Pray: Notes on a Football Season
Nick Hornby, author of the bestselling soccer classic Fever Pitch, offers an insightful account of an extraordinary sports season. Concentrating on a number of significant games in British soccer during the 2011–2012 season, Hornby chronicles the emotional, political, and societal highlights and woes that played out on the field. There were alleged racist clashes, revealing the deep cultural fissures still present in British life. There was a fairy-tale return for the legendary Thierry Henry, and the terrifying collapse of Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba, clinically dead for seventy-eight minutes after a heart attack. Throughout, Hornby delves into the impact of the economy on the beloved sport of Britain. As sheikhs and oligarchs buy and sell teams and players at astronomical financial levels, other teams are left behind to struggle with diminished talent. And as income inequality hits all-time highs worldwide, so it does in British soccer.
It was a season of tumultuous incident and enormous entertainment, a season more glorious than most. By the end, in May 2012, fans of most clubs had been enthralled, appalled, depressed, elated, shocked, and enraged. Along the way, soccer had somehow managed to encompass politics, high finance, the law, and matters of life and death. Read all about it, and relive it, here.