Game of Our Lives

By Jetty

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Whether you call it football or soccer, you can’t understand it without understanding the modern world — and you can’t understand the modern world without understanding its most popular sport. Join host David Goldblatt for conversations about politics, culture, economics, immigration, religion, cinema — and of course, some all-time favorite goals.

Episode Date
Iran v. Nike, Iceland Rising, and the Goal That Shook the Earth

And we’re not even a week into the World Cup. From Iceland’s unexpected draw with Argentina to Mexico’s seismic win over Germany, David & crew revel in the opening weekend’s action. Plus, Iranian journalist Mani Djazmi dials in from a train in the middle of Russia to talk about Iran’s last-minute 1-0 win against Morocco, and all the drama that’s followed the team off the pitch.

Jun 19, 2018
Russia’s Big Win, the NAFTA World Cup, and the Future of South American Football

It’s on! Preening pop stars, a surprise home team blowout, and a handshake seen ‘round the world. Host David Goldblatt and crew break down Russia’s rout of Saudi Arabia, dissect Vladimir Putin’s upstaging of the FIFA Congress, and talk with football journalist Tim Vickery about whether Lionel Messi and the rest of South America’s stars can restore the continent’s football glory. Finally, we hear from Shireen Ahmed about how the hopes of Toronto’s Muslim diaspora rise and fall on Mo Salah’s sore shoulder. And of course, we tell you what to watch this weekend.

Jun 15, 2018
Everything You Don't Understand About Russia: World Cup 2018

Vladimir Putin: we've seen him shirtless on horseback, wielding a hockey stick, and maneuvering for global domination. But how does Putin's Russia really feel about football? Host David Goldblatt talks with Russian journalist Sasha Goryunov about what the West misunderstands about the 2018 World Cup host country. Plus, we preview the tournament, visit the CONIFA World Football Cup of unrecognized nations, and welcome two new cohosts to the show.

Jun 08, 2018
COMING SOON: Game of Our Lives Season 2 — World Cup

Goals, tragedies, victories, politics—and, yes, songs. Host David Goldblatt is back to guide you through football's biggest tournament! Season 2 starts June 8, 2018.

Jun 06, 2018
Italy: Football, Fascism, and the World Cup — with John Foot

“We have made Italy; now we have to make Italians,” Massimo d’Azeglio famously stated. Has football made Italians? And how do the country’s anxieties play out on the pitch? Goldblatt talks with historian John Foot about Italian football and its relationship to politics — from Mussolini’s use of the sport as a tool of fascism, to Silvio Berlusconi bringing Italy to the top of the football world, to current anxieties about immigration and national identity — and the failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

Apr 26, 2018
India is In the Game — with Supriya Nair

When the World Cup begins, the absence of just two countries will mean that over a third of the global population will not be represented. India and China are not traditional football powers, but in recent years they’ve become huge and lucrative markets for the sport. In this episode, writer Supriya Nair talks about the new middle-class popularity of the Premier League in India, the clunky attempts to revamp the Indian domestic game, and her own private ritual of staying up until 3am to watch her favorite team: Italy's AC Milan.

Apr 19, 2018
Liverpool: Rebellion and Resilience

Liverpool is a political football city like no other. It’s also swimming in just as much money as the rest of the game. This week, Goldblatt heads to watch his beloved Tottenham Hotspur take on Liverpool FC; but also visits the activists from Spirit of Shankly and Fans Supporting Foodbanks, who do their work outside the stadium, in his quest to find out what it means for him to be a fan.

Apr 12, 2018
After Escobar — with Juan Gabriel Vásquez

In the 1980s and 90s, Colombian football was some of the best it had ever been. The price: near-total control by the country’s drug lords. This week, Goldblatt talks with fan and novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez about what it was like growing up in Colombia during that time, how following the sport helps him see his country’s changes, and whether there’s any such thing as a pure game.

Apr 05, 2018
Playing the Game, Wearing Hijab — with Shireen Ahmed

All Shireen Ahmed wanted to do was play — but college officials kept her off the pitch because she wanted to wear her headscarf, or hijab. This week, the player, advocate, and coach talks about her fight to get back on the field, what football means in the global South, and the day FIFA lifted its ban on hijab.

Mar 29, 2018
Mountain of Fire and Miracles — with Godwin Enakhena

One of the top teams in Nigeria is Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC, a Pentecostal club in Lagos. It’s a team that provides stability for its players within the fraught world of Nigerian domestic football — and also represents the country on the global stage. “Someone is sick, we all pray and fast,” says church sporting director Godwin Enakhena. “There is a deal that’s coming, we fast and pray about it, and say ‘God help this young man get this deal.’” This week, he and David Goldblatt discuss his team’s remarkable rise from amateur youth club to elite team, the challenges facing Nigerian domestic clubs, and the rules that keep MFM FC on track.

Mar 22, 2018
Cinema of The Pitch — with Werner Herzog

If Werner Herzog made a football movie, what would it look like? Host David Goldblatt talks football (soccer) and cinema (movies) with the celebrated filmmaker (and reasonable center forward). Herzog talks about falling in love with the game when he watched a young Pele play in Munich, the cinematography of the TV football experience, and the football film he dreams of making.

Mar 15, 2018
COMING SOON: Game of Our Lives

David Goldblatt revels in the cheeky culture of English football chants. Season 1 starts March 15, 2018.

Feb 28, 2018