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Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica
Cover of Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica
Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica
A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America's "Sport of the Future" Since 1972
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The essential guide to world soccer—the history, the players, the fan culture—from the phenomenally popular duo from NBC Sports.The Men in Blazers are two English-born, soccer-obsessed...
The essential guide to world soccer—the history, the players, the fan culture—from the phenomenally popular duo from NBC Sports.The Men in Blazers are two English-born, soccer-obsessed...
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Description-

  • The essential guide to world soccer—the history, the players, the fan culture—from the phenomenally popular duo from NBC Sports.
    The Men in Blazers are two English-born, soccer-obsessed broadcasters who have savored the dizzying growth of the game along with millions of Americans. Now they immerse fans and novices alike in the history and culture of the world's game with Encyclopedia Blazertannica. Examining fan culture, from the famous stadium chants to the tactical variations of scarf tying, exploring the complex physics and ethics of both celebratory knee slides and fights between players, reliving the careers of legendary players, classic matches, and colorful World Cup history, and sharing a deep appreciation for the athletic brilliance and ill-judged neck tattoos that dominate the sport, this indispensable tome gives readers a front-row seat to all the action of football madness.
    A New York Times Bestseller!

Excerpts-

  • From the book Introduction

    Hail! Unfortunate Accidental Readers and Great Friends of the Pod.

    The volume you have in your hands was designed to be many things:

    1. The final nail in the coffin of the long-floundering publishing industry.
    2. Living proof that it is possible to write a worse book than Does God Love Michael's Two Daddies? by Sheila K. Butt.
    3. An ill-advised attempt to journey into the inky dark, unexplored depths of the Men in Blazers universe, every detail of which we have created hand in hand with our masochistically loyal listeners over the past eight years, pod by pod, show by show, tweet by suboptimal tweet.

    To achieve the first two objectives, we chose to focus solely on the third. This task demanded we wallow in the history and culture of football, the sport we both love. With its pantheon of heroes and villains, moments of glorious ecstasy and searing despair, dodgy haircuts and surplus neck tattoos, it has empowered us to experience emotions other people seem to feel in real life, to which we are both inured. No telenovela could provide soapier story lines to keep us hooked like football . . . a game with plot points that unfurl live without a safety net, as the whole world watches.

    ***

    Witnessing the game we love grow and grow in America, the nation that we love, has been the thrill of our lifetimes. We both arrived on these shores as innocents, equipped with full heads of our own hair, in the early 1990s. Back then soccer had seemingly forever been cast as America's "Sport of the Future," its recent past little more than a collection of false dawns and hyperbolic predictions that it was about to become the Next Big Thing.

    We well remember the day when FIFA announced its intention to host the 1994 World Cup in the US, prompting panicked former-AFL-quarterback-turned-US-representative Jack Kemp to declare on the floor of Congress: "I think it is important for all those young men out there who someday hope to play real football where you throw it and kick it and run with it and put it in your hands a distinction should be made that football is democratic capitalism whereas soccer is a European socialist sport."

    Yet, slow and steady wins the race. We have watched with wonder, World Cup to World Cup, as the game's profile has inexorably risen to the point that the sport's profile has taken its place alongside seersucker, cheesesteaks, and the collected works of Raymond Carver as a symbol of American freedom and democracy.

    Indeed, our obsessive love of football and Men in Blazers' very existence has been possible only because it was powered and reinforced by that surging rise of interest, as well as by the fact that you allow bald men on television in the United States.

    The question is often asked as to why, season to season, week to week, game to game, more and more Americans have fallen under football's poetic sway. Many theories have been advanced. Just as baseball thrived in "the Golden Age of Radio," and the NFL was the perfect televisual sport, soccer's rise has been driven by the Internet in general, and EA Sports FIFA in particular, which have enabled fans in Los Angeles or North Dakota to experience and follow their teams as closely as supporters in Leicester or Newcastle.

    Also, alcohol. If a gent is in a bar drinking a beer at 7:30 in the morning, society deems him to be an alcoholic. If Liverpool are losing to Bournemouth on a television in that very same bar whilst that afore- mentioned beer is being quaffed, we consider that man an American soccer fan. If we have learned only one...

About the Author-

  • Roger Bennett was born in Liverpool and moved to the United States after university, under the thrall of Ferris Bueller, Hart to Hart, and Diff'rent Strokes. A writer, broadcaster, and filmmaker, Bennett began at ESPN and moved with Men in Blazers to NBC Sports to become the go-to interviewer for the biggest names in soccer, making films with the likes of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. Michael Davies was born in London and educated in Scotland and the United States. For twenty-eight years he has worked as a television executive and multiple Emmy Award winning producer of many shows, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Davies started writing for ESPN.com in 2002 before partnering with Bennett on Men in Blazers in 2010. In addition to their podcast and television show on NBC Sports, the duo have a weekly show built into the phenomenally popular EA Sports FIFA game, and have developed a large live following.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2018

    Known collectively as Men in Blazers, coauthors Bennett and Davies are transplanted Brits and lifelong soccer fanatics who host their own podcasts, website, and TV program. Their enthusiasm for the beautiful game is the inspiration for this unconventional and highly entertaining A-Z guide, containing straight historical and informational entries as well as autobiographical anecdotes and often subjective tangents. Deeply ingrained elsewhere around the world, soccer has not quite achieved major league status in the United States; for the uninitiated, the game is a confusing landscape of leagues, fan cultures, and rivalries. Bennett and Davies sort it all out in this lively, welcoming guide for sports fans at the high school level and older, delineating a vibrant time line for the slow but steady growth of soccer in America in recent decades and in the process, legitimizing the game on both internal and international levels. VERDICT Whether read cover to cover or casually browsed, this mix of soccer history, personal accounts, and irresistible humor will engage and inform both new and seasoned fans, especially in time for the 2018 World Cup.--Janet Davis, Darien P.L., CT

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica
Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica
A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America's "Sport of the Future" Since 1972
Roger Bennett
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A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America's "Sport of the Future" Since 1972
Roger Bennett
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