Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Fevered Pitch: Strange and Terrible Tales From the World of Soccer 5

Posted on September 18, 2010 by Andrew Jeromski

If you are one of the five or six people who have actually read any of my other irresponsibly chimeric screeds (hi Mom, Aunt Kate), then you no doubt realize I have a peculiar fondness for the bizarre and the off beat.

I also possess a passion for the sport of soccer, which is a fortuitous thing, as the world of association football is literally overflowing with all manner of chiseling crooks, dangerous thugs, craven lunatics and twisted perverts. This means that the well of weirdness that FIFA keeps in the secret attic of a small church in southern France will never run dry, much to the satisfaction of those like myself who take great pleasure to revel in the arcana of the beautiful game.    This is something that many American fans overlook; the petty dramas of the transfer market, the vicious hatred between rivals fans, the wealth of impossible personalities and the far fetched happenings of international soccer.

Take the case of the Togolese national team. I mean, imagine you are a Togolese international, and you awake one morning, switch on your TV and see a match report from a friendly in Riffa, Bahrain that you are pretty sure never happened–at least not with the Togo team you play for. Read the rest of this entry →

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      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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