Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Supercool Football Blog Alert(s)

Over the last few months I've been enjoying the writing and observations over at If This Is Football, a site run by Thomas Dunmore who is an English ex-pat currently residing in Chicago. Dunmore has written some fine pieces on our own beloved Portland Timbers and the rabid TA supporters (focusing on the sometimes contentious relationship between the front office and the dedicated fans from the North End who collectively generate the sound and fury any team would pay to have backing them up), Barca's outspoken politically-minded defender Lillian Thuram, and the brilliantly exuberant fan support and atmosphere fueling the new MLS expansion team Toronto FC, as well as the Chicago Fire's own Section 8 supporters group, comrades to our own TA.

Earlier this week Dunmore fired up a new blog, Pitch Invasion, which will focus on "football supporter culture, politics and passion in all their forms." I love it already and you should too! Soccer, football, whatever you call it, is always first and foremost about the game--the physicality, the drama on and off the pitch, and the addictive delirium that overtakes us as we watch our team(s) win. There really is nothing else quite like it. But for many supporters and teams from other countries there are always other elements at play during a match--politics, regionalism, nationalism, religion, et al--that we here in the insular U.S. either forget about or outright ignore because for most of us a game is simply a game. It's not, though, is it?

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