Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bloody Confused

One of the books I bought on my recent trip to Britain was Up Pompey by Chuck Culpepper.

The book describes Culpepper's first season an English football supporter after fifteen years as a sportswriter in the U.S. He started following Portsmouth FC when they were battling EPL relegation during the 2005-2006 season, and became a dyed in the wool Pompey supporter the following year, taking the train to all their home and away games.
As Culpepper writes in the forward, "it was like childhood, with beer".

Anyway, the book came out this in the U.S. with a new title Bloody Confused and a new cover(left). When I saw this, I thought Culpepper might have a new book out, but it's the same old book with a new title for American readers who may not get that "Play Up Pompey" is Portsmouth's club motto.

The subtitle was also changed from "a clueless American sportswriter bumbles through English football" to "a clueless American sportswriter seeks solace in English soccer", and the new cover makes it look like a different book. That weird-looking dude on the cover of Up Pompey (right) is a Portsmouth fan who legally changed his last name to "Portsmouth FC".

It would be nice if Bloody Confused has an update through the 2008 season, because Portsmouth won the F.A. Cup last year, and Culpepper's L.A. Times article about their triumph would make a nice addendum for the U.S. edition.

Another soccer book that was re-titled for American audiences was Simon Kuper's Football Against The Enemy, which was released over here as Soccer Against The Enemy. At least this sounds like the same book (retitled because we call the sport "soccer", not "football"), but the publisher also changed all references inside Kuper's book from "football" to "soccer" even when it messes up the grammar or the meaning.

The U.S. edition of Kuper's book is full of lines about "American soccer quarterbacks" and players "kicking a soccer" (since "football" refers to both the sport and the ball). Talk about "bloody confused"!

It reads a lot like "Tyson Homosexual" setting a world record at the U.S. Olympic trials.

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