On Any of Shay Given’s Sundays

We at Futfanatico are beyond delighted to give you exclusive coverage of the newest Olivier Stone film, “On Any of Shay Given’s Sundays.” This epic sports drama revolves around an aging coach and goalkeeper tandem that battle the rabid fans, fervent media, meddling female owners, and their own self doubt. It is based on the English Premiere League, but was not officially sanctioned.

I. “THE” Inspirational Speech Monologue

[Old white man paces around locker room full of young soccer players in various states of dress and undress.] I’m not quite sure what to say really. We are mere minutes from the biggest thermonuclear world war of our lives, and it all comes down to today. [Pauses to soak in brilliance of own words. Says a few of them silently to self. Nods in agreement.] We either uncrumble as a team, we mend like two pieces of jello that are left side by side over a period of 30 minutes – or we unmend. We crumble. Like two pieces of jello left in separate containers. [Shots of players in locker room.] In the fridge. O-v-e-r-n-i-g-h-t. [Pauses to glance around room] We gotta mend guys – inch for inch, kick for kick, tackle for tackle. Or we are done. [Pulls hands out of pocket to gesture. Puts hands back in pocket]. We are in Hell; and we can stick around, get our asses handed to us, or…we can fight our way to the upper place, the not Hell. [Player has towel draped over head]. We can jump out of Hell, but we have to do it together. Inch for inch. Jump for jump. [Pulls right hand out of pocket. Gestures. Puts hand back in pocket] I’d love to do it for you, but it’s not going to happen. I’m too young in the tooth. [Pulls left hand out of pocket. Opens mouth. Feels upper palate with index and forefinger. Puts hand back in pocket] I look around; I see these young guys on thousand pound a week wages, driving fancy cars, and I think – do they get it? [Pulls hands out of pockets. Unbuttons the top two buttons of dress shirt.] I…I can’t be in your shoes. And you don’t want to be in mine. I’m a mess. I’m old. I’m middle aged and have ran off everybody who ever loved me. [Star winger gently toys with skull cap] I burned through cash after getting addicted to online poker. I Believe it or not [Pulls hands out of pockets. Clasps hands. Unclasps hands. Puts hands back in pocket] As of late…I can’t…I can’t stand to see my own face in the mirror. The widow’s peak. The gray hairs. The untrimmed nose hairs. The gray hairs in the widow’s peak. The grayer hairs coming out of my nostrils. I…I’ve hit rock bottom. [Pulls hands out of pockets. Puts face in hands. Puts hands back in pockets] I… I still play Pokemon Go. [Central defender opens mouth in shock] When you get a bit older in life, like, say, 29, you start to lose things. [Pauses. Looks down. Takes right hand out of pocket. Scratches back of head. Looks at fingers. Thinks "white flakes...like snow."] That’s…it’s just a part of life. [Star winger in skull cap slowly nods head "no"] You have to get old to realize that. [Other central defender chews on gum, possibly Bubbalicious] You realize…life is a game of inches, and kicks, but also brotherhood. In the game of football, or life, the margin for error is tiny. Like, really small. [Star winger in skull cap slowly nods "yes" for a few seconds, then starts to nod "no" again. Licks lips] A half second slow to shoot, and it’s blocked. The chance goes begging. [Holding midfielder in tight white under shirt looks down at own chest; notices nipples are erect] You forget to pay child support for a decade in another country, and suddenly you find yourself in jail without a passport. Inches. Kicks. Mistakes. Brotherhood. [Coughs and then clears throat] But I’m still here. I’m here because I’m willing to fight, to kick, to push on for that inch. [Shouts of support] Because that inch is more than inch. That inch is the first inch in a series of inches, with inches all around us. Think about that. You. Me. Inches. [Slow hand clap starts; star winger in skull cap refuses to join] Now. Gentlemen. What we you gonna do? [Assistant coach picks nose] I mean, what are we gonna do? [Shouts] ARE WE GONNA KICK FOR THOSE INCHES??? Continue reading “On Any of Shay Given’s Sundays” »

The Key to Successfully Coaching in Europe

Quite a few American players have enjoyed modest success in Europe. However, no American coach has yet to coach a first division team in one of Europe’s top leagues. Serie A? No. Bundesliga? Nein. La Liga? Nunca. Thus, we have to ask: what do American coaches lack? Mastery of tactics? Man-management? Opportunity?

All the above may be true. But, after years of careful study, I’ve found another explanation. Continue reading “The Key to Successfully Coaching in Europe” »

The Absolutely Essential Manchester Derby Recap…

…Is so not happening at this site. I know you have loved your Pep on X player features, your Pep vs. Mou columns, and your contrarian “media overblows Y aspect of derby” takes. Still, I shall indulge you. Here is a brief summary of the Manchester derby: two teams from Manchester played soccer. They both fielded eleven players and kicked a ball for a combined ninety minutes plus change.

There. Now, onto important matters: Chicharito and Messi. And what they have in common. Continue reading “The Absolutely Essential Manchester Derby Recap…” »

Hungover Dispatches from Htown: Messi Walks on Water Edition

Futfanatico is closed for the summer as per usual. In fact, the only editor is not even in the United States of America: how dare him! Thus, this random dispatch from GonzoBro is even less edited and less relevant than ever, yet we need pageviews so here goes.


“On assignment” means one thing to baller freelancers like me: watching adult films on the company dime late at night while staying in some roach-infested Howard Johnson motel in the crummy neighborhood of a somewhat major metropolitan area. That fact may creep you out, but honesty and fidelity to truth at all costs are the trademark of GonzoBra.

Every time you see a byline at The Guardian like “Tom Dart in Dallas“, I think: how many Debbie films did this guy catch between flights during his cursory three-hour stay at a Day’s Inn? “On assignment” means “on our” means stags will be stags roaming the wild and its always ever so much fun and glamorous and they don’t serve peanuts in coach anymore and you have zero space to rest your elbows but you are paid to travel hence travel is suddenly fun.

Yet this odd thing happened: Lionel Fucking Messi and the the Argentinian national team came to play a game vs. the US in my own backyard: Houston. On Assignment suddenly meant zero travel, just futbol. Of course, the codo mofos at Futfanatico couldn’t land me press credentials. Should I bother? Could I cook up some content to get paid to pay back a relative who stopped talking to me a few months ago?

The Heavens answered, shouted, cried out: HELL YEAH. SMy wife of all people insisted we attend the Argentina-US match…but not actually pay to enter the stadium. I had no clue what this bonita broad was cooking, but I lapped it up and was ready for whatever whenever. Continue reading “Hungover Dispatches from Htown: Messi Walks on Water Edition” »

What if Donald Trump Bought Your Soccer Club?

Lots of people hate Americans. As an American, I always like to think that, like, Americans are a diverse group of people with different tastes, political beliefs, and values (to an extent). Thus, you can hate some of us, but not all of us. Still, people hate Americans. And I can kinda understand why.

Look at what Hicks & Gillett did to Liverpool. Or the Glazers to United. Sadly, the American businessmen who go abroad and look to personally profit off a nice, juicy, large business with big revenue streams are precisely the last person you would ever want anywhere near anything you care about in anyway. I would not let the Glazers dogsit my dog for two hours. A lot of bad things can happen in 120 minutes, after all.

And then I thought of an absolute nightmare. Continue reading “What if Donald Trump Bought Your Soccer Club?” »

Extended Dialogue Trying to Make Sense of a Team Winning a Trophy

Q: Are you trying to tell me that a soccer club based in England recently won a trophy that is awarded based on a points total after a 38 game season? Surely this has never happened before and cannot possibly be true.

A: Yes

Q: So, unlike, say, our perfectly meritocratic BCS Championship Series for college football, those zany Brits have a regular season but don’t have any playoff at the end or something similar? What is wrong with those mofos?

A: That is correct.

Q: So, if I am to take what you have said as true and then take what I read on the internet at face value – a dangerous proposition – this Leicester (mispronounced) City has accumulated a sum of points from both drawing and winning games for the prior nine months.

A: Yes. Continue reading “Extended Dialogue Trying to Make Sense of a Team Winning a Trophy” »

Pulpo Fiction

In 2010, an octopus stole our hearts. I speak, of course, about Pulpo Paul, the aquarium-dweller with the clairvoyant tentacles who correctly guessed predicted foresaw the results of World Cup games. Sadly, that same year in October, Paul allegedly died. Other animals tried to fill the gap, but they were clearly imposters. The world needed Paul, not some Paul wannabe.

Yet, as is often the case, nobody ever saw the dead body of this particular celebrity. Thus, a sliver of hope remained. In a rundown motel in one of those dark and blind alleys of Las Vegas, could a room full of Elvis, Notorious, and Tupac watching cable TV also have enough space for an aquarium filled with Pulpo Paul? Celebrity-love is the strangest kind because we never know the celebrity in any meaningful way, yet they haunt our dreams and fill our waking hours with emotions.

And this happens even after their supposed death.

Continue reading “Pulpo Fiction” »

A Scientific Inquiry into the EPL Fandom of one Rapper “Drake”

Good evening, good sir or madam. As the foremost expert on North American celebrities who are also fans of teams in the EPL, I face a quandary. As you know, Leicester City sit atop the EPL standings to the delight of many and largely because their Italian coach throws the team pizza parties when not ordering the striker to not practice finishing.  You rightly ask: if this team is successful, then why has Drake, the Canadian rapper who constantly gets unexpectedly sexually assaulted (twerked upon sans consent) in music videos, not yet taken a picture with them?

Luckily, in pouring over results from a prior study, I believe that I have found the answer to said question. And learned quite a bit about Drake’s true allegiances. Continue reading “A Scientific Inquiry into the EPL Fandom of one Rapper “Drake”” »

SPONSORED: FIFA Turns a New Page with New Headquarters

Yes, I know. Sponsored posts are icky and make me feel sick to my stomach, but that annual server fees payment fast approaches. In large part, I blame my readers for having to resort to this crap. All of you had Adblock Plus and/or don’t click enough on the banner ads. None of that is my doing.

Thus, to keep the lights on, another Sponsored Post from FIFA. Continue reading “SPONSORED: FIFA Turns a New Page with New Headquarters” »