The North London Derby: An American Spurs fan’s pilgrimage to White Hart Lane

“Mostly due to the lack of an American television presence, my relationship with Tottenham Hotspur remained limited to the video game sphere for seven years, until August 18, 2013. Even the most devoted Spurs supporter would be hard-pressed to give you details about that day—a rather boring 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the season opener—but for me, it exists like a B.C./A.D. divider for my fandom: everything before that date is pre-obsession, and everything after is tinted in club colors, blue and white.” Fusion (Video)


What Is Brussels?

“What is Brussels? The images of Tuesday’s attacks are of a city in transit, a crowded metro and a bustling airport, banal sites of everyday movement—now turned into spaces of death. The city is much less legible and familiar than Paris. We learn of fragments of its geography—an immigrant neighborhood called Molenbeek and downtown subway station called Maelbeek—but what connects them? Brussels is many things at once: the de facto capital of the European Union, a contested site in the long-running conflict between Dutch- and French-speaking groups, and a city of immigrants, remarkably cosmopolitan and diverse—a crossroads of histories and conflicts. The city is a place, but we should also think of it as a project: imperfect, unfinished, but essential.” Slate – Laurent Dubois

Leicester City phenomenon sparks all kinds of stories, inspiration

“How great is the Leicester City underdog story? Well, let’s just say that a four-day visit to the East Midlands—aka, the center of the soccer universe, circa 2016—can produce multiple stories that restore your faith in the inspirational power of sports. This much is fact: If Leicester City can hold onto its Premier League lead—currently at five points with seven games to go—it will be the greatest season-long surprise champion in the history of professional team sports. Remember, Leicester was a 5,000-to-1 shot to win the Premier League before the season, roughly the same odds of a No. 15 seed winning the NCAA basketball tournament (which, obviously, has never happened).” SI

The Current State of the Crimean Premier League

“Last week marked the two-year anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Football clubs and its fans were also deeply impacted by this event, and within one year all three major clubs Tavriya Simferopol, FK Sevastopol, and the lesser-known Zhemchuzhina Yalta had to declare bankruptcy, and were dissolved, later to re-emerge as new clubs that could participate in the Russia football pyramid. These new clubs TSK (Tavriya Simferopol Crimea) Simferopol, SK Chernomorskogo Flota (SKChF) Sevastopol, and Zhemchuzhina Yalta played a handful of games in the third-tier Russian Professional Football League. On August 22, 2014 the UEFA Emergency Panel stated “that any football matches played by Crimean clubs organised under the auspices of the Russian Football Union (RFU) will not be recognised by UEFA until further notice.” The clubs were then disbanded.” Futbolgrad

Life’s a Pitch for Leo Messi

“Pitch concerns increase for Leo Messi as Suarez promises no return to naughty corner. Although Barcelona have a cushion at the top of La Liga that could comfortably house the most impressive of posteriors, the Catalan club will still be fretting and fussing outside football’s school gates as they drop their MSN at the rough-and-tough daycare that is the international break. Perhaps the biggest worry is over Leo Messi who has a fairly tough battle against Chile on Thursday night, followed by a clash in Cordoba against Bolivia on a pitch that looks a little like a post-apocalyptic cabbage patch.” Bein

Consolidation and Cup Finals

“How does one top arguably the greatest night in the history of the club? The answer was twofold for many Liverpool fans: keep Steven Gerrard and mount another genuine title challenge. The former would be ultimately successful; although it looked for a spell as if it would end with the captain jumping ship to Chelsea, Gerrard’s genuine love for the club overcame his demons of self-doubt. The latter – attempting to wrest the Premier League from the Londoners and Manchester United – would be infinitely more challenging and it would take a few years of tweaking and consolidation before a genuine title tilt would become a reality.” Tomkins Times