Monthly Archives: June 2013

Does Brazil Hate Football?

Brazil is hosting the Confederations Cup, an eight-team tournament that serves as a kind of warm-up for the Worldbrazil protests Cup, which kicks off in about a year. Brazil is also hosting a series of increasingly controversial demonstrations: in the last week, Brazilians have taken to the streets to protest everything from high bus fares to government corruption to the construction of football stadiums.

These protests represent a rare phenomenon: the news story that gets as much coverage in the New York Times (bastion of high-quality journalism) as on ESPN Soccernet (The Worldwide Leader in Misplaced Commas) and the BBC Sports website (employer of Alan Shearer). Football has always influenced world politics – read Simon Kuper’s Soccer Against the Enemy – but, truth be told, the Times’ hard news and ESPN’s football analysis almost never overlap. This is an unusual situation, and it’s generated some interesting contrasts.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

My Name Is Gus Johnson And I Speak American English

Two weeks ago, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund played 90 minutes of exhilarating NCAA BASKETBALL: FEB 19 Georgia at Tennesseecup-final football in front of a packed Wembley Stadium. The German fans – whom English writers often describe as “loud” and “enthusiastic,” but whose beer-drinking and flag-waving and non-stop cheering are, I’m sure, better characterized by some unwieldy German polysyllable – made a lot of noise. Jurgen Klopp performed his usual touchline gymnastics, and Arjen Robben scored a stoppage-time winner. In the gantry, a middle-aged basketball commentator shuffled his papers, consulted a color-coded pronunciation key, and told America that, “We’ve got a ballgame.”

In October 2011, Fox Sports secured US broadcasting rights for the 2018 World Cup. This news pleased approximately no one. Fox has broadcast Premier League games since the 1990s, but its coverage is widely mocked; next season, NBC will take over Fox’s Premier League rights.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,