Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'soccer'

So Far from the Zenith

February 6th, 2013 · No Comments

It is tough not to be saddened by the unraveling of English soccer hero Paul Gascoigne, who is currently drying out at an American rehabilitation facility after a very long, very public battle with a virulent strain of alcoholism. Like so many celebrities who we adore for their bad behavior, Gazza became trapped in a […]

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A Real Political Gambit

September 11th, 2012 · No Comments

I was amused by the recent hullabaloo over whether athletes have a right to comment on controversial issues. There was something uniquely American about the controversy, for we are the rare nation that pretends that jocks must check their political leanings at the door. This concept must sound bizarre to the soccer fans of Brazil, […]

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Optimal Ransom

June 20th, 2012 · 6 Comments

When Nigerian soccer star Christian Obodo was briefly kidnapped earlier this month, I was struck not only by the boldness of the crime, but also by the crooks’ obvious sensitivity to economic realities. For as this early account of the caper makes clear, the kidnappers and Obodo’s family started the negotiations on more-or-less the same […]

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After the Lights Switch Off

March 27th, 2012 · No Comments

So I have something pretty un-American to confess: this year, for the first time since my days in Dublin, I’ve been following Premier League soccer like mad. Things have gotten to the point, in fact, that I’m seriously considering a late-afternoon work break in order to watch the Sunderland-Everton FA Cup quarterfinal. I can’t only […]

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The Scribe Mind

January 30th, 2012 · 3 Comments

I recently finished up Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs, which is an absolute beast of a book. Aside from that great apocalyptic party scene in Bury St. Edmunds, there’s a terrific set piece in which Buford gets pummeled by Italian riot cops. I love the way he recounts his thought process while being savaged with […]

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The Mad Dash

January 19th, 2012 · No Comments

Taking a day to plow through edits on Chapters Three and Four of the forthcoming book. Need to have the first 50,000 or so words to my editor by February 27th, so I’ll be ducking out on occasion to enter the hardcore writing bubble. Back tomorrow with a post about the dispiriting trend in Scottish […]

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The Worst Good Time

January 17th, 2012 · 4 Comments

I’m a few pages from the end of Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs, a study of Thatcher-era football hooliganism that doubles as a meditation on crowd dynamics. It’s perhaps best known for its opening set-piece, in which the author tags along with a bunch of Manchester United supporters on a depraved trip to Turin. But […]

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Have Boot, Will Travel

October 11th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Though the Faroe Islands are inhabited by less than 50,000 souls, the Danish dependency boasts its very own professional soccer league—one that includes four separate tiers of prestige, topped by the premier-level Vodafonedeildin. As this excellent photo set demonstrates, even the league’s most elite teams don’t draw enormous crowds—though, granted, the humans in those images […]

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Primal Joy

September 26th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Recovering from the flu today, so don’t quite have the mental fortitude to do anything more complex than shuffle from coffee pot to couch. But thought I’d muster the energy to share the clip above, the first goal from last week’s Fenerbahce-versus-Manisaspor soccer match in Istanbul. For those of y’all who don’t follow Turkish sports, […]

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Pawns in the Game

May 12th, 2011 · No Comments

Is there any professional sports league in the world more troubled than Serbia’s top soccer division? Yesterday’s championship ended in utter confusion, after one side walked off to protest some questionable refereeing. Though I haven’t yet seen video of the plays in question, the losing players had every right to be suspicious—Serbia has endured its […]

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The Venezuela of Its Day

June 22nd, 2010 · 7 Comments

We’ve been doing our best to work up a healthy antipathy toward Algeria, whose national team we face tomorrow in a must-win World Cup match. As big fans of The Battle of Algiers and longtime observers of the country’s ruinous civil war, our hearts go out to the Algerian generations that have endured so much […]

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Fake Can Be Just as Good?

April 15th, 2010 · No Comments

With the start of the World Cup less than two months away, South African cops are working hard to stem the tide of counterfeit jerseys: A Swazi man was on Saturday night arrested at the Oshoek Border gate after allegedly being found with 12,000 fake World Cup soccer shirts worth E3.6million. SAPS spokesman Colonel Vishnu […]

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The Last Delay

June 9th, 2009 · 2 Comments

The missus isn’t due back from Vega$ ’til late tonight, which means we’re in extreme-parenting mode for one more day. Genuine posts up soon; in the interim, please enjoy the above vid of Burmese construction workers showing off their Eto’o-like skills. We wonder if any of these blokes are currently living the dream in the […]

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The Pride of Sagaing Division

May 11th, 2009 · 1 Comment

The handsome logo at right belongs to Zeya Shwe Myay FC, one of eight teams that will soon compete in Burma’s National League Cup, the nation’s first-ever professional soccer league. Matches kick off this coming Saturday, with the early money on Mandalay’s Yadanarpon FC as the prohibitive favorite; the team is owned by a drinking-water […]

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