Press & publicity

World Literature Today, May-June 2011

May 11: Ahead of the Women’s World Cup in Germany, we edit a special section of World Literature Today, “World Cup/World Lit 2011.”

Jan 11: “Full of truly fascinating articles,” says the Guardian‘s James Dart (“100 Football Blogs to Follow,” 31 Dec 10).

Jul 10: Through a syndication agreement with Common Ground News Service, Alon Raab‘s article on Palestinian football drama The Team has appeared in 28 publications and been translated into French, Arabic, Urdu and Malay.

Jul 10: Must Read Soccer names essay on goalkeepers in literature a “read of the day” (Jul 15).

Jul 10: Sarah Menkedick of references our coverage of women’s soccer in South Africa and the range of “excellent soccer stories that are frequently ignored by the mainstream sports media” (“FIFA Misses Opportunity to Fight Corrective Rape in South Africa,” Jul 1).

Jun 10: Cited by John Doyle in his World Cup–watching diary (“Goalkeepers Are Us,” Globe & Mail, Jun 15):

The American writer John Turnbull, who runs the marvelous soccer site The Global Game, has written about the symbolic significance of the soccer goalie and says, “Goalkeepers in modern times, in certain cultures, are proxies for collective identity in the way that they defend a nation’s self-conception and moral rectitude.”

The People's Game

Jun 10: Interviewed by Jennifer Doyle and Alan Minsky, The People’s Game, KPFK 90.7 FM Pacifica Radio, Los Angeles (Jun 15, link to stream). Download »

Jun 10: Interviewed by Hannah Sung, CBC Book Club (“Soccer Is a Global Game,” Jun 14).

Jun 10: Interviewed by Sophie Roell, Five Books (“John Turnbull on Soccer as a Second Language,” Jun 8).

Mar 10: Interviewed by Richard Farley, EPL Talk podcast (Mar 30). Download »

Dec 09: Interviewed by Tim Lemke, sports business reporter for The Washington Times (“Monumental Sports Year Will Connect Fans on a Global Scale,” Dec 27).

Dec 09: The site wins a bronze award from When Saturday Comes (London): “[T]his stellar North American site is still the flag bearer for the kind of in-depth football writing that has declined just as weak satire, mindless ranting and banal tweeting have risen to the fore” (Ian Plenderleith, “And the Winner Is …,” When Saturday Comes, Dec 09).

Sept 09: The Daily Telegraph (London) names the Global Game among its top 25 world sites: “[T]he thought and care put into this jewel of a site is unparalleled and I defy anyone to visit and fail to find something unknown and fascinating” (Steve Wilson, “Top 25 Football Websites,” Daily Telegraph, 22 Sept 09).

Feb 09: Nick Green at 100 Percent Soccer suggests the Global Game’s “excellent Marta profile covering her time in Sweden and eventual exit. … It’s a long piece, but well worth the time” (“Tuesday Kicks: Randolph Gone from Galaxy? (& More),” 24 Feb 09).

Jan 09: Lawrence Cann of Street Soccer USA, affiliated with the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, supports the site and the anthology (Jan 2):

If you haven’t bookmarked the Global Game on your browser, take the time to do it now. … The site gives you great access to all the culture and human spirit which frames the beautiful game we see in stadiums, on TV, and once every four years.

Jul 08: Pete McEntegart of’s “10 Spot Blog” lists Timothy Grainey‘s article on FC Indiana (Jul 18) as a top-five read in “Five at Twelve.”

Jun 08: Soccer America‘s “Around the Net” includes the article “Far West of the Carpathians, Ukraine Unites” (Jun 9) among its list of recommended daily reads (“The History of Ukrainian Soccer in Canada,” Jun 10):

The Global Game is one of the internet’s most interesting soccer sites, and specializes in the kind of full-length features that other outlets rarely bother with in the fast-moving online world of quick quotes and one-sentence paragraphs. But you should take the time to read John Turnbull’s latest piece about the Ukrainian soccer Diaspora in Canada.

May 08: In the “Weekly Howl” (May 16) from When Saturday Comes, Ian Plenderleith names The Global Game one of his “historic football websites”:

I’ve been singing the praises of this US-based site ever since it was founded over five years ago, in both WSC and other publications. Yet whenever I ask people if they ever read it, they claim they’ve never heard of it. Which just goes to show my gargantuan influence on football internet reading habits.

Apr 08: Named one of the “Top 10 Sources for Intelligent Football Coverage” by EPLTalk.

Feb 08: Nominated in the “Best Blog Design” and “Best Football Podcast” categories in the 2007 SoccerLens readers’ choice poll.

Sept 07: Gramsci’s Kingdom: Football, Politics, the World calls The Global Game “the granddaddy” of “international-culture-and-politics-of-football” weblogs and concludes that the best such sites, including Culture of Soccer and Pitch Invasion, are located in North America (“International Week and More Good Blogs,” 13 Sept 07).

Why, I wonder, do these sites not flourish in England itself? Or anywhere else? Do we North Americans just obsess more about this stuff because it’s not actually in our blood? Hmmm …

Aug–Sept 07: Rated among the seven “most intriguing blogs about the beautiful game” by Champions magazine.

Jul 07: The Mex Files links to our treatment of Estrellas de La Línea, the documentary film concerning Guatemala City sex workers and their fútbol-inspired quest for rights (“The Railroad All Stars—Mayan Women Seek Liberation through Futbol,” 22 Jul 07). Author Richard Grabman writes:

The only site I know of takes on sports as international politics is “The Global Game.” They have their work cut out for them, but manage with elegance, style and amazing scholarship to explain the world situation through the one sport most countries share.

Mar 07: Author of “Rank and Vile: Musings of an Accidental Australian” mentions the site at the beginning of a post on association football in Australia (“Australia in the Global Game … and It’s Not Soccer,” 29 Mar 07).

One of my favourite blogs ever is The Global Game. This is because while it deals nominally with Association Football, the blog is not just a blog about “Association Football” where it discusses players, tactics etc. But it uses the game to comment on politics, society and culture.

Jan 07: The blog of the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, describes The Global Game as “one of the best sources of information on the intersection of football, media and culture” (“The Global Game,” Jan 20).

Dec 06: Plenderleith, in Soccer America (“Soccer Caught in the Web,” 50–52), gives The Global Game a five-star rating (that is, out of five):

Its strength is to look at, or link to, the game as a cultural, political and often personal reflection of a world where sport is just the starting point for an enlightening insight into life’s triumphs, cruelties and creative force.

Sept 06: The weblog Two Steps from Twilight, based in Singapore, calls The Global Game “the world’s best blog on football.”

[It] is one of the few blogs anywhere on the internet that adhere and live up to the great American cultural ideals. It’s exhaustive, timeless, enthusiastic, eminently entertaining and an absolute pleasure to read. And it’s very internationalised, a refreshing change from America’s typically self-obsessed creations. With the English too busy complaining about the gentrification of football, about the need for NFL-style salary caps and sanctions on elbow-happy footballers, only an American could write the world’s best blog on football.

Jun 06: Quoted in Los Angeles Times profile by Reed Johnson (“A Smaller World with Cup Blogs,” 27 Jun 06, not available online). Along with a survey of World Cup–themed “blogs,” Johnson adds this memorable characterization of the game:

At its best, soccer (hereafter referred to, in a Benetton-like spirit of planetary harmony, as “football”), is sinuous and fluid. For all its ingenious strategizing, it’s mostly a game of spontaneous invention as it unfolds in uninterrupted 45-minute halves. It’s the athletic equivalent of stream-of-consciousness writing, and its all-time greatest artists—Garrincha, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, George Best—practically scribbled “Finnegans Wake” in the sod with their cleats.

May 06: Site named among the “Top Ten Sources” for the 2006 World Cup finals.

Sept 05: Grant Wahl of names The Global Game among the best XI U.S. soccer sites.

Jan 05: The following excerpt is reprinted, with permission, from When Saturday Comes, the “half-decent football magazine” based in the U.K. Started in Mar 1986 in the wake of the disaster at Heysel, “the aim … has always been to provide a voice for intelligent football fans,” states a website blurb. This should give special credence to Plenderleith’s review below, published in his regular column, “On the Web” (“Better from America,” Sept 03, p. 40). In Jan 05, Plenderleith named the site one of the magazine’s “Festive Twenty” based on a readership survey of sites featured in his column over the preceding five years. Much about the site’s format has changed over time, but the ambitions remain the same:

There has rarely been an online fanzine as densely but superbly presented as The Global Game, the monthly brainchild of Georgia-based American journalist John Turnbull. Available in browser or Adobe Acrobat format, the four-page journal combines excellent writing and anecdotal wit to present new angles on the game, and thoroughly researched links to places you would never otherwise find.

Issue six (issue seven, a Women’s World Cup special, was due out mid-August) covers the distractions of playing youth football while Zeppelins hover overhead, a revealing story from a writer on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about his struggle to have the word “football” properly used in a US paper (“No, you mean NFL. That’s not football. Please, that’s something else. That’s a travesty.”) and an analysis of the tension between the women’s and men’s game with reference to philosopher Hannah Arendt and the Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies.

The site’s main page features “Updated Media Gleanings,” an ongoing round-up of some of the more obscure stories around the world and where to find them. You might find, for example, a number of links on the Homeless World Cup in Graz, or Australian newspaper commentaries on the latest FIFA shenanigans regarding that elusive Oceania World Cup qualifying spot. (Copyright © 2003 When Saturday Comes. Used by permission.)