Cool Things I Read, Vol. 5

English soccer! Peruvian soccer! More English soccer! Wow!

Dulwich Hamlet: the improbable tale of a tiny football club that lost its home to developers — and won it back, The Guardian

“Imagine for a moment that all the clubs in all the divisions of English football live inside one building. (A nice tall place, one of those multi-use blocks that flush developers love to erect.) The summiteers of the Premier League — they’re up in the penthouses, where it’s loft-style living, all memory foam and megaviews. A floor below, the nearly-men of the second division take up the nicer apartments, jockeying to be closest to the executive elevator. Underneath them, the third-division lot are in help-to-buys, the fourth division in dormitory bunks. A steeply descending staircase to the ground floor marks the point at which elite, professional “league” football ends, becoming the more sprawling, regional, semi-professional “non-league” tiers. Down these stairs they’ve had to open up the lobby, add lean-tos, to accommodate everyone. The players of the fifth tier sleep on mezzanine couches, while those from the sixth tier lie on mats where they can. In the cellar (closer to the warrens of scratch leagues, pub derbies, prison friendlies), Dulwich Hamlet hunkers down with the rest of the seventh tier.

Such is how the author describes the incredible story of Dulwich Hamlet, the South London soccer team saved from extinction by its radically committed local fans.

Peru : An Eternal Journey from the Ruins to the Crown, Goalden Times

This chronicles the rise of Peruvian football in the 1970s, coming out of the Ancash earthquake, and culminating with their capture of the 1975 Copa America.

Bruce Grobbelaar: ‘How many people did I kill? I couldn’t tell you’, The Guardian

In an interview promoting his new book, famed Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar opens up about his youth in Zimbabwe, where he was conscripted into the Rhodesian army. As he says, “This is why I’ve always lived my life for today. I can only say sorry for the past. I can’t change it.”

America Needs More Fair-Weather Sports Fans, The Atlantic

Here, writer Derek Thompson argues that there’s no point in torturing oneself by rooting for a bad sports franchise. Root for greatness, be happy!