Brazil’s ignominious football World Cup

My comment in The Hindu on the Football World Cup, which begins next week in Brazil. I argue here that for most Brazilians view their government’s decision to spend 15 billion dollars on hosting the event as a Most Brazilians view this as a depraved act of profligacy: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/brazils-ignominious-football-world-cup/article6090095.ece

Why Being an Obsessed Soccer Fan Can Make You Really, Really Happy

A piece for The Atlantic in which I endeavor to rationalize distant fandom — why supporting your national team in the Euros can be a very good thing: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/06/why-being-an-obsessed-soccer-fan-can-make-you-really-really-happy/259178/

“Supporting your national team goes beyond the traditional contours of fandom, and in many ways transcends sport. Supporters—both highly identified and weakly identified ones—may only come together for short periods (as is the case during a World Cup or a European championship), but an inherent feeling of nationalism helps them find a strong, common bond.”