Hillsborough Across Form: An Essay on The Alternative Tactics of Historical Reference

Hillsborough Across Form: An Essay on The Alternative Tactics of Historical Reference

Hillsborough Across Form is an essay I recently wrote for a history class at my university. The task was to research the different forms of history that recount an iconic event. Seeing an opportunity, I decided to choose Hillsborough as, along with being a fascinating and tragic event, it would provide an opportunity to take a detailed look at one of football’s defining moments.

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Everything Wrong with the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List (60-51)

Everything Wrong with the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List (60-51)

Rolling Stone Magazine is an insane publication. Not only do they repeatedly place compilations in their picks for the greatest albums of all time, but when they get around to choosing records, they waste them on bands like The Beatles. Yes. I said it. This edition of Everything Wrong with the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List details what they got right and what they got wrong about their picks from places 60 to 51. Is Jimi Hendrix really that good? Is Al Green the greatest soul singer of his generation? Is Stevie Wonder better than Ray Charles? Find out the answers to those questions and more in the article below.

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The Bizarre, Incredible, and Unsuccessful Kidnapping of Alfredo Di Stefano

The Bizarre, Incredible, and Unsuccessful Kidnapping of Alfredo Di Stefano

Sports and politics are inseparable. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, tracks, fields, and courts have hosted numerous protests, rebellions, and tragedies. Whether pursuing social change or political revolution, athletes and politicians consistently use glorified recreation as the rallying cry for their ideas and beliefs. One must briefly flick through a season of 30 for 30 to appreciate that more sporting controversies and scandals are rooted beyond the pillars of administrative buildings, deep in the halls of judicial and legislative systems. The defining moments of this intense relationship include horrifying tragedies like the Israeli hostage massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics and groundbreaking moments of social progress such as Jackie Robinson’s debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Buried deep in the intersection of politics and sports, however, lies a select group of events that transcend the momentousness of such instances - events like the kidnapping of Alfredo di Stefano on the night of August 24th, 1963.

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Luka Jovic Is Football's Next Great Center Forward

Luka Jovic Is Football's Next Great Center Forward

Luka Jovic is the next great center forward. Though Mbappe and Rashford will steal headlines as the future flair players that will bomb down the wings for club and country, neither prospect has a foreseeable future as a reliable number 9. Yes, they are remarkable talents, but their specialties do not fit the center forward position that demands pure finishing ability, a physical presence, and intelligent positioning. Leave flair and panache to the wing players, Luka Jovic will put the ball into the back of the net. Jovic ticks all the boxes of a complete forward. He is intelligent, quick, and clinical. These attributes have seen him draw attention from Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona who have been linked with $100 million bids for the Serbian.

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MLS Announces Expansion to 30 Teams, Sinks Further into Delusion

MLS Announces Expansion to 30 Teams, Sinks Further into Delusion

Last Friday, Don Garber’s Major League Soccer announced that three teams will have the opportunity to join America’s fastest growing “sport of the future” since 1978. Three cities will be chosen as the 28th, 29th, and 30th members of a league that already has nearly a third more teams than all of its comparable leagues from around the world. Garber announced the franchise fee for purchasing a new MLS club at the measly price of $200 million (unless of course, your name is David Beckham and in 2014 you exercised a provision of your MLS contract that allows you to get a $40 million discount on an expansion team – yes that actually happened).

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Everything Wrong with the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List (90-81)

Everything Wrong with the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List (90-81)

In more than 50 years of Rolling Stone, the magazine has raised its hand as the first authority in rock music. This authority, that was granted by… no one, really… has led to scathing reviews of such albums as Led Zeppelin’s ‘Led Zeppelin,’ The Rolling Stones’ ‘Exile on Main Street,’ Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks,’ and Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind.’ 

These horrible takes, the needless feuds between owner Jann Wenner and the bands he wishes he was a part of, and the magazine’s struggle to stay in the current of pop culture, has granted Rolling Stone an awkwardly tenuous relationship with its readers. Regardless of this division, the magazine remains determined to proclaim the greatest 500 songs, artists, and albums. Did they contribute to these artistic endeavors? No. Must they rank them as though God tasked them to do so as a divine mission? Yes. 

The following series of articles will dissect Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Top 100 Albums” rankings. I could have broken down the “Top 500,” but I think I’d be too depressed to continue after seeing Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ – an album that is widely regarded as the greatest hip-hop album of all time – in position 402. Adding insult to insanity, Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ at least made it further than the disgraceful selections of Wilco’s ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ in 493rd place and Funkadelic’s ‘Maggot Brain’ in 479th. 

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The MLS is Finally Becoming A Selling League, An Evolution Critical to Its Future Success

The MLS is Finally Becoming A Selling League, An Evolution Critical to Its Future Success

By the end of the January transfer window, Major League Soccer had sold $45 Million worth of players to foreign leagues. While that same amount in Europe may only be good for a Bundesliga striker, the $45 million profit is a seismic shift for a league that has been in existence for barely 25 years. At last, Major League Soccer seems to be embracing the model of a “selling league.” Becoming a “selling league” represents a significant step forward for a league that has too frequently been concerned with recruiting cover athletes from FIFA 10 and placing them in LA Galaxy jerseys.

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Everything Wrong with the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List (100-91)

Everything Wrong with the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List (100-91)

In more than 50 years of Rolling Stone, the magazine has raised its hand as the first authority in rock music. This authority, that was granted by… no one, really… has led to scathing reviews of such albums as Led Zeppelin’s ‘Led Zeppelin,’ The Rolling Stones’ ‘Exile on Main Street,’ Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks,’ and Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind.’ 

These horrible takes, the needless feuds between owner Jann Wenner and the bands he wishes he was a part of, and the magazine’s struggle to stay in the current of pop culture, has granted Rolling Stone an awkwardly tenuous relationship with its readers. Regardless of this division, the magazine remains determined to proclaim the greatest 500 songs, artists, and albums. Did they contribute to these artistic endeavors? No. Must they rank them as though God tasked them to do so as a divine mission? Yes. 

The following series of articles will dissect Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Top 100 Albums” rankings. I could have broken down the “Top 500,” but I think I’d be too depressed to continue after seeing Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ – an album that is widely regarded as the greatest hip-hop album of all time – in position 402. Adding insult to insanity, Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ at least made it further than the disgraceful selections of Wilco’s ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ in 493rd place and Funkadelic’s ‘Maggot Brain’ in 479th. 

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Premier League Predictions - Matchweek 34

Premier League Predictions - Matchweek 34

By far the biggest match of the weekend, Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield in what is set to be their biggest remaining test in the Premier League season. In recent years, Chelsea’s bus pulling into Anfield has been the most dreaded sight for Liverpool supporters. Chelsea’s most famous victory against the Reds came seasons ago when Demba Ba stole the ball off of a slipping Steven Gerrard to score in front of the Kop and sink the knife deep into the heart of Liverpool’s title charge. Earlier this season, Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1, coming from behind thanks to Emerson Palmieri’s first Chelsea goal and Eden Hazard’s stunning solo run, perhaps his best of the season. 

This Sunday, however, Liverpool know what is at stake and will make sure they do not let Chelsea ruin their title hopes for a second time. Liverpool will be taking the pitch minutes after the Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace match at Selhurst Park. So, fate will play a massive role in the fixture as Liverpool will either be fighting to take back the top spot or to boost their lead to beyond the reach of Guardiola’s City. 

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Eden Hazard is the Premier League’s Most Valuable Player

Eden Hazard is the Premier League’s Most Valuable Player

Eden Hazard is the best player in the Premier League. On his day, the 28-year-old Belgian reaches a level of football that places him firmly within reach of Messi and Ronaldo and directly beside Neymar. Last night, Eden Hazard proved this fact yet again with one of the most stunning individual goals witnessed in the history of the Premier League. Though this goal may not even feature in the top five goals of his Chelsea career, the finish was a statement by Hazard. His second goal that secured all of the points for Chelsea and raised his goal tally to 16 served as a perfect finale to his jaw-dropping performance.

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How to Fix Youth Development in Major League Soccer

How to Fix Youth Development in Major League Soccer

In the past decade, Major League Soccer has sunk plenty of cash into various attempts to increase youth development. In that same period, however, American starlets have begun to populate the landscape of International Football. Christian Pulisic at Dortmund and now Chelsea, Weston Mckennie at Schalke, and Josh Sargent at Werder Bremen highlight a few of the budding American players that will lead the next generation of the national team. Now, contrast their reasons for traveling abroad to expand their development with the MLS’s pitch for them to spend their younger years in their home country. Overseas, such players can play a high level of football in a league that offers wealthy contracts, greater recognition, and established means of producing talent. In the MLS, these same players have their contracts restricted by a salary cap, receive equal if not fewer minutes due to the demanding travel and compact schedule, and are separated from the clubs of their dreams by an entire ocean. What promising talent would evaluate both options and choose to stay at home? That’s right, no one. 

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Greatest XI from the Greatest X

Greatest XI from the Greatest X

A few weeks ago, I typed the final words into the last article of a ten-week series on the greatest teams in football history. A few players in the pantheon of world football, however, would not have found their teams on my list. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid, R9’s Brazil, and Maradonna’s Argentina all missed out on the top ten, meaning that the legacy of their individual brilliance did not feature in any of the ten articles. Following suit, this article will not mention any of their names beyond this paragraph. This article is dedicated to those brilliant ten teams - teams formed by the intelligence of their managers and their skill throughout each position on the field.

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Following Italy's Most Recent Outbreak of Racism, Bill Buford's "Among the Thugs" is More Relevant Than Ever

Following Italy's Most Recent Outbreak of Racism, Bill Buford's "Among the Thugs" is More Relevant Than Ever

Thirty years later, Bill Buford’s investigative and immersive look at tribalism, nationalism, and racism in European football is more relevant than ever. Among the Thugs delivers a series of shockingly familiar images of football from the late ‘80s. Currently, with global football at its most accessible, widely followed, and publicly broadcasted, one would expect the primal tendencies of football to have evolved as well. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Tuesday, when Cagliari supporters heaved bottles and chanted gorilla noises as Juventus striker Moise Kean, the disappointing reality of European football was revealed – again. Kean, the 19-year old Italian of Ivorian descent, the future of Italian football, and the starlet of Juventus’ next generation, became the bullseye for many Cagliari fans. To them, his race preceded his talents as the reasons for their own clubs defeat to Juventus. What makes this incident so jarring is that Kean is by no means the first footballer to encounter such forces this season. Kean’s case, however, remains significant in that the racism that has reared its head yet again throughout European football has sunk its teeth into Italy.

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The Life and Times of Mauro Icardi

The Life and Times of Mauro Icardi

Mauro Icardi is the Kanye West of European football: brimming with talent that is always shadowed by overwhelming controversy. Recently, the Argentinian striker, Inter Milan’s top goalscorer, has not played for his club in nearly two months. On February 13th, the club stripped Icardi of his captaincy. Icardi lost the title following a dispute over his contract and his refusal to participate in the club’s Europa League match against Rapid Vienna. The latest development in Icardi’s deteriorating relationship with the club he has played for since the age of twenty, however, comes directly from the Inter Milan supporters. After six prolific years of goal scoring, the fans of the Nerazzurri have had enough of his off-the-field antics. Now, they want him out.

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What Will the MLS Look Like Come 2026?

What Will the MLS Look Like Come 2026?

After securing their bid for the 2026 World Cup, the United States – along with Mexico and Canada – celebrated their future as hosts of the world’s most significant sporting event. Hosting the 2026 World Cup will allow the United States to continue its rapid development of eager and avid supporters of the world’s game. By placing so much attention on bringing the outside world of football into the United States with the World Cup, the role the MLS plays in establishing football within its own country is magnified. In recent years, Major League Soccer has made prolific strides towards becoming a respected and beloved league within the country. Though it may never reach the upper echelon of American sports with Football, Basketball, Baseball, and even Hockey, the MLS has found some sort of a niche right below such established pastimes. So, when World Cup 2026 kicks off in roughly seven years, what will the United States domestic league look like. Will US-based football fans still prefer the premier league? Will the MLS be a selling league or a buying one? Most importantly, will the MLS stake out a position in world football similar to their place within the United States – not yet at the level of the bigger, more established leagues, but napping at their heels with increased quality of football and footballers?

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Premier League Predictions: Matchweek 32

Premier League Predictions: Matchweek 32

Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool, though they have played one more game than title-contenders City, have a two-point cushion at the top of the table. Tottenham, on the other hand, has a loose grip on third place. Their lead is only a single point with Man United and Chelsea at their heels. Arsenal, however, seems hell-bent on taking back supremacy against their north London rivals. Neither team can survive any dropped points. Liverpool dominated the reverse fixture at Wembley in September, winning 2-1 and their recent performances suggest a similar result this Sunday. Liverpool has dropped points only twice in fifteen games in the Premier League and, at Anfield, have been scoring goals in droves. Tottenham, however, has seemed to collapse after getting their starters back – yes that’s actually how it went, and no, no one seems to understand why. Liverpool will continue their clinical home form and come away with all three points this weekend.

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