France

Blaise Matuidi, France’s Soldier in the Shadows.

It may seem strange, but in addition to the headliners such as Kylian Mbappé,  Paul Pogba,  and  N’Golo Kanté—one of France’s key players at this World Cup is a player who has only started in three of the six games the team has played through the semifinal.

Read more at The Athletic or full pdf (here). 

 

World Cup Kickoff: The Irony of Looking Backward to Celebrate the Future

World Cup Kickoff: The Irony of Looking Backward to Celebrate the Future

I’m back from a sports week in France ahead of the World Cup and am struck by the irony of nostalgia for the past—in this case, 1998—which very much celebrated the future.

The Power of Sports: Super Bowl Edition

The Power of Sports: Super Bowl Edition

As you’re getting ready for today’s Super Bowl spectacle, it’s a good time to recall that #EverythingHasAHistory. Including American football which, as Ben Halls at VICE Sports reminds us, is a much closer cousin to rugby than many Americans likely realize. In fact, the changes that occurred as American football developed in the late nineteenth century leads to one of the earliest, surprising, and fascinating stories of transatlantic influences in French sport.

Space and Time in the Sports Continuum

Space and Time in the Sports Continuum

Space and time. These two words aren’t frequently associated with sports, although they impact a historian’s work and influence every communications pro’s tool box.  Yet, as a sports writer and historian, I’m thinking a lot about space and time in the sports continuum.

French Basketball in China & Phantom Documents

French Basketball in China & Phantom Documents

I recently wrote a paper for the #GoldenGamesNUS sports diplomacy conference on the three times the French men’s basketball team played in China (1966, 1980, and 2006). The subject may seem odd to the casual eye, but these countries boast the oldest hoops traditions outside of North America, dating to 1893 (France) and 1895 (China). As it turned out, “La France en Chine: The Power of Basketball Diplomacy” is one of the more fun, quirky papers I’ve written and the challenges involved in stitching it together are instructive on many levels.