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Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto by Steve Almond

By Steve Almond

On any given Sunday, soccer services extra like a countrywide faith than a recreation. thousands of lovers assemble each weekend in autumn to absorb the grace, drama, and pageantry of the sport. actually, we adore soccer quite a bit we’ve turn into ignorant of its dangers.

Simply placed: the sport isn’t sturdy for us. scientific study confirms what the headlines hold reporting: soccer factors mind harm. cherished corridor of Famers are actually struggling with dementia and taking their very own lives. It’s not only the professionals who suffer, both. young ones and youths are prone to a similar types of accidents, with a similar long term results—perhaps much more so.

But football’s mental and financial hazards—though extra subtle—are simply as profound.

Here, ny occasions bestselling writer Steve Almond info why, after 40 years as a fan, he can now not watch the sport he nonetheless loves. utilizing a synthesis of memoir, reportage, and cultural critique, Almond steps again from the seductive din of the gridiron to invite a chain of provocative questions:

• What does it suggest that our society has transmuted the intuitive actual joys of childhood—run, bounce, throw, tackle—into a billion-dollar industry?
• How did a game that reasons mind harm develop into the top signifier of our associations of upper learning?
• Does our dependancy to soccer foster a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia?

There hasn't ever been a e-book that exposes the darkish underside of America’s favourite online game with such searing candor.

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Extra info for Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto

Sample text

The only reference to cricket in his entire fictional output appears in the Mayor of Casterbridge. In the eerie atmosphere of Casterbridge’s ancient Roman amphitheatre, ‘Some boys had latterly tried to impart gaiety to the ruin by using the central arena as a cricket-ground. But the game usually languished for the aforesaid reason – the dismal privacy which the earthen circle enforced, shutting out every appreciative passer’s vision, every commendatory remark from outsiders – everything, except the sky; and to play at games in such circumstances was like acting to an empty house’.

Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge [Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985], 141). 34 Cricket, Literature and Culture 26 And now for those anointed clod-stumpers, the Walkers, Tom and Harry. Never sure came two such unadulterated rustics into a civilised community. How strongly are the figures of the men (of Tom’s in particular) brought to my mind when they first presented themselves to the club, upon Windmill-down. ]. They both came to play in their clumsy hob-nailed boots, laced halfway to the knee.

No! 29 27 Michael Harris, ‘Sport in the Newspapers before 1750: representations of cricket, class and commerce in the London press’, Media History 4, 1 (June 1998): 19–28. 28 See Robin Simon and Alistair Smart, The Art of Cricket (London: Secker & Warburg, 1983), 16–17; Leigh Hunt, ‘Cricket and Exercise in General’, in The Seer; or, Common-Places Refreshed (London: Edward Moxon, 1840), 34–6; William Hazlitt, The Collected Works of William Hazlitt vol. R. Waller and A. M. Dent, 1904). 29 Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village (London: Bracken Books, 1992), 131.

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