An American Voice in the World’s Game

July 24, 2009

View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds, c. 1670- 1675. Jacob van Ruisdael
“In the United States, there are as many opinions about soccer announcers as there are cable outlets — and, in the view of many, nobody has a clue. For many, a British accent is a prerequisite for membership in the club and Americans simply need not apply. The Spanish-language practitioners make things sound exciting (Gooooooooooool!) for many monolingual folks, but most of their commentary is overwrought, bombastic and borderline unlistenable.” (NYT)

United pull an Arsenal, Gerrard case shines light on Liverpool fans and lots more (Soccer Lens)
“As we amble through the ‘most amazing transfer season ever’, drunk on the memories of the ‘closest title race ever’ from last season and looking forward to what surely must be ‘the most exciting Premier League season ever’, it’s easy to miss the trees for the forest – or the blinding neon light that is 24/7/365 football.”

ThreeMatchBan Top 10: Facial Hair (Three Match Ban)
“Players today are often well groomed with a pop-star fashion sense and a mahogany tan, with the possible exception of the heavily stubbled Roy Keane. However facial hair was a popular accessory not so long back and was sported with pride by some of the biggest names in the game and also some of the lesser names too.”

Those We Have Lost: Southbury Road, Enfield (twohundredpercent)
“This piece is the first of a series of articles intended as personal recollections of some of our lost football grounds. Should you wish to contribute to this series, please feel free to email us via the ‘Contact’ page, which is linked at the top of this page. The first piece in this series takes a fond look back at Southbury Road, the late, lamented home of Enfield Football Club.”

Offside Sound Off: Which Retired Player from the Last 10 Years Would You Like to See Make a Comeback? (The Offside)
“Colombian striker Antony de Ávila (aka El Pitufo or The Smurf, as he’s 5′3″ small) is coming out of retirement. Nothing so unusual about that… except that de Ávila retired a full 10 years ago at the already advanced age (for a footballer) of 36.”

Cover Your Ears! Vuvuzela World Record Attempt Tonight (World Cup Blog)
“The Confederations Cup is over. And the 2010 World Cup is still 11 months away. But the vuvuzela stories just keep on coming. First there was Austria banning the little plastic horns for some very unconvincing safety reasons, and now an army of vuvuzela blowers will be making a world record attempt.”