If, during the current World Cup tournament, you’re looking for a funky and fun book about soccer, then “Encyclopedia Blazertannica” is just the ticket. Everything from the book’s offbeat design to its subtitle spoofing soccer as America’s sport of the future “since 1972” has a humorous undercurrent. The authors are a pair of English-born broadcasters who started a popular soccer blog called “Men in Blazers” that has inspired a TV show of the same name on NBC Sports. It’s considered a gathering place for American fans interested in immersing themselves in soccer’s history and culture. Their book covers a multitude of bases, from dressing room music and fake injuries to such playing greats as David Beckham and Roberto Baggio.
Here’s an excerpt from Encyclopedia Blazertannica:
“Draw: A tie occurring when the final whistle blows and the scores are level, with both teams departing honors even. A feature that many American broadcasters feared would hold the sport’s development back in the United States where sporting sensibilities traditionally demand a clear-cut way of determining a winner to be lauded and a loser on which to pour scorn. Englishmen feel differently. Not losing is what is important. Even more than winning. Not losing is winning.”