The Other Football

Last year, a day after the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, I posted a long rant about Pittsburgh's inability to remember that it is an international city. Pittsburghers love Canadians and Russians when they're scoring buckets of goals on the ice (here I utter a ritual, "Let's Go Pens"), but most of the time, the region is perfectly happy to ignore the fact that there are thriving international communities here -- which might like to read the Post-Gazette's coverage of one of most anticipated sporting events of 2009. Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference NHL final? No. Instead: the 2009 UEFA Champions final, again featuring Man U, this time competing against Barcelona. Ronaldo and Messi on the same field, for all the marbles. Tomorrow afternoon, I and a lot of people in this region will be glued to the TV. The match itself will be played in Rome.

Consider this a rant on credit, two days early. Open Thursday's Post-Gazette and check me: Did the paper cover the match? In how many inches, and on what page?

Don't forget Pittsburgh's own glorious soccer history (really!). They've been playing real football here nearly as long (since 1894) as they've been playing American rules football (since 1890).

Just for the heck of it, then:

The City of Manchester itself is a good benchmark for Pittsburgh -- recovering industrial city and home to one of the most successful professional sports clubs in the world. Sound familiar? Read a neat blog about what Manucians are up: Mancubist. In the coming weeks, I'll try to find pieces to post about Manchester and other post-steel cities. Does anyone in Pittsburgh still care about our official sister cities?

Did you know that there is a Brazilian community in Pittsburgh? Here's their site: Arrepia Brasil! Ligando Pittsburgh ao Brasil! Connecting Pittsburgh to Brasil!

For tomorrow, here's a preview:

My view: Henry and Messi are electrifying, Ronaldo is sometimes more flash than substance, but watch out for Tevez and Park.


4 Responses to "The Other Football"

Rich W said... 5/26/2009 5:20 PM

As an aside on the Sister Cities... was in Sofia for a 2 month assignment back in 2003.

I asked the Bulgarian Club here what to bring for gifts. They gave some suggestions, one of which was Steelers gear for the executives - because EVERYONE there knows the Steelers.

Not at this company. They loved the jellybeans, coffee and sketches of Pittsburgh I'd brought, but not a one had heard of the Steelers.

Lemieux and Jagr Pens jerseys, however, we're fairly common around town.

So where's everyone watching this? Pipers Pub?

The Enemy said... 5/31/2009 5:57 AM

If you have to remind yourself that you're an international city, then you aren't much of an international city. In "true" international cities like New York, Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, London, et cetera, you are surrounded by so many indications of your city's international status that it's impossible to ever forget you're an international city whether that kind of thing is important to you or not.

Mike Madison said... 5/31/2009 7:37 AM

The Enemy is wise. I'll post later about Pittsburgh's collective "Sally Field" response to being chosen to host the next G20 summit.

C. Briem said... 5/31/2009 9:22 PM

"Sally Field response". I like that.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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