Game of Our Lives
Game of Our Lives
Al Jazeera
Whether you call it football or soccer, you can’t understand it without understanding the modern world — and you can’t understand the modern world without understanding its most popular sport. Join host David Goldblatt for conversations about politics, culture, economics, immigration, religion, cinema — and of course, some all-time favorite goals.
To the Victor Goes the Umbrella
France took home the trophy, but we all know who really won the World Cup: Vladimir Putin (who somehow ended up with the only umbrella in Moscow). In their Season 2 adieu, David, Tony, and Kanishk share their top moments from one of the most memorable tournaments in ages — before duking it out over where Raja should pledge his football allegiance.We want to hear from you! What do you want from a post-World Cup Game of Our Lives? Fill out this short survey and let us know:
Jul 16, 2018
33 min
Three Lions and a Funeral
All right… maybe we jinxed it. But now that he’s ripped off the Band-Aid, David’s ready to take a hard look at England’s last game (and anyway, his money is on France). Misery loves company, so he calls up journalist Marcela Mora y Araujo to talk about what’s next for Argentina. And the whole crew looks ahead to the final in our new and improved edition of What to Watch.
Jul 12, 2018
27 min
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Havelange
England is divided, but in the midst of political upheaval at home comes a moment of destiny on the pitch. David’s a mess, Kanishk Tharoor is back to try and jinx England, and Tony’s Skyping in from a car in South Africa to wind them both up. Plus IKEA hooligans, a poorly-timed baptism, and a visit from the ghost of João Havelange.
Jul 9, 2018
28 min
Shhhh … Don’t Jinx It
David goes to the mat for England as he dares to dream of a World Cup victory for the Three Lions; meanwhile, his guest, writer Kanishk Tharoor, hopes they lose — call it payback for a couple centuries of empire. With the quarterfinals upon us, it’s time to seriously consider what each team is made of, whether that’s argyle, chain-mail, or rootless cosmopolitans. Plus: the Totally Football Show’s Iain Macintosh leaves his own World Cup bunker to meditate on Neymar’s tears, and our hosts take bets on which team will leave Russia with the ultimate prize.
Jul 5, 2018
25 min
From Russia With Pride
Are penalty kicks any way to decide a match? David and Tony disagree — but we know how Russia feels. And as fans chant freely in stadiums from St. Petersburg to Sochi, some waving rainbow-colored flags, Piara Powar of FARE joins David to talk about the anti-discrimination group’s efforts to make sure Russia’s newfound attitude of tolerance lasts well beyond the tournament’s end. Plus, peak tiki-taka rubbish and what makes a World Cup match truly great.
Jul 2, 2018
25 min
What If...?
On the verge of packing their bags for home, Mexico got a reprieve when South Korea beat Germany in a stunning upset. Now the country’s fans are riding high…straight to the polls this weekend. Can a football victory — or defeat — change the course of history? David takes a look back to the 1970 World Cup, which he watched on two TVs in his dad’s living room, and plays out some what-ifs about football, elections, and the future of global politics. And he looks ahead to another politics-and-football showdown between two “masters of the dark arts” — Sergio Ramos and Vladimir Putin.
Jun 28, 2018
23 min
Operation Double Eagle
Surprise! Despite FIFA policy, political provocations abound at the World Cup. This week we talk about rumors of Mo Salah’s impending exit from Team Egypt, the hooligan-to-paramilitary pipeline, and what exactly is up with that Albanian double eagle. Plus, writer Supriya Nair calls in from Mumbai to talk about why she keeps watching teams that won’t win, and Godwin Enakhena checks in from Lagos, where Nigeria fans are perched between hope and despair — as Messi awaits.
Jun 25, 2018
25 min
It’s All Fun and Games Until the Nationalists Show Up
“If football nations were rappers, Brazil would be Tupac.” Guest Musa Okwonga from the New York Times blew up on Twitter last week with his arch comparisons of rappers and World Cup teams. Today, he joins David to talk about xenophobia in Europe, the basic decency of Mo Salah, and how to expand his analogy to poets — Italy as T.S. Eliot, anyone? Plus, Senegalese coaching sensation Aliou Cisse, women finally being allowed into stadiums in Tehran, and next week’s Red Sea Derby.
Jun 21, 2018
25 min
Iran v. Nike, Iceland Rising, and the Goal That Shook the Earth
And we’re not even a week into the World Cup. From Iceland’s unexpected draw with Argentina to Mexico’s seismic win over Germany, David & crew revel in the opening weekend’s action. Plus, Iranian journalist Mani Djazmi dials in from a train in the middle of Russia to talk about Iran’s last-minute 1-0 win against Morocco, and all the drama that’s followed the team off the pitch.
Jun 18, 2018
30 min
Russia’s Big Win, the NAFTA World Cup, and the Future of South American Football
It’s on! Preening pop stars, a surprise home team blowout, and a handshake seen ‘round the world. Host David Goldblatt and crew break down Russia’s rout of Saudi Arabia, dissect Vladimir Putin’s upstaging of the FIFA Congress, and talk with football journalist Tim Vickery about whether Lionel Messi and the rest of South America’s stars can restore the continent’s football glory. Finally, we hear from Shireen Ahmed about how the hopes of Toronto’s Muslim diaspora rise and fall on Mo Salah’s sore shoulder. And of course, we tell you what to watch this weekend.
Jun 14, 2018
34 min
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