I’m a freelance writer and teacher with a special interest in community sports ownership, community wealth-building and how soccer might bridge the two. For seven and a half years, I was the culture and sports editor of INDY Week, the award-winning alt-weekly of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C.
I was born in Richland Center, Wis., raised in Asheville, N.C. and educated at Columbia University in New York, N.Y.
Why does this website exist?
Blogs peaked around 2008, and for a while, it seemed like the entire newspaper industry would be supplanted by armies of citizen journalists. But suddenly everyone was on Facebook and blogs started expiring. I’d never considered doing a blog the first time around, but my experience with social media has taught me that I enjoy having an outlet to explore ideas and people that interest me. At the same time, the popular social media sites don’t appeal to me as places to publish musings of which I may like to have permanent ownership.
For now, I’m thinking of this blog as my own private social media timeline, one where I can post whatever I want without fear of losing followers or undermining my—ahem—public brand.
The upshot is that this blog will become the new destination for things I would typically post on Google+, that unused social site where I felt most comfortable posting wonky things.
You can find me on Twitter here. I’m on Facebook, too, where I usually restrict my contributions to commenting on other people’s posts.
Who do you think might read this blog, other than your family?
I may, from time to time, write posts that may interest people who follow me on Twitter or Facebook. If so, I’ll send out the link. I do a little teaching, and so I’ll post for my students, too. Otherwise, my hope is to engage with readers who are in a global conversation about the movement toward the community ownership of sports, particularly soccer.
Sure. I played it growing up. I lost track of it somewhat as an adult, though I watched every World Cup from 1990 and continued to play a bit in Brooklyn parks and North Carolina rec fields.
Around 2007, I began watching adult club soccer again. Thanks to some fortuitously gained friends and acquaintances, I started reading the literature of the game. From there, I discovered the supporter ownership movement and the idea that professional and semi-professional clubs can exist for the benefit of their members and fans.
We Americans tend to accept without complaint the total control of our popular sports by powerful, unaccountable entities. But to my delight and surprise, there are communities all over the world who have not been infected by this notion, who persist in thinking of sport as being of the people, by the people and for the people.
Anything else you’re interested in?
I’m interested in social history, anthropology and various strains of cooperative economics, libertarianism, socialism and anarchism. I used to be a serious film guy, writing reviews for INDY Week and attempting to make films myself. Now I just browse Netflix like everyone else. Also, I enjoy hunting and fishing, going to the ocean and going to the theater. I’m a reformed motorcyclist. I have a canoe and I’m learning to sail. I wish my Spanish, French and American Sign Language were better. I wish I read more books—maybe that will change. I’m married. A dog lived with us until she died, and we may adopt another. Here’s a little more about me.
Do you have any affiliations, political or otherwise, to disclose?
I’m politically unaffiliated, although I have several friends and acquaintances who are elected Democrats. I’m a co-owner of FC United of Manchester, a cooperatively owned English soccer club. I’m a board member of Triangle Soccer Fanatics, the independent supporters group for the Carolina RailHawks. More informally, I’m a board member of Orange County Adult Soccer League. I’m a 2014 graduate of Durham Neighborhood College. I’m a member of Durham County Wildlife Club and the Durham YMCA. I have a Duke spousal ID card, and I have a Costco card somewhere, too.