Houston | Comments posted on a Houston Chronicle web log—all by English-speakers, mind you—ran strongly negative following the announcement earlier today that the Major League Soccer club would be called “Dynamo.” In a change of marketing strategies, club officials scratched “Houston 1836″ following protests that the name recalled the ugly secession of Texas from Mexico […]
Global Game Wallpaper 26 Originally uploaded by GlobalGame. Highbury at night, Arsenal v. Wigan Athletic, Carling Cup, semifinal, 2nd leg, 24 January 2006. With quote from Bob Ferrier, “Underground to Highbury.” Copyright © 2006 JZ Editing & Publishing.
Global Game Wallpaper 25 Originally uploaded by GlobalGame. London royalty | At the Brick Lane market on 22 January 2006, hawkers traffic in knock-off images, some incorporating Premiership players and logos. Copyright © 2006 JZ Editing & Publishing.
Nairobi | Photographer John Barrett Reed traveled in 2005 to the Mathare Valley slums on the eastern edge of Kenya’s capital, hoping to provide new images of Africa for Western audiences who may have become desensitized. He concentrates his lens and writing on a slice of Mathare, home to 600,000 squatters, and uncovers the organic quality of football as […]
Tokyo | It would have made a better first-round game in soccer’s World Cup. But in baseball, Japan versus China—a pairing that today helped launch the first World Baseball Classic—resulted in an 18–2 thrashing administered by the home side. Soccer, and the world-embracing success of the quadrennial World Cup finals, has motivated Major League Baseball’s attempt to “internationalize the sport,” according to […]
Los Angeles | Fresh off receiving an honorary All-America award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, late-night comedy host Jon Stewart (née Leibowitz) continues to soak up the glitz. On Sunday he will emcee the 78th awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Unlike the NSCAA gala, the Academy Awards will […]
Ashbourne, England | Brendan Harwood, born south of the River Henmore in this Derbyshire town, goaled a ceremonial, cork-filled ball for the Down’ards at 2130 GMT today to complete a Shrovetide Tuesday football match that some believe has been contested annually for more than 1,000 years. A second match with the Up’ards takes place tomorrow, Ash […]
Miami | Eyes turn toward Brazil when considering links between football and the pre-Lenten season. Rio and São Paulo clubs exist symbiotically with samba schools that parade to the sambadrome during the Rio Carnaval. Yet a recent article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel makes even clearer, from talking with expatriate Brazilians in Miami, the strong […]
London | Some might object that Monty Python’s Personal Best, airing in six installments in February and March on the Public Broadcasting Service, merely provides another money-making rehash for the famed comedy troupe. But the installment hosted by Eric Idle at least offers the classic Python Olympiad, featuring the second-leg football final in Munich between […]
Ladipo Lagos, Nigeria, and Cairo | The BBC credits Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo with ordering an airlift of some 170 Super Eagles supporters, marooned in Cairo for 15 days following the African Cup of Nations. Thirty-five of the supporters from the Nigerian Football Supporters Club arrived in Lagos earlier today, with the rest to follow. […]
London and Manchester, England | Even with Roy Keane‘s northward move from Manchester United to Parkhead in Glasgow, he remains a compelling dramatis persona. His fiery exit from the Republic of Ireland camp at the 2002 World Cup finals has inspired several tragi-comic renderings, all set in ancient Rome. Irish playwright Colin Teevan last year performed a […]
London | In advance of today’s first-leg Champions League encounter between Chelsea and Barcelona, Oxford don Peter Conrad shames even our ABC (“Anyone but Chelsea”) sensibilities by branding manager Jose Mourinho a dictator, technocrat and marketing shill (see also 22 Dec 05). Conrad’s assessment does not occur in the sports section but as a splash […]
Soldotna, Alaska | Tired of getting clobbered by teams from southern Canada, the Northwest Territories and Yukon in the late 1960s decided they needed a circumpolar alternative to the Canada Winter Games. The Arctic Winter Games began in 1970 and incorporate games of the Inuit, such as head pull, airplane and high kick, and Dena (snow snake and other games), along with Olympic winter sports and basketball, volleyball, table tennis and indoor soccer.
Berlin | A provocative sketch by Der Tagesspiegel cartoonist Klaus Stuttmann, depicting Iranian footballers strapped with explosives, has thrown Germany into the imbroglio over caricatures seen as anti-Islamic. Stuttmann has abandoned his apartment following death threats; an image on the cartoonist’s home page shows him cowering beneath a manhole cover. Violence stemming from the images of […]
Rome | Paolo Di Canio and Lazio teammates abided yesterday by the request of Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni to meet with Nazi death-camp survivors. Three survivors addressed the players at Michelangelo‘s Piazza del Campidoglio; afterward, Di Canio sounded contrite, saying “we heard the stories of people who went through something terrible.” Although still attached to right-wing […]
Berlin | At least seven entries can be added as examples of world cinema’s interest in football (see our cinema page). All are currently screening at the Berlinale, the 56th Berlin International Film Festival. Gerd Graus, media chief of the German World Cup organizing committee, describes cultural connection with the sport as broad. The last […]
Glasgow, Scotland | It is a long time to wait for a souvenir. The Scottish Football Association announced Feb 8 that it was reversing earlier policy and granting caps—an actual braided, tasselled hat, bearing the player’s name, date and opponent—to players who competed for Scotland in matches outside the British International Championship (see Dec 26). Players such as Hibernian’s Eddie Turnbull, […]
Turin, Italy | The torch of the 20th Winter Olympiad began its last-day descent from Superga Basilica, acknowledging a tragic component of city history before being transported to the rechristined Stadio Comunale north of the Torrente Sangone. On 4 May 1949 a plane carrying 18 members of “Il Grande Torino,” four-time winners of the Scudetto, crashed […]
Cairo | The Pharaohs triumphed on penalties in the African Cup of Nations today, yet both Egypt and Ivory Coast could point to the final’s cultural signifiers. Football has been credited in the past, sometimes erroneously, with sparking international hostility or bringing peace. The Elephants’ advance in this tournament lays claim to the latter, with southern […]
Manchester, England, and Tampa, Florida | It’s not too often that America’s premier literary weekly includes the following assessment of spectatorship in the English Premier League: “The place is wank now. Too controlled, all seating, sensible, middle class shite.” But these words from an anonymous Manchester United supporter form part of the 6,300 words that […]