Believe it or not, there’s plenty of quality soccer writing in this country outside the auspicious bounds of WSOTP. In fact, finding the crème de la crème of American soccer scribes might require you to look outside of the digital realm, and back into the ancient art of print media. And luckily enough for us Americans, we have a new pair of quarterly soccer-only publications here to fulfill that need: Howler and XI. And while having two American print quarterlies might seem a bit redundant, each puts a unique spin on the concept that makes it worth giving each a look.
Howler is more akin to what you might consider a traditional sport-specific magazine — original stories, opinion pieces, photography and art — but just done the right way. Each issue features 112 heavy-stock, 10×12 pages that even the fancy-pants over at New York Magazine were inclined to call both “beautiful” and “brilliant”. And if you want a sneak peek at what they have to offer, be sure to check out their Tumblr blog.
Meanwhile XI, while still offering up top-notch content, goes about it a little more simply and minimalist than it’s competing publication. Each edition is based around a single topic within the world of football — issue one being Americans abroad — and offers up eleven different “insightful, original contributions by people who see soccer not just as a sport but as part of society” on that topic. And as you might expect, they’ve got a Tumblr too.
With tomorrow being Thanksgiving here in the States, it’s the time of year when many reflect upon all of the things in their lives for which they should be thankful. Things are no different here at WSOTP. And while I’m especially thankful for a wonderfully patient wife, a loving family, and that Spurs’ UnderArmour kits aren’t as hideous as I had anticipated — among other blessings — amongst other things too, of course — I do have one gripe I want to air about the holiday.
The dearth of usable Thanksgiving-themed soccer images on the internet is roughly equivalent to the amount of soccer normally on TV on Turkey Day.
Between the NFL and NCAA, the American-flavored version of football seems to go hand in hand with Thanksgiving. Games will be on all day tomorrow, and many families across the country will gather around their TV’s to watch as a part of their annual holiday tradition. But as my fellow soccer fans will attest, we’re normally left in the dark on Turkey Day by the major networks. This year, we’re lucky enough to have Europa League matches to occupy us, but they’re typically not high-profile matches. And while that’s enough for me, that doesn’t mean everyone else in my family will prefer round football to egg football this year. But since the festivities are being held at my house this year, the rules will be different… a new dawn for Thanksgiving traditions is in the cards.
But if your family won’t budge from their normal traditions, here are some links to help keep you from feeling neglected. Happy holidays everyone!