Pause

Reading Sideways is taking a break during the month of August. It is time to take-stock and to consider which directions the blog will move in.

All the Olympics are a Stage

The Olympics transfix us. Six in every ten people in the world – including both you, dear reader, and me – watched the London 2012 Olympics. Use of the word Olympics increased in relative frequency 3,300% between 1924 and 1984. But what are the Olympics to us, how are we to read them socially and…

Elzy Wellings: Athlete and Activist

It is no easy life being an elite 10,000m runner. One is under-paid and under-appreciated at least by the standards of global sports. A track runner can be anonymous for as good as four years, yet, on the Olympic stage, the athlete can become a star, on the minor proviso that she or he, wins…

The Blues of Short Suffering

I’m a Carlton supporter. Don’t hold it against me – I have other things happening in my life. I read novels, I have friends – many of whom aren’t into footy.  My experience of being a suffering football fan has been short-lived. We, the Navy Blues, only accept success in our narratives. Yet, something strange began to brew…

Outer Sanctum Podcast

The AFL is in a rush to be ‘inclusive’ and to be more representative of society. For so long Australian rules has been exemplary of the archetypal Aussie macho male. Tough, arrogant, abusive, crass. As Mike Sheahan said in his interview with the sport’s best investigative journalist, Caroline Wilson, “footy is a man’s game, everyone…

Soccer and the City

(An article of mine has been published in Sport and Society journal) Football fandom and sports culture are largely neglected in studies of Indonesia. This is despite the highly complex nature of football fandom in Indonesian cities. This essay draws on experiences in two cities in central Java: Yogyakarta and Solo. Contemporary football culture in…

Footballing Transitions

An Interview with Kenny Dougall, left-back of Sparta Rotterdam It wasn’t the game I expected it to be. I left home with the expectation of witnessing a 90minute-long celebration of Sparta’s successful season in the Jupiler League, which had seen them become Champions and earn automatic promotion to the Eredivisie. I saw their last game…

Un-Militarize My Football

Baseball is traditionally called America’s pastime, but it is the National Football League that has dominated the American consciousness for the better part of the past two decades and over the past fifty years has built its brand around the message that football and the American way of life are synonymous. Football is a blue-collar…

Approach with Caution

Following a football team, seriously and committedly, so often feels like a fruitless endeavour. For years, fans suffer in ignominy as their team under-performs and follows one losing season with another. Coaches get sacked on a presidential whim; promising players leave for better-run clubs; injuries strike down established stars. And then, when the good times,…

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