Author Bio & Stories

  • July 24, 2012
    Spirits of the Age

    How did an act of love and dedication become a symbol of displaced cynicism and the futility of modern fandom? 

  • July 12, 2012
    Robin Yourself Blind

    The system that governs free agency in football came into being in 1995 and in the subsequent 17 years, we've seen the rise of "player power", superpowers and worst of all, Manchester City. Can Arsenal keep up?

  • July 3, 2012
    Eternally Yours

    Spain's magnificent journey to a third consecutive major trophy was a run that will stand the test of time. But for how long? 

  • June 26, 2012
    Gods and Monsters

    We've all watched as the Spanish march towards the immortals in this year's European Championships. Whether or not we'll be eternally bored by them if they get there is a completely different question. 

  • June 20, 2012
    You Do It to Yourself

    It wasn't just that Ireland was outclassed during its brief, bruising Magical Misery Tour through Euro 2012. The problem was that, after fans talked themselves into believing in the boys in green, the team played such dispirited, pessimistic soccer.

  • June 13, 2012
    Kick Me Again, Jesus

    Maybe it's a sensation that more regular qualifiers become blasè about, but when your team hasn't been to a major tournament for ten years, or a European Championship for 24, to see your team actually there—in the actual stadium, on the actual pitch, in front of the actual world—leads to explosive goosebumpery. But, as Irish fans (re-)learned the hard way against Croatia, the game has a cruel way of dealing with that sort of hope.

  • Being a soccer fan invariably involves more cheering for the jersey than the player wearing it. For the national teams competing in Euro 2012, that's doubly so. Players don't just play for a national team—they play for their country. Which means they play with all the hang-ups and other issues of that country, too.

  • The referee is a parody of God. Nothing officially happens unless he deems it to have happened. But he and his assistants can only see so much. Why was this incident called a foul when that identical one was not? Because the ref saw this one, and not that one. The ball crossed the line: surely it's a goal? Ha! Your physics are puny next to the fact that the linesman's view was blocked.

  • May 22, 2012
    Anxiety is Freedom

    Were anxiety to be expunged from football, the game would be desiccated, infinitely smaller, its mythologies individual and evanescent. We can't have that happen.

  • How the Irish respond to their national football team's current success is viewed through how the Irish responded in the old days. And the days of Jack Charlton and 1988 are the old days. There's a script to follow for Ireland, and it's getting stale. Fans consciously look to our footballers to lift us out of our national gloom. Back then, we didn't expect anything in particular. A benign national fever just happened. The rush is a bit more forced these days, but not at all unpleasant for that.