“Making Football English” (Part I of this two-part series) addressed the ways in which Julian Fellowes’s The English Game narrativizes the origins of football (or soccer, for those of us in the U.S.) as distinctly English despite the Scottish influence on the English game. As discussed in part one:
Football historian and The English Game consultant Andy Mitchell tells The Telegraph‘s Paul Kendall, “The Scottish game was far more effective than the English game at this time. The English version … was more like rugby.” Paul Kendall continues: where the English teams “would just dribble in a pack and try and force a goal through brute strength,” the Scottish teams “developed a way of making space and passing the ball … playing the game as we understand it today.” The series concludes with this title frame:
Apart from Fellowes’s endeavor to portray football as distinctly English, I found this concluding title slide in the final episode particularly intriguing. The so-called “English game,” pioneered by Scottish professionals, is presented not only as being distinctly English, but also as the standard for modern football around the globe. Continue reading “Universalizing “English” Football, Part II”
Being a fan of both soccer and Downton Abbey, I decided to check out one of Julian Fellowes’s recent productions, The English Game. The Netflix miniseries, which aired in March 2020, is about the birth of football (or what we here in the US call soccer). The feel-good, wholesome show is set in 1879 and tells the story (with some embellishments, of course) of how a working-class team challenged and disrupted a gentlemen’s game. Take a look at the trailer…
The meaning of words, even entire texts, reflect our expectations of them and our assumptions of their context. This point is apparent in the Argentine soccer ad that uses quotes from Donald Trump to hype the national team’s trip to the United States. If you missed this brilliant appropriation, take a look below.
“Your Turn” is a new, ongoing feature at Culture on the Edge,in which we just plant the seed by picking a ripe e.g. and then soliciting and responding to your analysis.
Many of you are likely aware of the brouhaha surrounding American conservative firebrand Ann Coulter, who in the past few days has claimed not only that soccer isn’t a serious sport, but that the World Cup craze is an inherently un-American activity. You can see Coulter’s specific discussion on her website here and here.
Knowing Coulter’s penchant for highly inflammatory comments, it’s tempting to dismiss her statements as nothing but an attention-seeking gimmick. But for those of us interested in the dynamics of identity formation, we can find some very interesting data embedded in Coulter’s statements.
What do you see there? How does Coulter’s argument operate?