If you’d like to read some words of mine and from others that will never appear online, you may be interested in purchasing the inaugural issue of The Portage, a soccer zine with a global focus published out of Chicago by WB05 and co-edited by myself.
The first issue contains six original, lengthy essays on the World Cup, covering the history of the event, the meaning of global fandom and the past and future of the World Cup in Chicago, as follows:
The Summer of ’94 // Marc Bahnsen
Football’s Coming Home? // Tom Dunmore
The World Cup & International Greatness // Ted Harwood
Little Guys On the Largest Stage // Benjamin Kumming
The United States’ World Cup Bid & Chicago // JL Murtaugh
From Cork to Chicago, via Belgrade // Stephen Piggott
Most of the above writers have also written for Pitch Invasion in the past, and each essay is pretty damn good.
Here’s a teaser of my own entry:
I knew it was coming. When I went to the Globe Pub in Chicago, sitting alongside dozens of friends and acquaintances from the city’s soccer community to watch the draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup unfold, I had an uncanny sense that my native land, England, would be drawn in the same group as my current homeland, the United States. Somehow, it seemed inevitable to me, and of course, there is no greater egocentrism than presuming this random act of chance in an event that will be watched by hundreds of millions of human beings somehow means something just for me.
But at the least, it does mean something special to me, and it means something odd for me as well. Something related to what being a fan means, to what being a citizen is, to what patriotism is, to what the World Cup is all about as a global televised event.
Someone far smarter than me might be able to unravel all this in an academic way that makes sense, something about identity in a post-national age or something.
But I’m just going to tell you my feelings about this game. About why despite all reason to the contrary, I’ll be rooting for England against the United States.
And that’s the case even though I just used the word “rooting”, even though I’m increasingly fighting an urge to spell words in Americanis/zed fashion, even though I’m losing my British accent, even though I live in America, I got married in America (my wife is also an immigrant to the US, born in Poland), and that American soccer has given me more than I ever could have imagined: including my wife.
To read the rest, you’ll need to order the print zine, which runs 26 quality pages long, with original illustrations. It’s $5 plus $1 shipping for domestic US readers and $3 for international readers. You can order through the Paypal link below, though you don’t need a Paypal account to order, just a credit card.
Amaze your friends by reading about soccer on paper! Order now!