There are many reasons to love Deadspin, the sports website owned by Gawker Media. The idea of grown men getting paid squillions of dollars to play children’s games is essentially silly, so Deadspin’s combination of snark, uncompromising exposés of bad behavior, and withering criticism of the lamestream sports media is so very necessary.
The editorial staff of Deadspin is progressive enough to be ahead of its readership when it comes to covering sports that are growing in popularity but may not yet be on everyone’s radar. Specifically, I’m referring to soccer, played at the highest levels in Europe. Although I rate Slate and Grantland’s Brian Phillips as the best American soccer writer, Barry Petchesky does admirable work almost every week, converting mainstream ‘Merican sports fans to the world’s game by highlighting the sport’s unique excitement and drama.
One of the reasons soccer appeals to nerdy Murrican sports aficionados is that the competitive and financial structure of the sport is rather different than anything we typically see stateside. Teams play in up to four tournaments simultaneously, the best teams play against the best teams from other countries, and the worst teams engage in a compelling dogfight to avoid being relegated to a lower division and an uncertain future. [Read more…]