I’m using Thanksgiving Day to give a cheers to The Guardian newspaper across the Atlantic ocean for providing me with years of, well, news. But news with incredibly accuracy, integrity and brilliant sarcasm, especially when digitally flipping through the The Guardian Football section – superbly written coverage with personality, sass, wit and desert dry humor. Thank you.
A couple of years ago, I was quoted in a Guardian story about ArtBabble – and although I was pretty proud of that, I was more honored to have made it into The Guardian (because it features the Football section I had come to adore). I’ve been loyally following their coverage for a good 10 years now.
Outside of match reports and general coverage. I quickly fell in love with The Fiver – “Football’s most tea-timely email brought to you by the Guardian’s team of hacks”. Imagine sport reporting brought to you by a team of comedians, surrealists and potentially drunk or hungover journalists.
But importantly, despite the tongue-in-cheek commentary at times, I quickly built a strong connection to the writer’s – Amy Lawrence, Louise Taylor, Barry Glendenning, even David James (who thought a goalkeeper could write so well?). The minute-by-minute match reports are usually better than watching the real thing. An example of Mr. Glendenning’s match coverage from England’s recent match against Sweden.
Despite having already had to change out of a blood-stained shirt and have a cotton wool bung stuffed up each nostril, Sweden midfielder Pontus Wernbloom is still gushing blood from his nose. He sticks out a tongue, licks some claret from his top lip and smiles. If anyone on the pitch is a vampire, I think it might be him.
As someone that regularly works with motorsports journalists – I really do appreciate good sports writing. It can be elusive.
It’s possible to get completely lost in the Guardian Football site for hours each day, while at work (I did in a past job). There is so much to discover, all ping ponging between credibility and hilarity – The Gallery, YouTube Classics, The Rumour Mill, The Knowledge, The Secret Footballer and much more. Including Our Favourite Things of the Week – a scan of what other football websites are up to. I’m still hoping my Perfect Penalty Kick makes it one day.
Their transition from a paper publication into the digital realm has been impressive. And nothing makes this point clearer than their Chalkboards feature. It takes game analysis to the next level. Here’s an example – Blackburn Rovers vs. Queens Park Rangers on October 15 of this year, analyzing the number of tackles. No surprise, it was a hard fought 1-0 win for Blackburn (and probably boring). See below.
It’s impressive to say the least, and smart use of technology. What I love about The Guardian, is that they surround useful technology with exceptional content. It’s a model everyone should follow. It always comes down to the quality of the content, the story and writers. Adding in bells and whistles, only works when it points back to this. It’s something I’m trying to emulate at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
So – whether you love or hate The Beautiful Game, at least take a look at Guardian Football. You’ll at least see how to operate successfully in the digital space.
They’ve scored (sorry about that pun).