New England Soccer Today

Beating the Blizzard

The region’s meteorologists aren’t mincing words: Winter Storm Nemo is going to pack a punch that could rival that of the Blizzard of 1978, which crippled parts of New England for nearly a week.

Should the forecasts of three plus inches of snow and 50+ mph winds come to fruition, the blizzard will likely keep many New Englanders stuck inside their homes for much, if not all, of the weekend.

So while the snow piles and the plows scrape by, the New England Soccer Today staff offers its movie and book suggestions to beat the beast known as cabin fever.


Book: “Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey–and Even Iraq–Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport” by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

I picked up this book in a train station in Amsterdam before embarking on a long trip. I said, “hey, why not?” and plus, it was one of the few books written in English. This book comes up with facts that prove, at least from one perspective, why England probably won’t win a World Cup, how teams like Germany and Italy get it right most of the time, and why the demographics and social culture of the United States will eventually produce one of the world’s top teams– if not a World Champion. Fascinating read and very easy to break into. I recommend chapters and going backwards.

Movie: Kicking and Screaming

A good comedy is sometimes the best thing to put off shoveling snow or going outside on a cold winter’s day. Kicking and Screaming delivers laughs via the comedic genius of Will Ferrell. Maybe it’s my ethnicity that makes me partial to the movie for the famous line “get the ball to the Italians!” Yeah, it’s about a youth boys soccer team but there’s alot more to it than movies about high school teams (cough, cough She’s the Man) and unrealistic professional stories.


Book: “Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey–and Even Iraq–Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport” by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

This book is kind of a bit of hope for US soccer fans, as it explains the modernization of the game. It is a very informative read for those who want to see how the game is playing out in the 21st century.

Movie: Green Street Hooligans

Green Street Hooligans is honestly is just fun to watch, but everyone knows that. I decided to go with a throwback. The Big Green came out in 1995 and features many classic elements of a G-rated Disney Movie. If you want a trip down memory lane, attempt to find this movie upstairs in your attic. Best Ringer Ever!


Book: “How Soccer Explains the World” by Franklin Foer

A relatively quick and easy read, How Soccer Explains the World takes an absorbing look at how the global economy and local culture affects soccer in different parts of the planet, and vice versa. The book is a great way to get more insight into other countries through soccer, while also gaining some insight into the aversion for soccer some in the United States hold. A must read for those looking to gain a better understanding of the global game.

Movie: The Damned United

This isn’t just a good sports movie. It’s actually, objectively, a great movie, and you can probably count on one hand how many sports movies that can be said about. The Damned United takes a look at a fascinating football manager (soccer coach to us Americans) in Brian Clough, who takes the reigns of Leeds United, in England’s top division at the time, after previously being a vocal critic of the club’s playing style while he was managing Derby County. Yes, it’s not completely historically accurate, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.


Book: “Soccer Dad” by W.D. Wetherell

There are a lot of great and informative soccer reads out there, but this one really pulls at the heart strings. Set in Vermont, the author tells the story of his teenage son’s senior high school soccer season. But it’s more than just a re-telling of the season. Wetherell takes us back to when his son, Matt, was small child, and how he helped his boy learn the game. He takes us through his son’s soccer games through the years, from a father’s perspective. But with his son set to go away to college, Wetherell gives a poignant picture of how his days teaching and nurturing Matt’s passion for the game are coming to a close. With wonderful storytelling throughout, Wetherell shatters the “soccer parent” stereotype with a sledgehammer.

Movie: Once in a Lifetime: The True Story of the New York Cosmos

Not only is this my favorite soccer movie of all-time, but also my favorite documentary, period. Telling the tale of the original American “superclub,” this film brings us back to the sport’s humble beginnings, then fleshes out how a ragtag team of semi-professionals went on to become one of the most famous in world. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Warner Communications-backed club brought Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Giogio Chinaglia on board to put the Cosmos on the map. Interviews with Beckenbauer, Alberto, Shep Messing, Werner Roth and investors Ahmet Ertegun and Jay Emmett only make the story all the more vivid. After watching this with me for the first time, my fiancee’ remarked, “I didn’t know soccer was popular here before MLS.” Funny – some would argue that, four decades later, no American team since has approached the popularity and success of the Cosmos.


  1. CMAJ

    February 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

    i LOVE the damned united. GREAT flick.

  2. Chris B

    February 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Fun article! Soccernomics is definitely great and I like Kicking and Screaming because of Ferrell. I’ll take a look at the other suggestions though!

  3. Kari Heistad (@TravelingCEO)

    February 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Some new ones in there for consideration.

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