Life, Death, and Football

You can evade taxes; death and football are inevitabilities.

Getting The Sack.

So Moyes finally got his P45 (Thats a Pink Slip for us Americans) and everyone is saying it should have happened sooner. Moyesy always seems like a nice enough guy. No one ever wants to see a beautiful face like that saddened by getting fired. 

However everything that could have been said about it has been said. I am just going to talk about the reasoning behind the way it happened, why it made sense as a business. The business that is Manchester United holds perception very high. They need people to perceive that they know what they doing behind the scenes. But just so you know… They really don’t know the outcome. Hence, Moyes. So yes they let out the information of Moyes’ sacking earlier than normal because of the American stock exchange. Utd’s stock rose 7 points after the announcement was made. What does that mean? It means more money for Utd and it’s investors. The Glazers really like money and whats a better way to boost the moral and the perception than getting rid of the captain of a sinking ship and installing an old favorite. I mean really, who can hate Ryan “Beautiful Smile” Giggs? (Besides his father, his brother and pretty much a lot of other people in his family. I mean the guy did have an affair with his brothers wife for like 8 years.)

But hey that can be forgiven by the world because that is outside the realm of sport. So back to perception. They need their investors to perceive they are in control of the ship and they need to show people they stand strong in their defiance of the league table, which shows a torrid season by Utd standards. So my question is to you, dear reader, do they have control? Was it a good idea to ship Moyes out? 

I love this quote. I also love this man. One of the most amazing players to ever step on the pitch. In my top 5. Maybe top 3.

I love this quote. I also love this man. One of the most amazing players to ever step on the pitch. In my top 5. Maybe top 3.

33% Of Footballers Get Divorced Within A Year Of Retirement.

Just found that to be a very interesting statistic. I wonder if Giroud will be an outlier? 

The House of the Beautiful Sleeping Athlete

Such an incredible story. If you like this check out The Blizzard, edited by the amazing Jonathan Wilson. 

I never get tired of watching this goal. What a beauty. It was still rising when it went in.


Football Boot Porn.

Funny old game.

There is a saying that football is a funny old game. You know? It really is. When a team near the bottom of league two can overcome two premier league sides and reach the quarter final of the FA Cup, you know it is a funny old game.

Gary Lineker once said “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.” 

Well this week the Greeks won. A two-nil victory for Olympiacos tonight solidified my feelings on it being a funny old game. This win signified the fact that a team that recently won the league in England can go and lose out to the Greek Champions. Take nothing away from the mighty side from outside Athens, they played for a win and they got it. However, it is something special. I am sure the Ouzo is flowing in Athens even today.

Other funny moments from the past few weeks is West Ham winning four on the bounce. If you had told me last month that the Hammers would be mid-table by February’s end? I would have laughed in your face then went home and cried a little because I would feel in my heart that it was an impossibility. But somehow Big Fat Sam has the boys playing for each other and the club. Big Sex, Drugs and Carlton “Concrete Boots” (as I call him) Cole even has found the back or the net. Not to Mention Kevin “Do Tha F’N Chicken” Nolan scoring 5 goals in 3 games. Just absurdity I tell you.

And lastly a team I have in my heart for the chance they gave me to intern for them and the team that started this, Sheffield United. How they sit in relegation one week and beat Villa and Fulham, regardless of postion in the Premier League, truly beats me. Sadly the Owls won’t be visiting the Lane anytime soon since they were knocked out by Charlton. But it does give the Blades a chance at getting even further in the Cup because whenever they play Wednesday it is always a toss up. 

Good luck to United and you will always “Feel up my senses!” 

 Anyway that is my round of just a few of the current events in football and just why it really is a funny ole’ game. 

Merry Christmas from Life, Death and Football!

Merry Christmas from Life, Death and Football!

World Cup and outbreak of supporter violence link Brazil and Russia

So I have recently read the article above on The Guardian’s website and overall it is a well put together article but I feel its lacking the meat of the matter which, to me, is asking one question, Why? Why is there a rise of the far right amongst youth? Why does this correlate with what is happening on the terraces? 

Well folks, I may not be able to answer this exactly but the fact is it has happened before. The seventies and eighties in England saw a spike in football violence. It was quite often tied, in the media ,to the English movement, the National Front… etc. During this time we were also seeing a push from the Thatcher led government for England to shake off the shackles of old industry and hold up in the cell of emerging industry. Plants, factories, and mines were closing and more and more people were on the dole to make sure ends meet. 

So there is a little background, the world is changing and youth unemployment is increasing like never before. According to Richard Layner, in his article “Youth Unemployment in Britain and the United States”, youth unemployment went from 3.6% to 7.4% from 1974 to 75 and then went on to increase by 1.7% the following year. So picture it, you are young, you and most of your friends were either let go or cannot find work and everyone is blaming the government. You are now pissed off and the only thing you find affordable anymore is cheap ale and football. Let’s not forget that in 1975 a little known band called the Sex Pistols were about to rock the music scene to it’s core and also egg on the frustration against the government. 

So now we have the far right and its organizations saying, “Everyone is angry at the government, how can we use this to get what we want?” This is how we get the National Front and other parties looking to attract young minds by blaming immigrants for the issues at hand. No jobs? The Immigrants took them from you. Then they took this dog and pony show to the first place they knew young people gather, football grounds.

So to put simply, if you piss enough people off because you don’t provide them some sort of outlet through occupation or the ability to have an outlet through legal hobbies, they make their own. Enter football violence, an institution that had been around a lot longer than 1970 and was an outlet for anger and frustration for a group of the community that felt oppressed and disenfranchised. It seems that this phenomenon is happening again.

In the article the author mentions Greece’s right wing group, Golden Dawn, and the way they have gone about using football as a platform to vocalize their opinions. This is much like the National Front or the English Defense League in the UK. So why is football violence again turned to for recruiters? Because once again the youth is feeling the brunt of the country’s mistakes. They feel hopeless and angry. Greece’s youth unemployment rate is around 50%, give or take, that is ludicrously high and I feel these kids have a right to be angry. Sadly, they are just finding the wrong people to believe in. Russia is the same way with youth unemployment at about 15%. These groups in the far right know that their best chance to increase their ranks is to get these kids that are uneducated and jobless. 

Just look at Brazil and their protests during the Confederations Cup. They are pissed off because their country decided to line their own pockets and look towards marketing themselves for the future rather than create better infrastructure and healthcare for their citizens. That would have me raring to have a go at someone. 

I understand not all football violence can be attributed to this reasoning but a fair bit of it can. If you want to read more about football hooliganism I suggest looking towards someone more suited to tell you about it, such as Bill Buford and his amazing book “Among The Thugs”.