The Champions League this season has, for me, informally become a series on waiting for André Villas-Boas talking about Marseille defeats. Lucky him — yesterday, he didn’t have to.
Ramble of the Day
I know there’s a sizable group of Hoddlers that like a good map, so I figured I’d share one I ran into last week. Soccer.com, one of the most popular places to get football gear in the US, shared its most popular kits by state, and as you could guess, it’s a pretty fun map. A few things to note before we dive in: the sample size is both limited by purchases off just one website, and is just sales from October 1 to November 22 of this year.
Which player is #1 in your state? pic.twitter.com/SanZQCRlAJ— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) November 27, 2020
The popular players are predictable — Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Christian Pulisic all show up on this map multiple times. (Side note, but after spending too long gazing at the US Electoral College map, I’m feeling inclined to use language like “Christian Pulisic won his home state of Pennsylvania,” but this isn’t an election so I’m going to work very hard not to use such language.)
The really juicy stuff, though, is where those three don’t pop up. I have to mention that the consumers in Vermont mostly purchased Dele kits, which is pretty interesting considering the time period this covers — he played only 111 minutes in that time, but I suppose that didn’t matter to the folks who made those purchases. There’s also a conversation worth having on how limited this group of people is, but we’ll talk about that in a bit.
The other interesting states include Oregon, where Sadio Mané was the most popular, Alaska with Marcus Rashford, Hawaii with Anthony Martial,, North Dakota with Bruno Fernandes, and South Dakota with Leonardo Bonucci. Liverpool, Manchester United, and Juventus are all fairly popular teams, and I think you can explain Rashford’s popularity as a player excelling for a popular team. You can probably stretch that to Mané, even if it is slightly weird that Mohamed Salah doesn’t crack the list. (There’s probably a normal explanation, though.)
Martial’s inclusion is slightly weird, too, but the place where the real weirdness is the Dakotas. I have to imagine Fernandes is building a certain amount of popularity amongst United fans, but Bonucci is a true head scratcher. This is where I truly wonder about the group of people accounted for in this map — I know very little about South Dakota, and even less about their football culture. While tweeting about South Dakota, I received this response:
Having grown up in the Midwest, I'd say that it was probably one jersey sold during that time frame tbh— Pete (@FutbolPete717) November 27, 2020
This map is probably not reflective on a large scale, but weirdly, I come away more curious about South Dakota than I ever have been.
tl;dr: Soccer.com’s most popular kits from October to November make for a fascinating map.
Stay informed, read this: actor Elliot Page’s announcement that he is transgender
Links of the Day
Newcastle’s match at Aston Villa was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak at Newcastle.
The USWNT and US Soccer agreed to a partial settlement on working conditions.
English clubs will not be able to sign U18 players from Europe post-Brexit.
Montréal Impact manager Thierry Henry will produce Day 1’s, a series on a footballer and his crew, from co-creators Kingsman’s Matthew Vaugh and Entourage’s Doug Ellin.
David Squires remembers Diego Maradona in his latest cartoon.
A longer read: Anna Schaverien on the FA’s choice to stop girls’ and women’s football during the UK’s latest coronavirus shutdown, and how it further reveals the inequalities of the men’s and women’s game for The New York Times