This Twisted, Convoluted World of Fandom

I am Mexican-American. This means I root for American and Mexican players, especially the studs that go to Europe. Last year, I was happy to see Andres Guardado embrace a holding midfield role at PSV Eindhoven and win a league title. Then, when Hector Moreno signed for them, I became elated. If PSV was good for Andres (and DeMarcus Beasley years ago), maybe Moreno could do well there.

Then PSV played Manchester United in the Champions League, an English club team I’ve adored since Dwight York and Andy Cole terrorized defenses. What’s a fan to do? Continue reading “This Twisted, Convoluted World of Fandom” »

Manchester United and the Discourse of Shadows

During the title-winning season of Sir Alex Ferguson, commentators used the phrase “smash-and-grab” with abandon. Basically, Manchester United would go to an away game, play so so, grab a goal on a counter, and hang on for the win. Oftentimes, these victories owed more to luck (and goalposts) than any tactical acumen or physical superiority. Yes, one could say that United benefited from superior finishing, but even that’s a stretch when the chances created stat is so skewed.

Yet instead of saying “luck” or “fortune”, these crucial away wins were a “smash and grab.” So what about LVG’s team? Continue reading “Manchester United and the Discourse of Shadows” »

SoccErotica: Sensible SportsWriter Feeds You Steamy Takes

Oh, hello again. You didn’t forget me, did you? After our exhausting adventure with team touch zones, I knew you’d be fatigued. But now you’ve had your chance to rest, to catch a breath, to relax those tense tense muscles. Now that the English Premiership has swung back into action, you and I need to get those juices flowing.

Just close your eyes and open wide. Continue reading “SoccErotica: Sensible SportsWriter Feeds You Steamy Takes” »

The Ubiquitous Annual “EPL Monopoly of Four” Article

Unless your last name is Carnegie or Rockafeller, you dislike monopolies. The reason for your disdain is understandable. In the open market, a single business growing to gargantuan proportions can use its weight to either screw over consumers or suppliers. Often, they do both. On the one hand, you have Amazon and Wal-mart always trying to reduce prices and thus benefit consumers. However, how do they do this? By leaning hard and unrelentingly on suppliers. In Amazon’s case, for example, they’ve used eBook dominance to slash prices which reduces royalties paid to the authors and editors who make books happen in the first place.

Thus, we all dislike monopolies. However, there’s only one thing worse: trite journalism. Continue reading “The Ubiquitous Annual “EPL Monopoly of Four” Article” »

SoccErotica: the Rise and Hot Heat of “Team Touch Zones”

Hello again, dearest, beloved querido reader. Remember a few months ago this steamy post where I used the second person to include you in on some scintillating writing about root-and-branch analyses? English clubs were stinking up the Champions League, so you and I, hands firmly clasped, strolled about and ruminated (hint hint) as to why that was. We embraced, our breaths so close as to become one, and concluded the problem was the root which needed to be changed.

Now, I’m happy to say, I’m back for sloppy seconds. Why? Because a new soccer analytic has totally gotten the soccer world all steamy: “team touch zones.” Continue reading “SoccErotica: the Rise and Hot Heat of “Team Touch Zones”” »

LGBT Scholar William B. Turner Spills the Beans on LVG’s Early Tenure at Manchester United

Louis Van Gaal is the coach of Manchester United. This past summer, the club splurged tens of millions of pounds on new signings such as Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw and also Radamel Falcao (on loan). Yet the team has had its worst start since the 1980′s. Even worse than, dare say it, David Moyes.

Is the team improving? Is it going backwards? Nobody knows. Well, except for noted Queer Studies scholar William B. Turner, author of A Geneaology of Queer Theory. Willy B took the time to sit down to talk heterosexism, Foucault, and Man U with us. Here are his answers. Continue reading “LGBT Scholar William B. Turner Spills the Beans on LVG’s Early Tenure at Manchester United” »

What if we “picked” EPL clubs like American ones?

Fandom is such a fickle business. The EPL season rages on after a month of action, so we’ve read yet another glut of “Pick your team” stories and podcast anecdotes. Some say follow your heart. Others say pick a winner. Yet, of course, fans find ways to put other fans down. If you’re from the US or another non-England country, then that’s a knock against you. Why? Geography. If you’ve been a fan less than a decade, that’s another knock. Why? History.

Yet a glance at major US sports leagues shows the same story, but inverted (or reverted). Continue reading “What if we “picked” EPL clubs like American ones?” »

Tactics Talk: Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 Explained

LVG’s start as Manchester United manager was a step backwards. While United attacked with verve and swagger for a few spells, the defense looked timid. The Red Devils’ 3-5-2 won some summer friendlies, but questions remain whether it can and will work for United and in the EPL. I’ve put on my tactics-cap to explain the pros and cons of the system, and why it might not work at United. Continue reading “Tactics Talk: Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 Explained” »

The Season Also Starts

PART I

Bobby Kohn was a champion darts player. You wouldn’t know it, even if you asked him. The crowning achievement of his life was an Ivy League degree that collected dust in a box in his parent’s basement on Long Island. Since graduating from Brown, he’d couch-surfed and freelanced in Brooklyn and Manhattan. After several months, he landed some stable advertising gig, rented a brownstone he couldn’t afford with friends in Bed-Stuy, and his credit card debt tripled in the span of six months.

And he was a Spurs fan. Continue reading “The Season Also Starts” »

Tuesdays with Moyesy

Back in February, a manager’s fate was sealed. His team looked lifeless. They drifted in and out of games without purpose. Senior players had not yet openly revolted, but simmered with anger. Still, despite it only being a question of time, manager David Moyes sat down for a series of interviews with Oprah Book Club acclaimed writer Mitch Albom and they engaged in a series of tender, heart-warming discussions about life, death, Ryan Giggs, and everything in between.

We hope you enjoy this abbreviated transcript. Continue reading “Tuesdays with Moyesy” »