Monday, March 18, 2013

Nationwide Football Annual Brief Review

Foschia, Italy-trekearth
Tuscany, Italy-trekearth
My brother gave me this Irish green Balmoral cap as his head was too small. A new look for me and to be honest with my large and hopefully enlightened head, it definitely looks better than a baseball cap. Now I just need to think of an article for this post. 

A Facebook comment on my photo from a female friend... Quote: 'Don no1.....'

Well I am Irish, Swedish, Italian from my biological Father, according to a piece of paper from the hospital.

Nationwide Football Annual Review 

For the sixteenth season in a row, since 1997-1998, I have ordered from the United Kingdom, this helpful sports text. First of all, it is called 'Football' as in Soccer, as in FIFA and UEFA not the NFL and CFL.

As I noted on Facebook, I will admit that the professionalism and consistency of National Football League referees likely surpasses that of those of UEFA-Union of European Football Associations.


The text is not primarily an European football text and encyclopedia, but is mainly one for the British Isles as in the club and national teams of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. An interesting set of statistics which likely is not available in most Football encyclopedias is from each of the five British Isles nations versus each other and all nations historically in all matches, pages 254-277 and 305-310. Another interesting statistic is the all-time record of England versus Scotland with the Scots almost being equal at England 45 Wins Scotland 41 Wins Draws 24.

England being the much higher ranked nation traditionally the results may be surprising, however, I am not completely surprised that the Scots would play their very best against the English, traditional rivals.

Having lived in the United Kingdom two years and visited eight times, although still an outsider, I have some concept of the 'tribalism', and some of this is due to that fact that the sovereign United Kingdom is made up of four different non-sovereign nations of people from England, Scotland, Wales and (Northern) Ireland. Tribalism also takes places within England itself and within football.

Satirically, a very good friend of mine in Manchester sometimes criticizes me for laughing at some of the public antics of British people at football matches and related. I am not disrespectful but I find some of the things deemed more acceptable within their society, which would be more unacceptable in our Canadian society, amusing.

I suppose it would work both ways, admittedly in regard to our society as well. But for one, would be spectator activity and potential for violence at football matches. In the United Kingdom and some other football nations.

In the United Kingdom. and I assume most places in Europe spectators enter in the stadium divided up in home and away sections and sit in home and away sections, attend the home and away restrooms and purchase products from home and away vendors.They do not mingle. The related at times public drunkenness and rude and related activity would not be considered proper activity by Canadian standards, although yes, some of this does take place and there have been sports related riots and violence in both sovereign nations.

I have routinely witnessed public urination outside of the match grounds, for example.

But in North America there are no such divisions between home and away spectators. My friend was very surprised that these divisions did not take place in North America. An indication of a cultural divide.

However, at a pub in Manchester my friend, an Arsenal supporter, became embroiled in a short heated debate with a Manchester United supporter, which amused me after his cultural warnings to me. And he noted to me on occasions that for some reason he had only been punched twice in the head at football matches; sucker punched both times.

I, on the other hand have never had that type of conflict in Europe, although I have faced criminal violence or potential violence in Manchester as noted on this blog previously. For one, I will not wear any football gear. I attend matches with a neutral look...

Back to the Nationwide text, the brief European statistics are useful with UEFA Champions League results from the previous year of 2012 pages 216-224 and the all-time champions from 1955-2012 are listed on page 226. It would be helpful to have the number of championships by clubs listed, and they are not this year. The FIFA World Cup results from 1930 to 2010 are summarized from pages 210 to 215. From pages 440 to 507, all English and Scottish clubs are listed with vital information such as stadium capacity.

The text is also full of many pages of historical and current information concerning British Isles football players, including many records.

Overall, once again a very useful text, but again a British Isles guide more than a European one.

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