By Colby Shanafelt
As a fan of corny jokes, the “what’s black and white and re(a)d all over?” pun was always a go-to, yet with the decline of the newspaper industry, this punch-line would leave people more clueless than Madrid fans after the Özil trade. With the advent of social networking, blogs have become almost as common as dust in Arsenal’s trophy room, thereby presenting fans with the challenge of ciphering though endless websites to find information about their favorite team. Black and White and Read All Over is a soccer blog centered around Juventus F.C., a team whose 31 (NOT 29) Scudetti make Juve not just the most successful Serie A club but one of the most formidable teams in the world.
This blog provides previews, game time threads, and instant postgame reactions of each Juventus match. As an avid Juve fan, I will peruse numerous websites that preview various tactical speculations, yet this blog is unique in that it provides a much more relaxed and thorough analysis. With match previews, readers can expect a broad overview of the upcoming game followed by the staple Good News, Bad News (which usually discusses injuries), and What to Watch For sections, which describe particular players, rivalries, or facial hairs. Game time threads often present updated starting lineups and cram in last minute wisdoms minutes prior to the start of the game. And the Instant Reaction posts provide a brief recap of the game, though do not break down individual or team statistics in great detail. Instead, the majority of these posts are designated to the ‘Random thoughts and random observations’ sections, which devote attention, as the name suggests, to random plays or decisions made in the match. Above all, these articles are fun to read, as the witty title mirrors the comedic writing style (Gigi Buffon wears green because he’s money).
Yet perhaps the most insightful aspect of Black and White and Read All Over is its devotion to Juve’s individual players. Accessing the ‘Stories’ dropdown from the Juventus menu opens an option in which an individual member of Juventus can be selected. After choosing a player, a list of articles pertaining to that player will appear; these articles, however, are not limited to club play, as articles describing international matches, such as Gigi Buffon tying Fabio Cannavaro for the most international appearances for gli azzuri, are also included. Moreover, you can select different Serie A teams and respective players right from this menu; doing so will open the SB Nation blog for that team, such as Napoli’s The Siren’s Song. Therefore, while this blog is primarily affiliated with Juventus, it can cater to a broader audience in that it allows fans of individual players to track their club and international progress by reading entertaining articles. Additionally, there is a portion of the blog devoted to trending soccer stories, which allow for a seamless transition from Juventus news to the most popular soccer topics throughout the world.
There is another segment of the blog dedicated to Juventus Transfer Talk, which tracks the latest ramblings of perspective trades. Interestingly, the blog also keeps track of where past players have landed and the type of impacts these players have had.
Much like the Soccer Politics blog, Black and White and Read All Over is very engaging, as it encourages fans to post their own articles about the team. By accessing ‘Fanposts’ and ‘Fanshots’ from the top menu, you can view the stories and videos created or linked by fellow bloggers. This blog is also very user-friendly, as links on the right side allow you to effortlessly begin posting your contributions to the site.
I’m one of those people who say they love to read, yet always wait for the movie to come out. Fittingly, I have always found that watching actual match highlights or videos can provide a much more comprehensive and unbiased description of a particular event. Black and White and Read All Over quenches my thirst in that it includes numerous Juventus or individual player highlights. For example, there is an awesome video of Gigi making an incredible save on a cross attempt in the Italy-Bulgaria game from last week.
And though I was initially skeptical of devoting an entire 8 minutes to a Pirlo video (which was stupid because everything he does is pure magic, whether it is his passes, his hair, or his wine), the tribute to Andrea Pirlo being Andrea Pirlo is definitely worth the watch.
As a Juventus fan, this blog has met every one of my expectations, as the organized, concise, and humorous writing style makes for an extremely enjoyable read.
Here’s the link to the blog: http://www.blackwhitereadallover.com/