It’s the start of a variety of sporting seasons and I thought it might be interesting to outline who I follow and why.


By football I mean proper football, where the players use their feet to manipulate the ball. Others of you may know it as “soccer”. Let me re-educate you on that.

My boys are Sheffield United, who are starting their first season in the Premiership since they were relegated in 1994. I’d only really got into following the Blades (as they’re known – a reference to Sheffield’s historic cutlery industry) in my last years at high school when some friends from down our road invited us to come along. Since then I’ve never lived in Sheffield and so the chances to go are few and far between. However, I listened to that last miserable game when we got relegated in 1994 on the BBC World Service radio while in Illinois and I watched them play in the FA Cup while on an island in the north of Indonesia. As long as they play big teams they get screened! And so I may watch them this Saturday as the season opens, they’re playing Liverpool! That may be nasty…

American Football

During that year in the States (93-4) I got into American Football and, in particular, watching the University of Illinois team. Their programme has not had the best of times recently as ESPN helpfully point out

Five years ago, Illinois sat at the top of the Big Ten. Ron Turner’s sixth team went 10-2, won the league championship and went to its first BCS game. Since then, pfffft. The balloon not only lost all of its air, it was ripped to shreds by blowout losses, recruiting mistakes and ultimately, the firing of the same coach who took the Illini to the top.

The hope, of course, is that things will pick up. We’ll see…


To be fair, the cricket season has almost ended back in England but I’ve got my sights set on the Ashes Tour coming here in Australia over the year end. Somehow England managed to win last year and the Aussies are baying for blood. With home crowds and England losing several key players they may just be in luck and I may have a very long summer if my friends here are at all predictable…

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. yechezkiel

    I always find it funny that Americans call the game “soccer”, which is slang for “association football” which we don’t know what the heck is.

    1. yechezkiel

      Also, I hate the University of Illinois. ;P

  2. detroitfather

    I still root for the Fighting Illini, having grown up in Champaign-Urbana. I attended several U of I football and basketball games as a kid. I wonder if they still have Chief Illiniwek as their mascot, and whether they let him dance. Or perhaps it is too Politically inCorrect these days? I imagine that will be able to enlighten us.

  3. little_teacup

    Football; yes, thank you! Is North America the only place that refers to it as soccer? Because in Latin America we call it “football” as well (or “fΓΊtbol”, rather πŸ˜‰ ).

  4. detroitfather

    No, let me re-educate you!

    By football I mean proper football, where the players use their feet to manipulate the ball. Others of you may know it as “soccer”. Let me re-educate you on that.

    Your very word choice is the undoing of your argument! For does not the word manipulate come from the Latin word for hand? My dictionary’s definition #1 for manipulate is: To operate or control by skilled use of the hands.

    I think you need some such word as pedipulate!

  5. jadeejf

    I love that you watch Fighting Illini football. I used to sell concessions at their games to raise money for scout stuff. It’s awesome πŸ˜€ And watching pro football there while the Bears were kicked out of their home field was awesome too πŸ™‚

  6. jonny_darko

    It is curious how we got a football in which the feet aren’t used (most of the time). I favor basketball myself, a love that developed when I was about ten or eleven and the local Phoenix Suns were in the glory days.

  7. Anonymous


    Well first game over and we should have won save for Mr Styles. At least we didn’t lose 1-1s a fair result against Liverpool!! was in the blackforst and had to make do with a txt at the end of the day from Peter. Spurs on Tuesday – hopefully will get to see the game on Sky and heres hoping for the first win of the season.


Leave a Comment - but please pay careful attention to the house rules