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"Of Headers and Hooligans"

2004 July 6
by Skip Sauer

Joe Queenan serves up snarky commentary on Franklin Foer’s new book, “How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization,” in the NY Times Sunday Book Review:

All this makes for very engaging reading, but it won’t get anyone in the United States any more excited about soccer. Since we already have ice hockey, a ferociously repetitive low-scoring game where nothing ever happens, and since hooliganism is not something we need to import to these shores, I suspect most readers will come away from this book relieved that professional soccer, like French pop music, German stand-up comedy and Indian movies, is something profoundly annoying that mercifully stays overseas where it can’t do any damage to our fragile republic. Perhaps inadvertently, Foer has written a paean to a sport he loves that will provide even more ammunition to those who loathe it.

There’s an excerpt from the first chapter there too, about Serbian hooligans at Red Star Belgrade. No insights in either about the economic commentary discussed by Daniel Gross. I’m still including Foer’s book in my next purchase.

Update: Rob Wilson’s review at MatchNight is much more balanced and descriptive. Recommended.

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