michelle ng defend it like beckham oct 26

20 Years of Arsène

October might as well be Arsène Wenger month. This past weekend, he celebrated his 67th birthday and two weeks ago, his 20th anniversary of managing my beloved Arsenal Football Club—an English soccer team (technically, he was appointed in September, but his first match was October 12, so you get the idea). Us fans showered him…

Huddle Up, We’re Dreaming

A football family finds home in Netflix’s Last Chance U

In Massillon, Ohio, where they’ve been playing high school football since 1894, football starts at birth and ends at death. Or, if you believe in heaven, then there is surely Tigers football there as well. In a town of only 33,000 people, the football stadium seats 16,600. The Tigers Booster Club visits maternity wards to…

Madeleine Denman ac raiders copy

fandom, pt. 3: the raider way

mojo, cheats, and the family business

At 5 a.m. on Sunday January 2nd, 2000, I lay sleeping on the twin bed in my room, surrounded by stuffed animals, big pillows, and my warm comforter. I lay there dreaming, until my father gently woke me. “Gotta get the mojo workin’. Dillon, wake up, gotta get the mojo workin’,” he whispered in my…

Robyn Sundlee ac featurette NFL copy

inch by inch

why sexual orientation doesn’t matter in football

I have always been told football is a game of inches. We, the players, fight for those inches not for ourselves, but for our teammates standing beside us. Now that University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam has come out as gay, his acceptance into the National Football League will determine whether the aforementioned philosophy…

Madeleine Denman ac featurette self hating sports fan copy

fandom, pt. 2

memoirs of a self-hating boston fan

I know it’s not good for me. It makes me angry, obsessive, arrogant, paranoid, and spiteful. It causes me to break down into incoherence. Most of all, it brings out a tribalism in me that seems more at home in interwar Europe than 21st century New England. But I can’t kick it. I just can’t…