International fandom is often looked down upon, not surprisingly. For centuries, we’ve clung to the nation-states based on geography as the cornerstone of individual and collective identity. We were born in X place. We are citizens of X place. We belong to, and praise, X place. For the last century, sports followed society and ergo fans followed teams based on geography.
Enter the 21st century. Technology, such as cable TV and the internet, has allowed individuals to follow and love clubs regardless of geographic location. Soccer has grown in the US thanks to a solid domestic league but also the exposure of the top European teams. Yet, there’s still a problem: the top games, Champions League fixtures, are played on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at about 2:00 central time in the US. They are played on work-days. Even worse, the timing means a fan can’t take a super long lunch.
Oddly, and purely coincidentally, these fixtures have started to coincide with a unique strain of illnesses causing fans to miss work on said dates and at said times. Here’s a helpful list of these emerging illnesses: Continue reading “Top Ten Mysterious Illnesses that Afflict American Fans During Champions League Fixtures” »
The US men’s national team currently has a friendly scheduled vs.
the Ukraine. (No article: here’s why) As a team that narrowly lost to France in a two-legged playoff, it promised to be a stern test for the team. However, the recent violence in political developments have raised the specter that the game may be moved and/or even called off. Despite a recent peace deal signed last Friday, nobody knows if the other side will respect it. The President has left the country and the PM has been released, but will the loyalists put down their arms?
We decided to ask a sample of US soccer fans what they thought about the game and this highly volatile situation. Continue reading “Ask An American Soccer Fan: Pending Ukraine Friendly” »
In 1989, Pele boldly predicted that an African team would win the World Cup by the year 2000. He was wrong. Since then, the dark continent has seen tremendous growth in terms of exporting players to top European leagues, but no African team has ever reached the World Cup semifinals. Still, every four years, pundits and journalists draw up a list of “dark horse candidates”, ie, countries who may be surprisingly successful. African powers always make the list.
That’s not a surprise. What is surprising in this modern age is the language used to describe the pros and cons of African teams. Continue reading “Every World Cup Article Ever Written…Don’t write off the African Dark Horse!” »
Yawn. It’s end of the year awards time again. Just when you take a break from building your own museum and think your trophy case couldn’t possibly support any more weight, you go and be amazing for a year and have to expand said case. Don’t you just hate being you? Oh, wait, you’re not me.
In fact, neither you nor I is Futfanatico. Futfanatico is a domain name for a website. So how on Earth did it get nominated for a lifetime achievement award? Continue reading “Futfanatico Nominated for Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award” »
The World Cup draw has been drawn. Teams now know their adversaries. More intriguingly, they also know the stadium location of each of their first three games. Not surprisingly, in a country as big as Brazil many teams have to travel more than others. Of course, you ask – why did they set up their home base cities before the draw (as opposed to Croatia)? Why don’t they splash some cash on a jet to reduce travel times? Great questions. I don’t know the answers. Perhaps, in a general sense, because soccer is only half-competently managed by part-timers?
Still, we’ve seen these “travel complaints” before. Ever since the very first World Cup, in fact. Here is an exclusive extract from an article from the 1934 World Cup. Continue reading “Every World Cup Article Ever: Team Complains About Travel Logistics” »
England qualified for the World Cup, but, based on October’s FIFA rankings, are unseeded. Thus, they face the very real prospect of a “Group of Death.” We don’t know what the future holds, but here is a close approximation, in style if not in substance, of the Three Lions’ fate. Continue reading “The England World Cup Draw Preview & Banter of the Bile Variety” »
Futfanatico is a blog for the people and by the people. Thus, once again, we surveyed some American soccer fans on what they thought about the recent US-Soccer game and international soccer friendlies in general. The responses are not surprising, but still are illuminating. Continue reading “Ask An American Soccer Fan: International Friendlies” »
Dear Mr. Hodgson,
we hope this letter finds you well. Sadly, we cross paths under the most unfortunate of circumstances. We have heard reports that during a World Cup qualifier between England and Poland, you, under your full managerial capacities, made a remark about space monkeys. No disciplinary investigation has occurred, but these bare bone facts raise serious questions. And these questions deserve answers. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Roy Hodgson from the Space Monkey Anti-defamation League” »
The dirty laundry has been aired out. As per The Guardian, many EPL clubs enjoy millions of pounds in revenue but have failed to pay staff the UK’s minimum wage. Rather, many are classified as “internships.” How the word “internship” became a magical term that supplanted “unpaid labor” is another story. What’s more interesting is what happened last summer: a young American college grad said “to hell” with grad school and went to the UK to follow his dream: being a mascot for an EPL side.
What he found was a cold, stark reality. This is his story. Continue reading “The Savage Defectives: An Untrue Story of an Unpaid American Mascot in the EPL” »
We’ve all seen the EPL on NBC ads. The execution is amusing and I did chuckle a bit. However, the undertone is depressingly similar to the lamestream “soccer as other” take. The premise is that soccer is “foreign” and thus we should dislike it. This is very similar to the “soccer as feminine” line of thought. Both attempt to depict the United States as a proudly nativist, robust heterosexual male who dominates all worthy endeavors. Soccer is foreign and feminine, and thus will “never catch on.”
I don’t give two shits if soccer goes mainstream. I love the sport. But, with your indulgence, I’d like to write as an abrasive talk show radio host and take the opposite angle on soccer and the US.
Continue reading “Soccer has an “America” problem and it’s not what you think” »