By "The Other 87 Minutes" / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents
Saturday is St. Patrick's Day (and the birthday of one A.W. Pickard, so if you see him buy him a green beer). In the spirit of the celebration, we've put together a 4-4-2 line-up of Irish writers, historical figures, and Bono.
GK – Peter O’Toole – Our inspirational leader and captain, his presence is a steadying influence in times of crisis, and his voice can rally the troops when a goal is needed. Our squad members don’t come for money, they come for him.
LB – Wolfe Tone – I admit I’m not entirely sure how his history as an Irish revolutionary would make him a tremendous left back, but isn’t that a badass name?
CB – Saint Patrick – Technically speaking, not every one of this team’s attacks start with him. But it sure can seem like it sometimes.
CB – Daniel O’Connell – The other rock at the center of Irish history; no one loves the team more than he does.
RB – Patrick Pearse – A natural defender of his home turf, he only runs into trouble when he pushes too hard for freedom in his role.
LM – W.B. Yeats – Once a center midfielder, but was moved out to the flanks after it turned out the center could not hold when the team relied on his tackling ability to stem the blood-dimmed tide of the opposition’s assault.
CM – Samuel Beckett – Sometimes criticized for his lack of forward passing and drive, but there’s no denying that he sees the game in a completely different way from other players.
CM – James Joyce – A maddening perfectionist on the pitch, but on his day it seems he can dictate the game down the last detail.
RM – George Bernard Shaw – Endlessly versatile – he won a Nobel Prize, an Oscar, and cofounded the London School of Economics for Pete’s sake – the man tracks back on defense one minute and goes bombing forward the next.
CF – Michael Flatley – And you thought Cristiano Ronaldo’s feet were fast. Dazzles in the attacking end with his rapid-fire combinations.
CF – Bono – May lack the urgency he once felt, but still has his moments where he can overpower and outperform any competition.
About "The Other 87 Minutes"
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The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.
O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.
“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff
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