Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism

By Andrei S. Markovits; Steven L. Hellerman | Go to book overview

Notes

Preface
1
Indeed, this quarterfinal game between Brazil and France, played in Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, has attained a somewhat legendary status in the world of soccer. Many soccer experts and fans regard it as among the finest ever played in World Cup history, showcasing such talents as Michel Platini, Alain Giresse, Dominic Rocheteau, and Jean Tigana on the French side, and Socrates, Careca, Junior, Zico, and Josimar on the Brazilian team. The much-respected English football magazine Goal listed this game as number one on its list of the top fifty World Cup matches ever played (excluding the 1998 tournament in France). See Gus Martins, “History Repeats Itself” in the Boston Herald, 9 July 1998.

By using the term “American” throughout this book to denote citizens of the United States of America, I beg the indulgence of all readers who reside north or south of the border of the United States and are thus, of course, “American” though not citizens of the United States.


Introduction
1
On the concept of postmaterialist values, lifestyles, and milieus as essential categories of social stratification and cohesion, see Inglehart, Culture Shift and The Silent Revolution.
2
On the concepts of Pierre Bourdieu's “habitus” and “cultural capital,” see Swartz, Culture and Power.
3
America's exceptional position is already evident in the difference between what this game is called in the United States and what it is called in much of the rest of the world. Whereas in the United States the game is known as “soccer” and the word “football” is reserved for a very different game that, however, shares its roots with soccer, most countries in the world refer to the game of soccer by its preferred name of “football” or its local linguistic variations, such as “futebol,” “futbol,” “fussball,” “fotball,” “fodbold,” or “voetbal” to note but a few. Of course there is the Italian “calcio,” the Finnish “sakkaa” (which derives from “soccer”) and the Hungarian “labdarugas,” but on the whole a version of “football” has come to denote this game virtually everywhere in the world but in the United States. In our book, we will refer to “soccer” when we mean the kicking game played all over the world and to “football” when we have the American running-and-passing game in mind.
4
See Matthew Brelis, “If an announcer today shouts Goooaaalll! Will anyone in this country hear it?” in the Boston Globe, 12 July 1998; Kirk Johnson, “Soccer Is Trying to Sell the United States a Bill of Goods” in the New York Times, 12 July 1998; and Bob Ryan, “Everyone in the World in on the Fun but US” in the Boston Globe, 10 July 1998.

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