GUNNING FOR A NOTE: The Mad Manc and The Gorgeous Swede.

Striking a Bondesque pose Labanter’s Mad Manc and new edition to the creative team Jodi “The Gorgeous Swede” Carlson-Astrom, recently had fun recording a demo of our un-official England World Cup song “Eh Afrikaa.”

Mega-props go out to our good friend Matt Vogt for recording the sesh.

Watch this space as we’re about to give ‘Three Lions,’ ‘World in Motion’ and ‘Vindaloo’ a run for their money!

NICE ONE ROO: British male (and female) eyes will be trained on England striker Wayne Rooney this summer!


Two American wives have respective contrasting thoughts about the upcoming footie feast in South Africa.


By Anu Athanikar
One summer a few years ago, my husband took to disappearing at all hours of the night, taking 3-hour lunches, and generally behaving as a man possessed.

No, he wasn’t hitting the local strip bars, and he was too young to be having a mid-life crisis.

But he was having an affair, so to speak, with a long-loved mistress that was impossible to compete with: Football.

It was the 2006 world cup, and for a few months I’d lost my husband to his first true love.

It wasn’t long into our relationship before “the other woman” infringed on our lazy weekend mornings.

Whether rousing at 7 a.m. to watch a live Arsenal match, or rushing off to a pick-up game in Golden Gate Park, he tended to his “footie” duties with passion and discipline — and this was a man who rarely made it to the office before 10!

Soon after I met Daniel, a North Londoner transplanted to California, I quickly realized that to him football was not merely a sport but an extension of his identity as a Brit.

Sure, I’d had sports-obsessed American boyfriends, but this was different. Americans often share their loyalties between several sports (baseball, basketball, American football, golf, etc.).

Brits on the other hand are generally monogamous in their love of football.

For good and for bad, they are consumed by the so-called “beautiful game.”

It’s an obsession, a religion, a source of angst, comfort, and regional and national pride — all wrapped in one.

And so it was no surprise that I played second fiddle to the World Cup in 2006.

Most of the games were watched at inhuman hours, in a hot, cramped Senegalese bar on Mission Street.

I took part in the spectacle a couple of times, but my claustrophobic tendencies and lack of patience for drunken, yelping football fans kept me away most of the time.

By the time it got to the finals, England had been knocked out, but Daniel — like any respectable addict — still made his early morning pilgrimages to the bar until the bitter end.

So here we are again four years later.

This time around Daniel will probably be watching 5 a.m. games in our living room and very likely accompanied by our nineteen month-old, Noah, who often rises at that wicked hour.

Little will he know that it will be just the beginning of the footie indoctrination program his father has been planning since the day he was born.

Away from the rowdy bars and into our living room, this World Cup may truly be a family affair.

The upside? Watching a bunch of unusually good-looking men gliding up and down the soccer pitch in shorts is not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.


By Jody Carlson-Astrom
As the World Cup in Johannesburg approaches, the topic of conversation in my house and among my European friends is football football football or as us Americans call the sport — soccer.

I am not actually allowed to use that expression at home due to the fact that I am married to a Swede. I played soccer as a child and love the sport but soccer in American culture is practically nonexistent.

I think this is a shame.

Instead of being a football widow who hates the TV, commercials, beer and chips that go along with all day avid football watching, I am jealous.

It is a language and religion that I completely feel left out of.

My husband and his friends talk in a jargon of football greats and current players that I know nothing about.

It’s like being at a table and everyone speaks perfect Latin but you.

The tom-boy inside of me needs an education in football — not the American kind — that I can handle!

For now, I am left to snippets of Totti this and Roma that, Sweden has been biting the big one unfortunately and AC Milan, well who knows what’s going on there?


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