Monthly Archives: June 2010

Domenech becoming international political outcast

World Cup 2010: Raymond Domenech fails to take blame for France fiasco | Football | This article from the Guardian highlights the extent to which the French football crisis is becoming one of international proportions, now being taken up at the highest levels of the French government. At first glance, one might think: why… Read More »

Facing the Two-Day Football Fast

It’s alarming to even consider, but for the next two days there will be no World Cup matches. After gorging ourselves on football of varying quality for the past weeks, we suddenly have to think of others things to do. Read a book? Take a walk? But to what end and purpose, when all we… Read More »

Maradona Makes Me Happy

I’m here in South Africa, and last night went to the see the Argentina-Mexico game at Soccer City. I’ll warn you that a portion of this post will sound a bit like FIFA propaganda, so if you can’t stand that please stop reading now. But the feeling here in electric and ebullient, and I really… Read More »

France: The Autopsy Begins

It’s interesting to compare the exits of the two finalists France and Italy from the World Cup. Italy, remarkably, just faded away after some remarkably bad games against much lower-ranked opponents. Italian friends told me everyone knew the team was terrible anyway, so they had no hopes to be dashed. At least the coach went… Read More »

Stark’s World Cup 2010 Guide

For those of you boning up on teams, players, and political factoids — all crucial for full enjoyment of the World Cup — I highly recommend Steven D. Stark and Harrison Stark’s World Cup 2010, which I’ve found packed with good analysis and tidbits. Their blog is also a useful place to keep updated on… Read More »

Bliss, and a Belgian Spared

It has been a beautiful day. It was a perfect match, offering up everything that draws us to football. The devastation of the goal-that-was-not, the relief as the team, rather than fumbling into frustration, kept carefully building up excellent plays, defending beautifully, and pushing, pushing, pushing. Raïs M’Bohli, the Paris-born Congolese/Algerian goalkeeper — who, I… Read More »

French Racism and Les Bleus

Yesterday I participated in two discussions about French football. The first, on the English-language TV station France 24, had a perfect line-up: one person defending the classic “football is alienation” thesis, a sports journalist seeing politics as mainly being projected onto sport, and me, the cultural historian imagining everything as politics. Later in the day… Read More »

Farewell France & South Africa

Well, that was exhausting. I don’t think I’ve ever been so conflicted. The traditional fan in me was rooting for France, the romantic for South Africa, and I really didn’t want Mexico eliminated either. So much hope for South Africa for a sliver of time, after they had scored the two goals and Uruguay 1.… Read More »