(The Root) — Given America's glut of professional sports diversions — baseball, basketball, football, tennis and even hockey — it's generally hard out here for a soccer fanatic.
No matter how much loyalists (like myself) proclaim our devotion to what the rest of the world knows simply as "the beautiful game," soccer still kicks it in the margins here. (That's even despite interest from notables from Spike Lee to Kobe Bryant.)
That's why it's so satisfying to read Howler, a new quarterly publication that takes its title from the term U.K. soccer analysts use to describe when a goalkeeper makes a huge error. But the mag is anything but a mistake. It's as much a loving ode to men and women who run after a ball for 90 minutes as it is a well-written, expertly designed example of solid journalism.
The history of England's Manchester United gets treated to a 12-page timeline of memorable moments. There's a story on the brash U.S. women's goalie Hope Solo. And Seria A, Italy's top-tier league, is featured in a stunning pictorial of its beauty and drama — which is the polar opposite of the racist chants AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng (who's caught in mid-kick here) experienced recently.
A team of writers, editors and creative directors — who have contributed to top glossies such as GQ, Esquire and ESPN: The Magazine — are the masterminds behind it all. More than just a few column inches in the local paper and dismissive shrugs from nonbelievers, the globe's game finally has what it deserves.
Check out the entire first issue of Howler here.
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