In case you have been living on a remote island with no internet connection or working phones, I have a rude piece of news for you: ESPN is shuttering Grantland, the Bill Simmons’ sports and pop culture site. This royally sucks for the people involved and for readers, even if after BS left ESPN for HBO some might have seen this coming. Of course, lots of sites are doing post-mortems on the “state of media.”

Here’s an irony: I wrote an article back in 2011 at TheScore’s FootyBlog on some kinda new sites, including The Classical, Grantland, and the kinda new Blizzard football magazine based in the UK. Where is that article? A few years ago, TheScore canned the FootyBlog, deleted the content, fired lots of people, and allegedly is now trying to adapt to short-form mobile media consumption. Since that article, other things have changed. The Classical is still a great launching pad for young writers, but a good chunk of the original cast have defected to better remunerated gigs elsewhere.

So, ahem, what the fuck is up? Allow me to tell you what the fuck is up. Continue reading “Grantlandia” »

Your Totally Not Sponsored Daily Fantasy Futbol Tips!

Remember a few years ago when I wrote that long diatribe about why I hate fantasy sports? Well, to be honest, I lied. I was riding high on a counterculture trip; I was in a standoffish mood. I knew that you liked fantasy sports before me, so I played down my own interest. That way instead of getting “early adapter” street cred, I could salvage my ego with some contrarianism. I am sorry. In all truth, I love daily fantasy sports.

And who doesn’t need more fantasy in their daily life? Continue reading “Your Totally Not Sponsored Daily Fantasy Futbol Tips!” »

Safe Spaces?

For the past few years, writing (and writing about soccer) has been a privilege. P-R-I-V-E-L-E-G-E. I am a college-educated professional who works a 9-5 and has Saturdays and Sundays off. Thanks to this free time and a computer and internet connection at home, I was able to blog with very vague dreams of financial remuneration. The point was writing. I enjoyed writing. I also liked interacting with a handful of you in the comments. Eventually, these funny people called “editors” started to contact me about writing for money. Of course, I also cold-pitched hard, spreading a wide net. But that’s besides the point. I had the money and time to write at home for free for a few years, then started to get paid.

However, one thing is missing from that narrative. I’m also a man. Continue reading “Safe Spaces?” »

Futfanatico Writers Present the Forgotten Soccer Story Nobody Can Recall

Remember that really good player from an obscure South American league who absolutely dominated in the 1970′s? Or that amazing amateur team from the New York Hungarian immigrant league in the 1930′s? They went on a tour of Europe or something and picked up some big scalps from top teams. Me too. We both remember this because something that is only remembered by a few is not really “forgotten” per se. Rather, it’s just often overlooked. However, nobody writes a headline with “often overlooked” or “remembered by a few.”

In order to correct this injustice, we are Futfanatico present the first ever, 100% “forgotten” story in the history of soccer journalism. Continue reading “Futfanatico Writers Present the Forgotten Soccer Story Nobody Can Recall” »

A Brief History of Do You Remember that Time…I Wrote Something Weird?

Today the “Best Of” eBook for 2014 is on sale at Amazon for a buck. In honor of this Earth altering occasion, I went through and cataloged the weirdest, most bizarre things I have ever written at this site. They can basically be broken down into three sections: (1) Ferenc Puskas, (2) Hostile Takeovers, (3) Faux Literary, and (4) Fake Interview. Please note that the first one is not a typo. I did not include Junito because it’s only natural to blog about your preciously talented son, and my derided end-of-year awards invented to award me were just ahead of their time.

Still, here is some seriously weird stuff tangentially related to soccer for your re-reading pleasure. Or first-time reading pleasure for you soulless bandwagoners.  Continue reading “A Brief History of Do You Remember that Time…I Wrote Something Weird?” »

A Platonic Symposium on the Essence of International Friendlies

“To be or not to be”, that is not the question. If you are reading this, you exist. Whether you like that or not, that’s your own issue. Rather, the pertinent question is: why do international friendlies exist? What comprises their very essence? Luckily, through a time and space warp continuum, great past philosophers & poets & writers recently met in a modern setting, drank some wine, and discussed a similar issue plaguing Greece thousands of years ago: non-Olympic friendlies between athletes. Keep in mind, this is a story I heard from my friend James who was told it by this one dude at a college party one night about ten years ago, so there may be some inconsistencies.

Here are their conclusions, if any. Continue reading “A Platonic Symposium on the Essence of International Friendlies” »

The Astroturfery Behind the Failed Beckham Stadium Plan

In case you don’t follow me on twitter or already read Vice Sports, here’s a link to my up close look at how and why Beckham has failed to get a stadium deal done in Miami (so far). For the record, it was edited by the excellent Eric Nusbaum and the elucidating Patrick Hruby. Like all kinda long stories that require original research, there’s little snippets and footnotes along the way.

One of the footnotes that I want to share is the story of the “Downtown Neighbors Alliance.” ‘Tis a class tale of astroturfery, snobby rich people problems, and a Mayor’s flooded inbox. Continue reading “The Astroturfery Behind the Failed Beckham Stadium Plan” »

A Premature Happy Holidays & Blogger Break Warning….

Don’t you hate it when your favorite bloggers stop blogging but in the blog don’t explain why they are not blogging or when they will resume regular blogging? Luckily, Futfanaatico is totally pro. I am traveling for Thanksgiving, hosting family for Christmas, and things will be spare around these particular parts. You may catch me on Twitter, you may not. Expect this Death Star to be rebuilt and fully operational by mid-January with some erratic planetary death rays here and there.

Luckily, though, I’ve been kicking it for Soccer Gods and Paste Soccer. You have plenty to read. Continue reading “A Premature Happy Holidays & Blogger Break Warning….” »

Some Ferocious Soccer Lynx

You know the drill. Contrary to some rumors, I am not the only person who writes about soccer. While you love my writing and would love to see three epic, full length features at this site each and every week, I’ve been pretty prolific at SoccerGods and Paste Magazine. Thus, for today at least, you’ll just have to content yourself with fine writing by other folks and links to said writing. Which is fine. I do declare. Continue reading “Some Ferocious Soccer Lynx” »

Supporting the Alianza

It’s not so often that I post a one link article. However, one of the major barriers to full youth participation in soccer in the US is the current “pay-to-play” model. I’m blessedly middle-class and can afford travel team fees for my 7 year old son Junito. I am also an educated professional and have the weekends off, so we can drive him to Sugar Land and Missouri City and even farther for tournaments. His mom is a student and can drive him to training on weeknights. Not everybody else is so fortunate. Even at Junito’s club, we see other parents that sometimes struggle to get kids to practice and games (We do our best to carpool but you can’t make a person ask for help). Junito’s club also will waive fees if you can show financial hardship.

Still, the monthly club fees aren’t that high; the time commitment is more of a barrier. SB Nation has an excellent, detailed article on Alianza de Futbol: a group trying to create a non-”pay to play” pipeline for largely Hispanic talent. They are not exactly a club, but do incredibly competitive tryouts and then the top kids get trials with clubs. Read about it here. Like, right now.