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How Football Swallowed Britain Whole
The 2018 edition now features a new 8,000 word introduction
Football is weird. Damn weird. Why do we love it so intensely? Why are millions of us utterly obsessed by it? Is it a kind of drug or some sort of hypnosis? It can’t just be the 22 preening millionaires running around on a rectangle of grass that keeps us all hooked. Have you watched football? A lot of it is so boring it can make your eyes melt.
In We Ate All the Pies, John Nicholson, gonzo sports writer and long-running, legendary columnist for www.football365.com asks a question which few, if anyone has asked before; just why is football so damn popular?
Football is Britain s big love. It has consumed the nation totally. Drawing on his life as a devoted football obsessive and lifelong Middlesbrough fan, John delves into the culture that surrounds the game to discover how and why it has got under the skin of the British public like no other sport. He explores the history of the football shirt in style and design; how and why sponsorship became the norm; the culture of food inside the ground, around the stadium and in the pubs and clubs and how the modern trend of fine dining changed the match day experience (explaining why prawn sandwiches are the perfect expression of the class-politics of football in Britain).
From the crucial role booze and food takes, to the importance of shirts and merchandise, John also considers how football helps define who we are, who we think we are, how we behave, how it affects our relationships in life and how the game is used by people to vent their everyday frustrations and emotions.
Along the way, he also recounts the history of football on TV and how it changed perceptions of teams and countries (in particular, the 1970 World Cup TV revolution) and just what part the game takes in the intricate complexities of national identity, not least of being a Teessider, Northern and English, in that order!
This is a unique, funny, warm and thought provoking excursion into our football lives, told in John’s trademark off-beat, powerful and irreverent style.
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