6. “Paul Cunningham wanted to build a football with soul. He meant it partly as a joke—how could it not be a joke?
Cunningham wasn’t a football guy. He grew up in Cooperstown, N.Y., so close to the Baseball Hall of Fame, pilgrims parked their cars in his family’s lawn when there was an induction ceremony.
Young Paul worked summers in the Hall’s research library, and wasn’t a bad ballplayer himself—in college, he played a little outfield, pitched a few innings, in between warming some bench. But a football, it could be a game-changer.”
The Wall Street Journal meets a man who’s made the ‘perfect football’. Why not?
5. “El Clasico. The biggest club game in the world. Not a bad climax to a busy week. There’s a mad scrum outside the Bernabeu as I’m walking around. Rafael Nadal has just arrived. This is a game that everyone wants to see.”
Matt Dickinson of The Times details his week for the Football Writers’ Association. Not a bad seven days, as he’s write.
4. “If Michael O’Hehir said these yokes were ok, then they were ok. Michael O’Hehir was a man you could trust. Nobody had that level of rapport with the Irish people, either before or after. Plenty of people couldn’t stand Gay Byrne, but it’s impossible to imagine anyone having an objection to Michael O’Hehir. It would be like picking a fight with Santa.”
An Spaílpín Fánach on Michael O’Hehir, his legacy and RTÉ. Worth a read.
3. “Imagine that you’re a detective, assigned to investigate a murder in a community of 1,000 people. There’s no established motive for this crime, and no one saw it happen. By the time you arrive, the body has already been cremated. There are no clues. There is no forensic evidence. You can’t find anything that sheds any light whatsoever on who committed this murder. But because there are only 1,000 people in town, you have the opportunity to interview everyone who lives there. And that process generates a bizarre consensus: Almost 800 of the 1,000 citizens believe the murderer is a local man named Timothy.”
Chuck Klosterman did it. In the parlour. With a Tim Tebow column on Grantland.
2. “I don’t think you could say [Fergie] was a great tactical innovator, and yet he was the pioneer of playing ‘strikerless football’ in England, and that took them to the Champions League in 2008. He’s clearly tactically aware, because you can’t be that successful without being tactically aware, but when you have the best players in the country that are incredibly well organised and incredibly well motivated, why change anything?” Looking back at the Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1991, he played a 4-2-3-1 – nobody called it that, but that’s what it was. That was a radical thing, but nobody really noticed it because we weren’t tuned to notice things like that.”
Football 365 catch up with football super-brain Jonathon Wilson in the wake of his latest book’s release.
1. “Stynes’ story may not be the saddest, but it is a tale of the human spirit’s capacity to not only endure, but to give. If Stynes has complained about the pain and howled at the unfairness of a near-certain death sentence, he has not told the world about it. He has feared death, naturally, but he has not bowed to bitterness. Amid many twilights of doubt, he has not sought sympathy. Nor has he, or his wife, Sam, airbrushed the confronting bits. Stynes is without the vanity of modern celebrity. Who else would share the bouts of grumpiness that once prompted Sam to boot him from the house?”
The Herald Sun’s Patrick Carlyon pay tribute to their ‘Victorian of the Year’, AFL legend and Dubliner, Jim Stynes who continues to fight cancer.
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