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Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica

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From the wildly popular soccer pundits, a hilarious and informative guide to the ever-more popular game. For more than a decade, the "Men in Blazers"—two balding transplants from Britain named Rog and Davo—have stood at the center of our growing national obsession with soccer. Hundreds of thousands of fans tune in weekly to their podcast and television broadcast to get thei From the wildly popular soccer pundits, a hilarious and informative guide to the ever-more popular game. For more than a decade, the "Men in Blazers"—two balding transplants from Britain named Rog and Davo—have stood at the center of our growing national obsession with soccer. Hundreds of thousands of fans tune in weekly to their podcast and television broadcast to get their analysis of the previous week's matches and soccer news. But for all their passion, many American fans are new to the sport: they weren't following it (or weren't yet born) when, for example, Maradona scored two of the most remarkable World Cup goals of all time in 1986, or when George Best was leading Manchester United to glory on the pitch and boozing and rampaging off of it. Now, Rog and Davo fill in all the gaps with this hugely entertaining and idiosyncratic guide to the sport they—and we—love. Published on the eve of the 2018 World Cup, this will be the book every soccer fan will need to have.


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From the wildly popular soccer pundits, a hilarious and informative guide to the ever-more popular game. For more than a decade, the "Men in Blazers"—two balding transplants from Britain named Rog and Davo—have stood at the center of our growing national obsession with soccer. Hundreds of thousands of fans tune in weekly to their podcast and television broadcast to get thei From the wildly popular soccer pundits, a hilarious and informative guide to the ever-more popular game. For more than a decade, the "Men in Blazers"—two balding transplants from Britain named Rog and Davo—have stood at the center of our growing national obsession with soccer. Hundreds of thousands of fans tune in weekly to their podcast and television broadcast to get their analysis of the previous week's matches and soccer news. But for all their passion, many American fans are new to the sport: they weren't following it (or weren't yet born) when, for example, Maradona scored two of the most remarkable World Cup goals of all time in 1986, or when George Best was leading Manchester United to glory on the pitch and boozing and rampaging off of it. Now, Rog and Davo fill in all the gaps with this hugely entertaining and idiosyncratic guide to the sport they—and we—love. Published on the eve of the 2018 World Cup, this will be the book every soccer fan will need to have.

30 review for Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz Reichart

    Entirely sub-optimal. The final nail in the coffin of the publishing business as we know it. Courage to all readers who embark on this heartless work, devoid of all human emotion and clearly ghost-written by Zlatan.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MH

    So much more than a well-illustrated collection of jokes about pie and hair loss, the encyclopedia format serves as a backdoor biography for the two men, "an optimistic Londoner who believes everything is possible" and "a negative Liverpudlian who sees Cossacks lurking behind every door" (x), told through entries on family, football collectibles, and especially childhoods in England spent dreaming about America. There are plenty of jokes for GFOPs and football fans, of course, but there's also a So much more than a well-illustrated collection of jokes about pie and hair loss, the encyclopedia format serves as a backdoor biography for the two men, "an optimistic Londoner who believes everything is possible" and "a negative Liverpudlian who sees Cossacks lurking behind every door" (x), told through entries on family, football collectibles, and especially childhoods in England spent dreaming about America. There are plenty of jokes for GFOPs and football fans, of course, but there's also a lot more genuine emotion than I expected: Rog wearing his heart on his sleeve (his beautiful speech at his son's bar mitzvah, his deeply uncomfortable collection of teenage shames and heartaches); Davo remembering his complicated, very British father while dropping lessons learned in a frankly aspirational life; and the whole thing has more sincere World War I poetry than you'd expect from a book that also has a guide to tying ties like Kyle Martino. I expected it to be funny - I didn't expect it to also be so honest, moving, and memorable. What is this world twisted.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣

    I am barely able to properly convey how essiiiiiited I am to read this. 😁😁😁😁😁

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    While I can't say I'm a fan, I was familiar with Rog and Davo before I came across this delightful recording. Honestly, there's no point in bothering with the print version, unless you're a real soccer/football fan, because, as they meander through the alphabet in their encyclopedia, they offer a taste of their favorite sport--the athletes, the teams, the highs and lows--and personal recollections and witty byplay as they go. The encyclopedia--and their performance--is quirky, smart, and insight While I can't say I'm a fan, I was familiar with Rog and Davo before I came across this delightful recording. Honestly, there's no point in bothering with the print version, unless you're a real soccer/football fan, because, as they meander through the alphabet in their encyclopedia, they offer a taste of their favorite sport--the athletes, the teams, the highs and lows--and personal recollections and witty byplay as they go. The encyclopedia--and their performance--is quirky, smart, and insightful. Anyone interested, even vaguely, in the sport might enjoy this vastly entertaining performance (and book too, no doubt), especially if they also appreciate anecdotal story telling and good fun.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thekelburrows

    Balds win! Balds win! BALDS WIN!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    This book is a delightful accompaniment to any English Premier League (EPL) or World Cup soccer viewing experience, as it provides a source of much needed entertainment during the 89.5 minutes of tedium generally on display during a typical 90+ minute “football” match. The short A-Z entries are mostly amusing and informative, but unfortunately (for the authors and their creditors) the book was published in the the US market at almost the exact moment when the American team failed to qualify for This book is a delightful accompaniment to any English Premier League (EPL) or World Cup soccer viewing experience, as it provides a source of much needed entertainment during the 89.5 minutes of tedium generally on display during a typical 90+ minute “football” match. The short A-Z entries are mostly amusing and informative, but unfortunately (for the authors and their creditors) the book was published in the the US market at almost the exact moment when the American team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Accordingly, and with US fan interest in this year’s Copa Mundal lagging, the good news for stateside consumers is that this book will soon fill the bargain bin at your local bookstore just in time for the holiday season when an inexpensive but meaningful gift is needed for your nephew/niece or millennial colleague who inexplicably loves Chelsea, Tottenham and/or Barcelona. Speaking of the holidays, I did notice the absence of an entry about Boxing Day EPL matches, my favorite soccer tradition, so does that suggest a suboptimal Volume II is in the works? This GFOP, for one, would buy it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ric

    Rog and Davo have outdone themselves here. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more suboptimal than the podcast and the tv show, they release this book that is as crap as the rest. And I couldn’t have possibly enjoyed it more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Listen to it on audio! While they don’t read every entry, I could listen to Rog and Davo talk soccer to me any day of the week.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ian Hamilton

    Bennett and Davis' show and podcast are consistently entertaining, but unfortunately Blazertannica feels as though it was hastily thrown together to ride the wave of the duo's popularity. The jokes are inconsistent, and the "encyclopedia" is a smorgasbord of largely dull and superfluous entries. Much of what makes the comedic pair so strong is their delivery and ability to feed off one another on air; unfortunately this formula isn't replicated in this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tim Hoiland

    From "Accents" and "Achilles Feet" to "Zaha" and "Zidane" this book is as lively and weird as its authors. If you've listened to the podcast or watched the show, a lot of this material will be familiar to you. Best suited for those who find themselves on the verge of soccer enthusiasm but in need of a nerdy, humorous nudge.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Sub-optimal crap has never been more enjoyable.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael J.

    You'll learn a lot more than just football/soccer in this highly entertaining and often funny collection of short articles (from one paragraph to several pages) on various and sundry topics - - some only loosely related to football/soccer. Just like the Men In Blazers television show, Rog and Davo go off on tangents and that's what gives this book it's unique charm. If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of soccer, including a complete history of the sport and a detailed explanation of You'll learn a lot more than just football/soccer in this highly entertaining and often funny collection of short articles (from one paragraph to several pages) on various and sundry topics - - some only loosely related to football/soccer. Just like the Men In Blazers television show, Rog and Davo go off on tangents and that's what gives this book it's unique charm. If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of soccer, including a complete history of the sport and a detailed explanation of the rules - - this is not the book for you. However, if you want to learn some interesting facts, essential topics, and some peculiarities of fandom this is the tome you want. As they mention in the introduction, the volume was designed to be "an ill-advised attempt to journey into the inky dark, unexplored depths of the Men In Blazers universe, every detail of which we have created hand in hand with our masochistically loyal listeners over the past eight years, pod by pod, show by show, tweet by suboptimal tweet." Indeed. The book is also subtitled "A Suboptimal Guide To Soccer, America's 'Sport Of The Future' since 1972." I learned as much about Roger Bennett and Michael Davies from reading this as I did about the reasons behind the popularity of soccer. I did not realize that both are transplants, having lived in America for a long time and did not meet until 2006, as detailed in the amusing 'Zildane', the last entry in the encyclopedia. For as many factual entries in the book, there are even more personal essays that reveal insights about both men and their infatuation with the popular sport. Among my favorite entries are the numerous mentions of baldness: Balding Sectors, Bald Players, Best Bald Team Of All Time and Way Less Bald In Person. Don't miss the entries on Facial Hair and Mullets. Also among the highlights are entries on why Blazers are important, Chanting, and The Worst Tattoos In Football Bennett's entries are full of clever pop culture references just like the tv show while Davies' approach is more literal and intellectual (to a degree). Rog definitely has the most personal essays in the book. I really enjoyed Davo's memoir titled "Is That Your Analysis?"

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leah Rachel von Essen

    This book was fun. It made me laugh a good number of times, and I shared many of the best stories with Nick. It's full of stories not just about soccer, but also about Rog and Davo's lives, where they come from, what makes them up as people. Highlights included a diagram of best penalty kicks that was all iconic missed penalties, a new soccer vocabulary, and new and better knowledge of world and English football. I can't blame it too much for its Western focus naturally, or its jokes at the expe This book was fun. It made me laugh a good number of times, and I shared many of the best stories with Nick. It's full of stories not just about soccer, but also about Rog and Davo's lives, where they come from, what makes them up as people. Highlights included a diagram of best penalty kicks that was all iconic missed penalties, a new soccer vocabulary, and new and better knowledge of world and English football. I can't blame it too much for its Western focus naturally, or its jokes at the expense of non-English-speaking nations, or its general bias towards ignoring colonialism and framing England as the great and only nation etc. It's a soccer book, and they're Premier league fans. What really took a star off for me was lack of women's soccer. It almost hurt more that they so lightly and poorly engaged with women's soccer—I almost prefer they would have left it out all together. Not one mention of the NWSL. A light sprinkling of female soccer players, but very light: Megan Rapinoe got two fewer paragraphs than Molly Ringwald. And one of those very few mentions of women's soccer listed a World Cup semi against Germany erroneously in 2014—it was 2015, as that's when the Women's World Cup was. Not surprising, as their coverage of the 2015 Women's World Cup consisted of a cute fun movie poster that was very entertaining but said little about the match. Perhaps I shouldn't have expected much about women's soccer in a book about soccer from 2 male English soccer fans, but I admit I got my hopes up, and still found their lazy engagement with the USWNT disappointing, especially considering that the Chicago Bears got nearly a page, or that they had room for a "best bald team" of all time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    I have loved soccer for a long time. In the buildup to the last World Cup in 2014, I discovered a podcast by two English gents call "Men in Blazers". I immediately fell in love with Rog and Davo, their football knowledge, their incredible sense of humor, and of course, their delightful accents. I haven't missed a Men in Blazers podcast in the past four years. Not only have they brought more enjoyment to the World Cup and subsequent international tournaments, but they have provided thorough educa I have loved soccer for a long time. In the buildup to the last World Cup in 2014, I discovered a podcast by two English gents call "Men in Blazers". I immediately fell in love with Rog and Davo, their football knowledge, their incredible sense of humor, and of course, their delightful accents. I haven't missed a Men in Blazers podcast in the past four years. Not only have they brought more enjoyment to the World Cup and subsequent international tournaments, but they have provided thorough education about the English Premier League, which has grown to become perhaps my favorite sports league. (My son Ben and I cheer for Tottenham). Anyway, I was excited to hear that Men in Blazers were publishing a book. Honestly, I didn't have high expectations, thinking it might be a short book that only rehashed a few things they have discussed on the pod. However, I greatly underestimated Rog and Davo. I absolutely loved this book. It was part serious soccer history, part biographies according to MiB, and part hilarious anecdotes and encyclopedia entries. I enjoyed every entry in this book and laughed out loud several times throughout. While it might not be as enjoyed or appreciated by readers not familiar with these gents, for anyone who is a fan of Men in Blazers, they are sure to love this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Ash

    I thought this book was great especially considering the barriers stacked against it: It is a book about soccer, It is formatted as an encyclopedia, I was reading it on my kindle. I have never before tried to read any kind of encyclopedia from A to Z. I've always gone to entries of interest and moved on from there. But having this as a library loan on an e-book made that impractical. But somehow this worked from A to Z. Each entry being entertaining and well-written enough to keep me moving forw I thought this book was great especially considering the barriers stacked against it: It is a book about soccer, It is formatted as an encyclopedia, I was reading it on my kindle. I have never before tried to read any kind of encyclopedia from A to Z. I've always gone to entries of interest and moved on from there. But having this as a library loan on an e-book made that impractical. But somehow this worked from A to Z. Each entry being entertaining and well-written enough to keep me moving forward. Reading this on an kindle meant that it was hampered somewhat visually. I'm not sure how the physical pages were laid out, but some of the illustrations didn't line up with articles here. It didn't matter, most of the visual jokes still worked and they were infrequent. I'm not a big soccer fan. But after starting this book I found that I could watch Sporting KC games on ESPN+, and I've enjoyed the experience. I can often hear the authors' accents in my head as a certain kind of play happens in front of me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John Matthew

    This a suboptimal book full of crap. And if you are a fan of Men In Blazers, you will love it. p. 28: The Game of Our Lives by George Turnbull p. 32: Chelsea fans will respond by bellowing "Speak F--king English! Why don't you speak F---king English?" p. 35: Chelsea: "There are also some less savory connections to do with anti-Catholicism, pro-Ulster unionism, loyalist tendencies, fascism, racism and gang-related violence." p. 40: "You can change your husband or wife, you can change your underpants, This a suboptimal book full of crap. And if you are a fan of Men In Blazers, you will love it. p. 28: The Game of Our Lives by George Turnbull p. 32: Chelsea fans will respond by bellowing "Speak F--king English! Why don't you speak F---king English?" p. 35: Chelsea: "There are also some less savory connections to do with anti-Catholicism, pro-Ulster unionism, loyalist tendencies, fascism, racism and gang-related violence." p. 40: "You can change your husband or wife, you can change your underpants, but you can never, ever change your team." p. 40: April 9, Churchill Day p. 71: The Ball Is Round, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, Among the Thugs p. 77: Gary Lineker: "Football is a simple game in which 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win." p. 99: "Football is an Italian game that just happens to have been invented in England." p. 179: "Tennis players" p. 197: Great story about England vs. Argentina in 1986 World Cup

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul Carr

    Nothing I say will persuade you to or dissuade you from buying this book. If you don’t know or like the Men in Blazers, you won’t get most of the jokes, and the humor will seem bizarre. If you are a Men in Blazers fan (as I am), you will relish the sub-optimality and understand that reference. I laughed out loud many times while reading this, and I smiled or chuckled countless others. Their ability to blend soccer, comedy and pop culture is an art, as are the accompanying illustrations. Size the Nothing I say will persuade you to or dissuade you from buying this book. If you don’t know or like the Men in Blazers, you won’t get most of the jokes, and the humor will seem bizarre. If you are a Men in Blazers fan (as I am), you will relish the sub-optimality and understand that reference. I laughed out loud many times while reading this, and I smiled or chuckled countless others. Their ability to blend soccer, comedy and pop culture is an art, as are the accompanying illustrations. Size the day, and this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colona Public Library

    I love the show Men in Blazers. If you do too, then you have to pick up this book. The humor is the same. The book is formatted like a real encyclopedia. It starts with A and ends with Z. There are tons of photos and drawings through out the book. You also get to learn more about Roger and Michael. You can read every entry in this book or just skip to the bits that you are interested it. You will enjoy this book either way. This book will make a great addition to any futbol or soccer fan's books I love the show Men in Blazers. If you do too, then you have to pick up this book. The humor is the same. The book is formatted like a real encyclopedia. It starts with A and ends with Z. There are tons of photos and drawings through out the book. You also get to learn more about Roger and Michael. You can read every entry in this book or just skip to the bits that you are interested it. You will enjoy this book either way. This book will make a great addition to any futbol or soccer fan's bookshelf. ~April

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Anderson

    This is the Men in Blazers at their finest. It's a coffee table book. If you're a diehard listener or viewer, you won't find much new here. There are a lot of jokes and references you've heard before, but that's ok -- that's why we come back every week. If you're newer, you'll enjoy getting the background on a lot of the usual sayings you've gotten used to. These guys are hilarious as always. You'll get sports and culture, history and present, fictional and real, and you'll laugh all the way thr This is the Men in Blazers at their finest. It's a coffee table book. If you're a diehard listener or viewer, you won't find much new here. There are a lot of jokes and references you've heard before, but that's ok -- that's why we come back every week. If you're newer, you'll enjoy getting the background on a lot of the usual sayings you've gotten used to. These guys are hilarious as always. You'll get sports and culture, history and present, fictional and real, and you'll laugh all the way through. A must have for any GFOP. War pig. Is that your analysis? WHO WANTS TO SEX MUTOMBO. Courage.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peter Smith

    I've been listening to the Men in Blazers podcast for years now so I was totally in the tank for this book even before it was written. But I have to admit that I'm surprised just how good their comedy encyclopedia on soccer turned out. There's some great stuff about the history of the game, some surprisingly inspirational life advice (Davo's work, no doubt), and of course, the same sense of humor that brings me back to their podcast every week. I don't know if I would be half the soccer fan I am I've been listening to the Men in Blazers podcast for years now so I was totally in the tank for this book even before it was written. But I have to admit that I'm surprised just how good their comedy encyclopedia on soccer turned out. There's some great stuff about the history of the game, some surprisingly inspirational life advice (Davo's work, no doubt), and of course, the same sense of humor that brings me back to their podcast every week. I don't know if I would be half the soccer fan I am if it weren't for these guys.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    'Encyclopedia Blazertannica' by Roger Bennett and Michael Davis, better known as the "Men in Blazers", have for more than a decade, stood at the center of Americas' growing national obsession with soccer or as an Englishman, I would say 'football. Hundreds of thousands of fans, including my self, tune in weekly to their podcast and television broadcast to get their analysis of the previous week's matches and soccer/football news. Rog and Davo fill in all the gaps with this hugely entertaining an 'Encyclopedia Blazertannica' by Roger Bennett and Michael Davis, better known as the "Men in Blazers", have for more than a decade, stood at the center of Americas' growing national obsession with soccer or as an Englishman, I would say 'football. Hundreds of thousands of fans, including my self, tune in weekly to their podcast and television broadcast to get their analysis of the previous week's matches and soccer/football news. Rog and Davo fill in all the gaps with this hugely entertaining and idiosyncratic guide to the sport that America is beginning to love. Growing up in England, I have followed football and my team for almost 50 years. This humorous and informative book on the culture of English football will only serve to educate the American fan. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Philip Looney

    This felt like part memoir, part love letter to GFOPs everywhere. Much of the content will be familiar to long time listeners, but there is lots of behind the scenes photos and stories that let you get even more inside the mind of Rog and Davo. I enjoyed learning more about 70s and 80s England football culture and fandom, like the part on Subbuteo and Bobby Moore. Best book for prepping for the 2018 World Cup out today.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Absolutely hilarious!! To be fair, I’m biased. I like their podcasts, their shows, their commentary, their humor, and I LOVE the sport of soccer. So, it’s easy for me to score this one highly, but they do such a great job of intertwining real history with their own differing opinions while still sharing detailed personal stories that endear the reader to the authors as well as to the sport. If you’re a soccer/football fan with a sense of humor, this is a must read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    To all who embark on reading this sub-optimal pile bald winning schlock, I say courage. Is that your analysis? Read this one when it came out in advance of the 2018 World Cup. Although I have heard a lot of these stories and thoughts as part of their podcast, the book was well worth the read. About fandom and what makes one a soccer fan (day drinking) and about life, love, and life lessons. And also redheads and sad naps and grief bacon. Could not ask for more.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matt Mitchell

    In the words of Davo, this is a brand extension. A hilarious and comedic one at that, explaining many of the tropes and quips of this soccer commentary duo. The only knock is that if you don't know the show, this won't make nearly as much sense as it does to a GFOP like myself who listens regularly. That's OK though. If you like soccer, particularly the English Premier League, these gents are top-notch crap (by their own admission and branding, of course).

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Fun build up to the World Cup. It brings me more joy to have than it does to read, if that makes any sense. Consuming tons of the Men in Blazers podcasts and tv episodes creates value for this as a piece of merchandise. It’s like a really cool concert poster. If you are a GFOP, it’s worth getting.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jay Hanewald

    A good companion book to GFOP. Encyclopedia Blazertannica is ideal for someone who can't get enough Men In Blazers. For a wider audiance, this books lacks enough substance or laugh-out-loud moments to be worth more than a casual glance at Barnes & Noble before moving elsewhere in the soccer section. A good companion book to GFOP. Encyclopedia Blazertannica is ideal for someone who can't get enough Men In Blazers. For a wider audiance, this books lacks enough substance or laugh-out-loud moments to be worth more than a casual glance at Barnes & Noble before moving elsewhere in the soccer section.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    A brilliant piece of crap that is a total joy to read. Essential for any fan of world football, or soccer, especially the Premier League. For a taste of the information that humorously jumps off every page, watch “Men in Blazers” on NBCSN, or listen to the MIB podcast. Or just open the book to any page. It’s arranged alphabetically, so you can read it in short bites.

  29. 4 out of 5

    RD

    Finally finished this crap book when my neighborhood had a blackout. Surely an acceptable time to read this crap. In all seriousness, this book hasn’t aged well in terms of info, and did the illustrator miss a memor when the book characterizes Mourinho as a “F1 driver” when he’s drawn as a boxer? (Read the book.) Still a great read, though.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Poppy

    Could anything be better. Could anything be better. Hours & hours of football & laughter. I've sat with this all day. I will continue to enjoy it and share it with my kids & laugh with them. If only it came with pies. Could anything be better. Could anything be better. Hours & hours of football & laughter. I've sat with this all day. I will continue to enjoy it and share it with my kids & laugh with them. If only it came with pies.

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