Synopses & Reviews
After covering the American sports scene for fifteen years, Chuck Culpepper had self-diagnosed his creeping ills: a dogged strain of Common Sportswriter Malaise. Simply put, his brain had overflowed with inane utterances from managers and athletes spouting fibs and cliches on autopilot. He was fed up with self-righteous proclamations, steroid scandals, and the deluge of in-your-face PR. Then in 2006, he moved to London for the oldest reason in the book — love — and pledged his loyalty to Portsmouth, a small-market team at the bottom of the world-famous Premiership, a league he barely knew. As he puts it, "It was like childhood, with beer."
Bloody Confused is the story of Culpepper's revisit to fandom among the world's most devoted fans. He stands shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their noisy, dilapidated stadium... not to mention a wide range of local pubs. Culpepper explores what feeds their fervor, and follows Portsmouth throughout England for the 2006-2007 season as they play such storied franchises as Manchester United and Chelsea.
In the vein of perennial bestsellers such as Fever Pitch and The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, Chuck Culpepper explores the vibrant landscape of English soccer with piercing wit and penetrating insight. Bloody Confused will bring a smile to the face of any sports fan who has ever eyed the fanatical English soccer scene with curiosity, or who has ever questioned the rationale of fandom itself.
"In the throes of becoming jaded and cynical about the American sportswriting scene, Culpepper, a London-based Los Angeles Times journalist covering European sporting events, writes about the internationally known Premiership soccer league and its overzealous fans. The rough-and tumble British soccer sport quickly captivates Culpepper, who wrote on American sports for 15 years, as he learns the rivalries between the fans and teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Portsmouth. A humorist of sorts, he can't help making snide comparisons between the rowdy, cheering British fans and their more somber American brethren, while touting the emotional high of regional pride over big team profits. He falls under the spell of the struggling Portsmouth squad, realizing that the die-hard fans live and die with the fortunes of their players and teams, describing vivid action scenes as thrilling as any in American hockey or football." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“A bracing (and funny) antidote to the cynicism infecting modern sports, Chuck Culpepper's Bloody Confused is a love letter to fandom. You don't even have to like soccer to enjoy it (but it helps).” Jeffrey Toobin
“The American sporting landscape is littered with bad trades; consider this the latest: We get Beckham, but they get Culpepper. Thankfully, with Bloody Confused! we get our man back on loan, if only for a couple hundred of the most splendid pages you’ll have the pleasure of reading all year.” Mike Vaccaro, author of 1941: The Greatest Year in Sports
“Chuck Culpepper is the best, most perceptive sportswriter on two continents.” Sally Jenkins
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the world's most devoted sports fans, a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee explores the vibrant landscape of English soccer with piercing wit and penetrating insight.
About the Author
Chuck Culpepper writes for the Los Angeles Times and has written for Newsday and ESPN Books, among other publications.