Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer by Chuck Culpepper

Bloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English SoccerBloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer by Chuck Culpepper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful memoir by a jaded American sportswriter who has had enough of NFL coaches, Derby jockeys, and Kentucky basketball players for a lifetime, and decides to move to England to find the spark that led him into sports writing in the first place. Once there, he discovers that to have an authentic English sporting experience, he needs to choose a soccer team to support, and this is that story.

He's navigating the world of sports from a completely different angle, without a press pass, behind-the-scenes buffet, or access to the team, coaches, field or locker rooms. For the first time as an adult, he is having a real fan experience, and he becomes alternately enchanted and disillusioned with the way most of us experience sports.

The only reason I didn't give all five stars is that I suspect his editor gave him a page count, and he had to stretch his material about 50 pages longer than it would gracefully go. There's a bit of repetitiveness in the self-deprecation, and some scenes go on longer than one might wish.

Even so, if you appreciate soccer from any angle and in any country, this is a really lovely read that will remind you why you support your team and why anyone bothers with sports. I'd love to read more of his work.

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