ESPN and the Un-Americanisation of Global Football

This article examines the cultural politics of American soccer fandom, with specific attention paid to the ways in which the sport is positioned and platformed by the major sports networks, including, especially, cable televisions biggest player in the United States, ESPN. The networks‘ failure to exploit soccer as a marketable commodity can be traced to a persistent American futility at the sport on the international level, but it evinces as well a larger American cultural problematic, one in which ethnocentrism and isolationism is disguised, as it often is, as American exceptionalism.

Film Studies
Manchester, 1840–1919

This book provides a distinctive and original contribution to the historiography of sport, adding considerably to our understanding of the origins of soccer within the Manchester region. It is the first academic study of the development of association football in Manchester and is directly linked to the debates within sports history on football’s origins. Its regional focus informs the wider debate, contextualising the growth of the sport in the city and identifying communities that propagated and developed football. The period 1840–1919 saw Manchester’s association game develop from an inconsequential, occasionally outlawed activity, into a major business with a variety of popular football clubs and supporting industries. This study of Manchester football considers the sport’s emergence, development and establishment through to its position as the city’s leading team sport. What establishes a football culture and causes it to evolve is not simply the history of a few clubs, governing bodies, local leagues or promoting schools, but a conglomeration of all of these. The book is innovative in its approach to the origins of footballing in Manchester, where the sport has generally been assumed not to have existed until the creation of what became Manchester City and Manchester United.

Organisation and competition 123 6 Organisation and competition The Manchester Football Association Following the aborted attempt to establish a Manchester–Staffordshire Football Association in 1876 and the establishment of the Lancashire Football Association (Lancashire FA) in 1878, the requirement to establish regular competition and localised rules was recognised in numerous locations around the country. The growth of soccer in Lancashire following the establishment of the county FA demonstrated that formalised competition aided Lancashire’s soccer

in The emergence of footballing cultures

, even after the two sides had joined the League. Newton Heath’s home was considered to be too far from central Manchester to attract good support, although this seemed illogical because the working-­ class districts had demonstrated great interest in the sport. The impression of Manchester’s struggling status as a soccer city was compounded when the Heathens finished bottom of Division One in 1894 and were relegated. There had been controversy when the Birmingham Daily Gazette reported that the style of play employed by Newton Heath in their October 1893 4–1 victory

in The emergence of footballing cultures
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number of teams from Bolton, to the north of the city, took part the only club from the immediate Manchester region was Manchester Wanderers. Had other Manchester sides been involved in the organisation or contributed to the inaugural meetings of the Lancashire FA, then football might well have been recognised as a prominent local activity. While the Bolton–Blackburn area of Lancashire was in the main switching to soccer rather than rugby, if the earlier plan to have a Manchester–Staffordshire football association had come to fruition it is highly plausible that

in The emergence of footballing cultures
French paintings of rugby

3 Oval balls and cubist players: French paintings of rugby In my analysis of paintings of racing cyclists, I concentrated on three works that were produced over a relatively short period of time, but in different countries. In this chapter, my analysis is concerned with paintings of rugby (and to a lesser extent, soccer) by French artists produced at three moments over a much longer period. The study begins with a reading of The Football Players by Henri Rousseau, a work that, although painted in 1908, recalls the introduction of rugby into France in the final

in Sport and modernism in the visual arts in Europe, c. 1909–39
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, and while the wealthier members of society may well have sent their children to public schools there is little obvious connection to Manchester’s footballing development at this time. As well as football, there were cricket and quoiting at the Manchester Athenaeum and at other locations in the region, and there was a thriving pedestrianism community, this latter being described as ‘the recreation of the hard-­working artisans of the cotton metropolis’.18 This could attract crowds of 10,000 to the same districts of Manchester as soccer would later on, namely but not

in The emergence of footballing cultures
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, although by 1919 it was most commonly associated with the working classes. There had been some public school influence and it is possible that connections between Hulme Athenaeum and the Birley family in the early 1860s had planted the initial soccer seed in the region. However, the main influences and participants in the 1870s and beyond came from experienced enthusiasts from Manchester, Stoke, Nottingham and Scotland. Some of these were public school boys, such as Stuart Smith; but others, such as Fitzroy Norris, John Nall, Jim Ingram and Arthur Andrews, were not

in The emergence of footballing cultures
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Sport, spectatorship and mass society in modern France

The stadium century traces the history of stadia and mass spectatorship in modern France from the vélodromes of the late nineteenth century to the construction of the Stade de France before the 1998 soccer World Cup, and argues that stadia played a privileged role in shaping mass society in twentieth-century France. Drawing off a wide range of archival and published sources, Robert W. Lewis links the histories of French urbanism, mass politics and sport through the history of the stadium in an innovative and original work that will appeal to historians, students of French history and the history of sport, and general readers alike. As The stadium century demonstrates, the stadium was at the centre of long-running debates about public health, national prestige and urban development in twentieth-century France. The stadium also functioned as a key space for mobilizing and transforming the urban crowd, in the twin contexts of mass politics and mass spectator sport. In the process, the stadium became a site for confronting tensions over political allegiance, class, gender, and place-based identity, and for forging particular kinds of cultural practices related to mass consumption and leisure. As stadia and the narratives surrounding them changed dramatically in the years after 1945, the transformed French stadium not only reflected and constituted part of the process of postwar modernisation, but also was increasingly implicated in global transformations to the spaces and practices of sport that connected France even more closely to the rest of the world.

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their preference changing to rugby.4 Some of these games involved up to forty players, which could at first glance imply that this was a form of rugby; however, the 1860s was still a period when the number of participants was not fixed, nor were there a consistent set of rules, and therefore it is impossible to state with certainty what form of football was being played.5 Regardless of the numbers, the view exists that Sale rugby club began life as a soccer club circa 1859, and that other rugby teams played soccer games from time to time; however, it is debatable

in The emergence of footballing cultures