Category Archives: Sport

The champ

In The Times, my review of Jonathan Eig’s compelling, thoroughly researched biography of Muhammad Ali. Definitely a candidate for sports book of the year. An American journalist whose previous books include a study of the black baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, … Continue reading

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Hats & Gunners

Arsenal fans at Highbury, 1933. (Via @TerraceImages)

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Notebook

Before 1933, football had been dominated by the workers’ sports clubs, which counted 700,000 members, and by the 240,000-strong Catholic clubs. Although the German Labour Front rapidly absorbed them and the Nazis reorganized the whole structure of the football leagues, … Continue reading

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Final lap of the Olympics

He appeared at the opening ceremony in Rio, so I’m assuming he won’t be in tonight’s closing show too. But who needs an excuse to play some Gilberto Gil?  This is my favourite version of “Expresso 2222”, performed live with … Continue reading

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Trifecta

Now that’s what you call a publishing triple-whammy: Hitler, golf and the Olympics, all in one book.

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Faces of Brazil

One of the official posters for the Olympics. (“It’s really hard for us in Brazil to choose one artist to represent the Games.”). When it comes to ideals of feminine beauty, on the other hand, the country still seems to prefer … Continue reading

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Notebook

Watching a game on television, or even with friends, is like listening in on some serious literary criticism: ‘un passaggio sopraffino, filigrana’ (‘an extra-fine filigree pass’) or else ‘un passaggio sincopato, che splendore ritmico’ (‘a syncopated passage of play, what … Continue reading

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Ingerland

Blind optimism meets reality. This clip of Steve McLaren during last night’s game  is the perfect summing-up of media coverage of the England team at every tournament in the past 50 years. Hilarious. [Thanks, Krish]

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The Greatest, RIP

Still numb, still can’t believe he’s gone.

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Man of destiny

Hollow laughter rings out in the secondhand bookshop.

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