Football Scholar Miscellany: A First Eleven

In the spirit of helping to make the Football Scholars Forum a space for exchanging and enriching scholarly perspectives related to the beautiful game, I suggested the possibility of periodically posting a collection of links to and notes about work or events that might be of interest or use to the group.  After that initial suggestion, however, I’ve realized that I’m not exactly sure what could be of most interest or use.  But as a starting point I’m thinking of something like Arts & Letter Daily, morphed into something like Football & Letters Quarterly (or perhaps Football & Letters Very Periodically).

So my current idea is to periodically (every few months?) post a ‘first eleven’ of works that might provide food for thought to football scholars.  The initial ‘goal’ is to mostly highlight work in the space between peer-reviewed journal articles and casual blog posts—to identify articles, documentary films, books, or other media that offer thoughtful perspectives on football in ways that might just stimulate thought and discussion.  Each post would be intentionally eclectic; not the ‘best eleven,’ but a ‘first eleven’ chosen somewhat randomly in an effort to delve into the rich diversity of what might intrigue a football scholar.

Of course, these types of links are now readily available on blogs, twitter, and elsewhere in electronic clouds—in fact, my pleasure at stumbling across such links amidst otherwise aimless web surfing is why I think this might be worthwhile.  What I find that piques my scholarly interest (in contrast to my fan’s interest—of which there is much!) is often scattered and haphazard, and limited in opportunities to discuss, so perhaps an effort at collecting some together could be useful.  But perhaps not.  The hope is that others interested in the concept might contribute their own concepts, links, and feedback towards however this could prove of interest.  Then we can see what is worth doing.  I’ve already had some feedback that it might be useful in the future to include more journal articles, and I’m going to try to do that next time (I’d also note this post was originally put together a few weeks ago; in fine academic form there’s a bit of a lag effect).  So please leave comments or send thoughts to me at drewguest(at)  And see how you find this ‘first eleven’:

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World Cup Daily

As Africa prepares to stage its first World Cup, Trevor Nelson travels to South Africa to explore the nation’s passionate relationship with the beautiful game and to confront his own reservations about a country with a history of apartheid.

Peter recommends: “Trevor did a fine job with this documentary piece. One of the best I’ve come across in the media frenzy surrounding the tournament.”