Dundee, Scotland, May 31 | In our second podcast, Billy Kay, author of The Scottish World, recalls Scotland’s influence on the worldwide spread and ultimate dominance of the passing, artistic style of association football. Scotland will not let England forget that “it wes us.”
Nationwide parliamentary elections have lifted Scottish nationalists, for the first time, into a plurality of seats in the Scottish Assembly at Holyrood. Did feelings for the Scotland football team, made explicit in the lusty terrace singing of “Flower of Scotland,” play a role?
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.
FIFA may have its Golden Boot, but notable performances at the 2006 World Cup finals were not confined to the pitch. We present our awards in musical, advertising and website categories, including an homage to our favorite tonsured French footballer.
Seoul | We are unable to determine exactly what actions constitute the kkokjijeom, the “vertex dance” consisting of “simple, repetitive rhythmic movements” with which South Koreans will be supporting their side during the World Cup finals. Dancers have assembled across the country, outside the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Mar 1 before a friendly against Angola, to demonstrate its addictive qualities.
Part 2 of the diary finally arrives, featuring evenings at Upton Park and Highbury. At Upton Park, home to West Ham United, we fake a Cockney accent and most of the words to “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” Besides this, we learn what literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin might have to say about our zest for football chants.
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago | In an editorial, the Trinidad Express refers to the ongoing debate as a “squall in a thimble.” A letter to the paper on Jan 7 raised the possibility of changing the national team’s nickname to the “Soca-Chutney Warriors,” with the aim of recognizing the East Indian–influenced, Caribbean-based chutney pop-folk style as [...]
Matthews, North Carolina | Thistle & Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie paid tribute to the late Kirsty MacColl as well as football-themed lyrics by airing the late singer-songwriter’s “England 2 Colombia 0” in show no. 1180 this past weekend. The tune from the one-time punk rocker, who died in a diving accident in Cozumel in 2000, describes an ill-destined love [...]
Leipzig, Germany | The city of Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach and, for a time, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe hosts the World Cup draw on Friday, and locals are getting in the swing. Supermodel Heidi Klum has been pictured during screen tests in advance of the Ping Pong–ball plucking that will occur. Two days of rehearsal [...]
London | Farayi Mungazi of BBC Sport worries about Sepp Blatter‘s recent suggestion about banning pre-game national anthems from international football. On the idea that FIFA could commission a generic anthem, in accord with that presaging UEFA Champions League fixtures, Mungazi writes that “[n]ot only do I beg to sing a different tune, but I would [...]
Zurich | Sepp Blatter, for once, may be on to something. In the latest of his open-mike brainstorming sessions, the FIFA chief, disturbed by booing during anthems in the Turkey–Switzerland and other World Cup qualifying playoffs, has suggested eliminating the pre-game rituals. “We should at least consider not playing them,” Blatter told Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte [...]
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago | Leave it to Trinis to tie their first trip to the World Cup finals to musical expression. The lead story in the Express on Nov 17 invoked relevant lyrics from Lord Kitchener (née Aldwyn Roberts), who in “Mas in Germany” (1973) sang I am heading to the North Guess where? Up in [...]
Manama, Bahrain | “Reggae has been to the World Cup, samba has been to the World Cup—now it’s soca time.” So says an announcer on Trinidadian radio, as reported by blogger Nicholas Laughlin. Six-foot-seven defender Dennis Lawrence could take credit for both of Trinidad & Tobago’s goals in the World Cup–qualifying tie with Bahrain. His second-half header [...]