Author Bio & Stories

  • October 18, 2013
    Green Blues

     A national team is still just a team. It can’t get by on the trappings of nationality alone. Sharing a nationality with the players is no substitute for sharing a sense of purpose with them. You need to know that when you look at them, they will sometimes look back at you. Otherwise, why does a team exist at all?

  • From the normal run of things, where each player is trying to create space for his teammates, everyone turns and looks to the winger to create something ex nihilo. At Arsenal, Gervinho was often asked to do this moment-forcing, and he struggled. Unshackled at Roma, he's thriving.

  • September 20, 2013
    Bless This Curse

    On Sunday, Mayo will play Dublin in Gaelic football’s All-Ireland final, a contest that will grip the nation (apart from the millions it won’t grip, but that’s another kettle of lectures altogether). When Dublin won the 2011 edition, it was their first in sixteen years, back when divorce was forbidden under the constitution. But Mayo people know what a drought really is. Camels bow their heads in admiration for these poor folk. The team from the Gobi of the west won the last of their three All-Irelands in 1951.

  • September 6, 2013
    I Know But I Don't Know

    There's a song to be written about this whole Suarez-to-Arsenal-then-not-and-now-they-have-Mesut Özil thing. Something about not always getting what you want, but that if you tries sometimes, you just might find you get what you need. For now, though, all Arsenal fans can hear is the sound of "öööööööömmm …" in their ears.

  • While he had many other skills -- including a ferocious shot -- Brazilian legend Garrincha is best known for his prodigious dribbling skills. As we approach the 30th anniversary of his death at the age of 49, many of the stories of his greatness -- both on the pitch and at the bar -- told about him sound apocryphal. But that's what made him so great: he had to be seen to be believed. 

  • December 18, 2012
    It's Never Next Year

    We are all Zico. The artist formerly known as Arthur has once more been trudging down memory lane, all the way back to the scene of the terrible accident: Brazil's elimination from the 1982 World Cup at the hands of Italy.

  • November 27, 2012
    No Alarm

    The most exciting point in a football match comes when it dawns on you that neither team is in control of it, when both teams hit the sweet spot of incompetence: just about bad enough that every attack on them is potentially fatal; just about good enough that each can exploit the other's dozing immune system. When it's your own team, though, it's a lot more unsettling.

  • November 16, 2012
    The Greatest Goal of All Time The Clog

    Following Zlatan Ibrahimović's spaced-out wondergoal against England, the world once more wonders: what is the best strike in soccer history?

  • November 7, 2012
    I Ain't Afraid of No Goals

    Something strange happened to the English League Cup last week. You could even say it was spooked. No, this isn't just a bad attempt to make an otherwise matter-of-fact teaser appear more intriguing by making altogether too much of the chance simultaneity of the recently-played fourth round of the competition and Halloween. How dare you. No, there were odd things going on, alright: goals. Lots and lots of goals.

  • October 24, 2012
    Kicker Conspiracy

    Sometimes we watch sports in order to appreciate that we share the same basic species with those among us who can dunk, shoot an under-par round or dismount from the rings without breaking their ankles. And sometimes we watch fairly sure that whatever that poor sap is doing, we could probably do it too, if we ever cared to. Those saps are called kickers.