I write with fingers that are proud and excited. Our Umbro x Men in Blazers National Team 2: Electric Boogaloo collaboration is out in the world today. AVAILABLE HERE.
This Strictly Limited Edition collection is an homage to the Double Diamond and the way it manifested itself into football’s DNA on both sides of the Atlantic.
From England, where Umbro is synonymous with so many English legends and memories, the Drill Top is an iconic design. A thick quality fabric to keep out the fiercest winds up north, and soak up sweat and the occasional post-training beer spill down south. Proper Football.
Anyone who came of age in the United States recognizes the Umbro Checkerboard Short as a classic pillar on which the American game was built.
At Men In Blazers, we are beyond honored to partner with this historic brand. Just 750 pieces of each have been handcrafted by Ravens. The design features two GFOP graphic designs from Judd Meche and Jaden Stevenson. We are also proud that proceeds from the release go to the magnificent veterans charity, Hope for the Warriors. All we ask is this: Please, please, please, send us photos of yourselves in this Double Diamond Magic on social using the #MiBUmbro.
2. Men In Blazers. The Streets will Always Forget
i. The Men In Blazers Television Show was beautiful this week, featuring a double portion of inspiration: Miami Heat’s tenacious underdog Duncan Robinson and Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, a singular individual who has pioneered his own path on and off the field. All of our shows this season can be found on P’Cock.
v. Our Weekend Preview Video, replete with Score Predictions is HERE.
Know this: We remain incredibly grateful for our partnership with those bookmaking monarchs at DraftKings which has allowed us to grow our coverage. They are the Best King since Billie Jean. Access its Sportsbook here. For a limited time, all new users can get a sign-up bonus up to $1,000. Just enter code MIB when you sign up.
b. Our WGFOP: The Bald Weekend Preview pod drops today. Call in your questions at (646) 450-9472. Courage.
3. To the Football
Breaking news: Sheffield United have not made this official at time of newslettering, but all signs point to the fact the clubs Saudi owners have fired lifelong fan-turned-player-turned-manager Chris Wilder, a gent who bleeds Blades, and is a victim of his own over-performance. Let’s remember the good times: a drunk Chris Wilder celebrates promotion.
i. Arsenal vs. Tottenham (Sunday 12.30 PM ET, NBCSN)
It’s North London Derby Weekend! I know, North London football fans. I can’t keep up with the twists and turns either. Both teams have lived out careening, rollercoaster footballing campaigns akin to the Sock and Buskin theater masks in which comedy and tragedy are eternally intertwined. Mikel Arteta has his team in 10th place, and is desperate to conjure signs of progress week-in-week out. There could be no better way than to deliver victory against dread rivals Spurs who are currently on a Gareth Bale-man bun-fuelled resurgence. Their fifth or sixth Second Coming of the season, depending how you count. The only surefire winner in this one is rubbernecking neutrals who watch NASCAR for the pile-ups and driver fist-fights in the pits. You know who you are…
ii. Fulham vs. Manchester City (Saturday 3 PM ET, P’Cock)
Fulham have clawed their way back from the edge of the Relegation Moon Door. A month ago there was a 10 points gap between them and Brighton. Now only goal difference separates the two. Scott Parker’s optimistic football has led to wins in three of the Cottagers’ last 6 games. He will be showing his players sensational English articles like this one, which is trying to spin Manchester City’s Derby loss into a “Mini-slump.”
iii. Manchester United vs. West Ham (Sunday, 3.15 PM ET, NBCSN)
Hell hath no fury like a David Moyes Spurned. The unblinking one returns to Old Trafford searching for his first win there since being dumped by United. His fifth place West Ham are a fierce collective and have been the stealth delight of the season. I imagine he is motivating his squad to push for the Champions League, an idea which is an anathema for West Ham, by selling it to them as an opportunity for a “Lads Weekend in Europe.”
United fans have a new hero in the making. Eighteen-year-old Amad Diallo, who demonstrated his prodigious talent with this chef kiss of a finish to Bruno’s exquisite pass. Drink it in.
iv. Leeds vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 7.30 AM ET NBCSN)
#FreeChristianPulisic. Hard to believe that Christian, who was the first name on Chelsea’s team sheet, with his surging runs and explosive play during Project Restart, has not played more than 45 minutes in a Premier League game under The Tuchelverse. The American needs playing time with World Cup 2022 on the horizon, so the English transfer rumor mill is now churning. Hershey Messi is linked with a move away to Liverpool and Bayern. His arc at Chelsea has been emotionally confounding. The slow start overcome with tenacity. Playing the football of his dreams, only to be kneecapped by the management transition. Tommy Tuchs has Chelsea unbeaten, and keeps preaching patience to Christian, but I hope the young American, who must be bewildered, draws strength from the likes of KDB, Mo Salah, and Romelu Lukaku, and is prepared to see being ditched by Chelsea as a springboard to fulfilling your potential.
4. Women’s Football
i. NWSL CommissionerLisa Baird celebrated a year in the job yesterday. It was my honor to spend the afternoon with her on Instagram Live, re-living the 12 months in which she led pro-team sports by re-emerging first in the Bubble, looked ahead to the 2021 Challenge Cup, and beyond at what NWSL could be in 10 years time. What a tenacious, improvisational leader she has been. I look forward to watching what Lisa can do in, what I hope, are calmer days to come.
ii. Massive Weekend in France. Two Giants rumble: Olympique Lyonnais v. Paris Saint-Germain (Saturday, 3.00 PM ET. ESPN+)
iv. “LFG” - a trailer for HBO Max’s documentary following the 2019 USWNT dropped. It was produced by an old friend of mine, Abby Greensfelder. Those hoping for the Becky Sauerbrunn biopic the world has long cried out for…get hyped.
xvi. My favorite TV Show of the Week. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan. A Netflix documentary series in which 16th century feudal clans’ grapples for power are re-enacted. There are a few too many scenes of angry Samurai standing around war maps and ripping up message scrolls sent by adversaries, but the power games and battle strategies are fascinating.