime.

The terse pronouncements show that despite the political and economic torpor and the governing junta’s Orwellian logic—the capital recently was relocated from Rangoon based partly on the forecasts of astrologers—a taste for the beauties of “cane ball” remains.

Slide tackles | Football proceeds on ice, in the name of research

Halley Research Station, Antarctica (U.K. claim) | The Kansas City Star shirks no continents in a summary of how world cultures will be captivated by the forthcoming World Cup finals. An e-mail exchange with Simon Herniman, general assistant at the British Antarctic Survey’s most isolated station, confirms that radio and Internet will aid researchers as they track England matches as well as the rest of the competition.

At home and away | With march, migrants seek space on foreign field

Decatur, Alabama | Until hundreds of thousands marched yesterday, it had become hard to piece together isolated movements from such places as Janesville, Wisconsin; Liberal, Kansas; Bowling Green, Kentucky; San Angelo, Texas; and Dalton, Georgia. These are small to mid-sized locales featured in recent media reports for burgeoning Hispanic populations and for the development of local, ethnically based soccer leagues.

The Turnbull connection | An ancestry of passing acquaintance

Listening to Scottish-football broadcasts over the Internet—a new season in the Bank of Scotland Scottish Premier League starts on 30 July—puts us in mind of ancestry and separation.

Jamaica | Spreading Ja love from the left wing

Bob Marley‘s connections with football have been well-documented. He played as a midfielder, usually on the left. These associations are worth considering at Marley’s 60th birthday celebrations in Addis Ababa.

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