Weekend Reading: Deflategate, the Worst Question in Sports and Cambridge United

We trust you’re all getting set to enjoy a lovely long weekend.

Competitive AFL hit-outs are only around five weeks away, but until then we have the 2015 Asian Cup, the Australian Open Tennis and loads of great international Cricket is underway in various locations around the country all leading up to the ICC Cricket World Cup.


On top of all that, the standard-bearer for sporting excess – the NFL Superbowl –  is only a week or so away.As a background for one of the biggest annual events in world sports, Ian Crouch contributed this great read to the The New Yorker magazine. Denial and Deflategate is an extraordinary insight into the mind-set and parochialism of sports fans in Boston. And possibly informs the attitudes of Liverpool, Collingwood – and in the last three seasons anyway – Essendon fans.


Speaking of supporters’ mind-sets, every code has at least one team for whom their lack of success or influence is used as a badge of honour; as a metaphor for loyalty. We’re not prepared to suggest any examples, other than to say that The Guardian’s Max Rushden has seen his share of the downs and very few ups as a supporter of Cambridge United. Earlier this morning, Cambridge United – who sit mid-table of English football’s Fourth Division (League 2) will have played the Premier League giants in Manchester United in their F.A Cup tie. The Cup is synonymous with upsets, but it’s fair to say that Rushed and his brethren won’t have been expecting miracles at the R Costings Abbey ground this morning…


A cause célèbre in recent times has been the quality – or lack thereof, (depending on your opinion) – of sports journalists and commentators and the lack of genuine information that comes out of some post-match media conferences. In The Worst Question in Sports, Grantland’s Bryan Curtis vents his spleen on the inability of journalists to actually ask a question in the post-match all-ins. Although the content focuses largely on American Sports, if you’ve ever watched an NRL, AFL, Cricket or A-League all-in, the statement-as-question phenomenon isn’t exclusive to professional sports in America. While a case for cognitive dissonance from the writer could be alleged, it’s a great analysis of the relationship between news outlets and and sporting institutions in a tightly controlled environment where being ‘on-message‘ is sometimes as important as the final score.


Enjoy your weekend!

The Footy Almanac




  1. I loved this post thankyou ! because i used to actually watch Cambridge united at abbey stadium when living in the UK. C’mon you Us

  2. Cambridge United was also a feature of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch.

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