Book Review: Encyclopedia Blazertanica

 

Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America’s “Sport of the Future” Since 1972

The title accurately sums up this book. The book is an encyclopedia, and the men who wrote it wear blazers, all the time. And I might add, Zlatan might just be the ghostwriter.

The book is set up in the style of an encyclopedia: every chapter is based on a letter of the alphabet, and the sub-topics are included alphabetically. This isn’t your librarian’s encyclopedia, though! All of this is written in “tongue in cheek.” These two blokes have an uncommon obsession with blazers, and it’s a staple on their Men in Blazers TV episodes. They cover why in one of their topics. As both authors were born and raised in England, there is heavy influence towards all things English, specifically the English Premier League (EPL). Weekend mornings for me are filled with EPL, and having this background to the people and places referenced has been illuminating.

IMG_6837The accounts border on an irreverent but mostly humorous and human explanation of soccer and loosely related soccer terms. There is a comparison of Game of Thrones houses to the different EPL clubs. The recurring theme of baldness, both authors are. Respect for the USWNT. Worship of Kyle Beckermann, Everton, and Chelsea. And an unhealthy use of the word crap, usually in reference to their material.

Soccer terms are a portion of this body of work. Blazertannica also embraces the culture surrounding the game: scarves, social media, tattoos, the Panini World Cup sticker book, and player nicknames included.

I recommend listening to the Men in Blazers Podcast or watching an episode or two of the Men in Blazers Show to get a feel for their self-deprecating humor, which is really the best kind. This book is great for someone who is starting to follow the EPL, the significant other who is attempting to learn the game, or the next great bathroom read.

Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica. Roger Bennett and Michael Davies. Knopf Publishing Group, May 15th 2018. 224 pages

Goodreads.com rating: 4.37/5 stars

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