CONTESTED GROUND #1: $?, 5½” x 8½”, offset, 30 pgs.

Feb 01, 2016

Every four years the World Cup stokes my fair-weather soccer fandom. I have a great time watching all the games, pledge to pick a Premiership team to follow, and then inevitably feel overwhelmed at the prospect. There’s so much accumulated history and data to be considered that the idea—well-intentioned though it may be—becomes akin to the feeling I got after reading the first twenty pages of Proust. Too much. Contested Ground makes me reconsider. Rather than focusing on the stats and games and history, the folks behind this zine take a more human approach, talking about their connections to teams. It’s friendly, and is written with non-fans in mind—no jargon and no assumptions in play. The easy point of reference here is Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity (not to be confused with that awful Jimmy Fallon movie—and this coming from a Red Sox fan!), but I think the fan-friendly approach is closer to Steve Reynolds and Mike Faloon’s fantastic baseball zine Zisk (which, in the interest of full disclosure, you should know I occasionally contribute to). If you aren’t a sports fan, don’t be put off by the subject matter—the writing herein is well-executed and rewarding enough for even those amongst you who are vehemently anti-sports. –Michael T. Fournier ([email protected]