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As it has been since 1972.
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Hail! GFOP

As a wise man once said: “What is this World Twisted?” Leicester City in second. Chelsea and Spurs hover around the relegation zone. Arsenal, simultaneously 3 points off the top, and 3 off the bottom, depending whether your glass is half full, or, like mine, empty and cracked.  

Welcome to the early weeks of the Premier League season when narrative imagination swamps reality.

When we were growing up, in the more innocent 1980’s pre-social media, 24-hour news-cycle hysteria-propelled era,  the newspapers did not even bother printing a league table until the teams had played five games. There was no point. No one cared. The early season table placings meant nothing when one win could send a team soaring from the bottom to the top.

They still mean nothing. They just feel like they do. Chelsea’s early stumbles have not yet decimated their title defence (Pedro is a Blue!). Nor have Liverpool’s pair of unemphatic wins made them bona fide title challengers (Let’s reserve judgement ‘till Monday afternoon’s Arsenal rumble.).  And while we are at it, Memphis’s double strike against patsy, Club Brugge, does not make him the “Premier League’s newest striking sensation.”

Now that we have that straight, let’s all return to our hyperbolic selves and say, Holy Crap, we cannot wait for this weekend’s Premier League slate, even though we all run the risk of being accused by Louis Van Gaal of being “a little bit deaf.”

The MEN IN BLAZERS SHOW returns Monday, Aug. 24 with special guest David Simon. We’ll discuss his new HBO miniseries “Show Me A Hero,”The Wire,” and everyone’s favorite philosophical question: if Bubbles was a Premier League footballer, who would he be.

Thanks to Guy Ritchie for stopping by last week and schooling us on the “dangerous game” that is sockless-ness. Guy also hung around to film an After the Pies digital extra in which he talks a big Tweed game. He also speaks Hebrew.

Aug. 17 Full Episode (also available on Apple TV and Roku): HERE
Guy Ritchie Interview: HERE
Guy Ritchie After the Pies: HERE

Slide Into Seersucker,
Rog @rogbennett

On behalf of
MiB: @meninblazers
“Positive” Davo: @embassydavies
Producer JW: @JonoWilly
Producer Lexi: @lexitan

I. La Liga Pod Special With Ray Hudson

In just a matter of hours, La Liga football returns to our lives. And with it returns one of the most distinctive voices in American soccer announcing. We were thrilled to tape a La Liga Pod Special with the one and only Ray Hudson yesterday. The Geordie turned Floridian, who was just back from the dentist and under the influence of novocaine, gave us his predictions for the season, talked about crying at Camp Nou, and enlightened us with life advice. LISTEN HERE. You can hear Ray this weekend and every weekend throughout the La Liga season on beIN Sports.

Last week, we recorded a Bundesliga Pod special with electronic music icon and massive Bayern Munich fan Paul Kalkbrenner. Paul joined us in the Panic Room to talk everything from Pep Guardiola’s future to why his good friend Per Mertesacker hates early kickoffs. He also asked Rog what it felt like to be English. Listen to the entire interview HERE. Watch the highlights HERE.

II. Suboptimal Survey

Since we started Men in Blazers, one of the singular pleasures of our lives has been getting to know GFOPs. We are amazed that such creative, brilliant, and twisted minds regularly wade through the crap that is our television show, podcast and this newsletter. Now we want your feedback on how we can make MiB slightly less suboptimal. Maybe even palatable.

We’ve just launched a GFOP survey in an effort to find out a little more about you, and what you think of Men in Blazers. It takes about 10 - 15 minutes. Thanks to GFOP Andrew Grotta, who spent the summer in the CPOS creating it for us.

Take the survey HERE.

III. Save The Date, GFOPs

Nov. 13 and 14. Something very, very special is coming.  And it is not Winter.


IV. Men in Blazers Suboptimal Fantasy Football Prize

In the last issue of The Raven, we announced the winner of this year’s Men in Blazers Suboptimal Fantasy Football league would receive a special Victory Blazer. We have officially made the purchase and the below piece of haute couture is on its way to the Crap Part of Soho. Courage.

It’s still not too late to sign up for the league. Just go to Create a team. Join our League. The league code: 1153825-278727. And if you’re looking for a suboptimal fantasy strategy, listen to our Fantasy Island Pod Special with Dr. John Wallin. LISTEN HERE.

V. The Etymology of “Joink”

It’s one of Davo’s favorite phrases: “Joink.” We’ve received a lot of inquiries about joink's definition and etymology. Davo explains it all in THIS VIDEO. We hope to see it on Urban Dictionary soon. Unlike Creme de la Crap.

VI. From the Archives at Guinness

We've long admired Guinness' iconic advertisements. Recently, the GFOPs at our drink of choice unearthed some football-related Guinness ads that are an absolute slice of magic, including the below from the 1940s. The gents' scarves prove the (football) world has always been a battle between red and blue. 

VII. AFC Bournemouth’s New Crest

On last week’s Podcast, we discussed a Raven from GFOP Tom Aragona that bemoaned Bournemouth’s crest. Tom wrote: “Is it supposed to be a player's head? If so, why does he have an elongated neck? And is that a massive goiter?”

We asked GFOPs to redesign the Cherries' crest, and promised a patch for our favorite. We received countless creative entries from the likes of @mrueck and @SMines57. But our favorite came via Stefan Kathman. His amalgam of, what we can only assume is, the Vitality Dog and the club’s nickname is below. And it is beautiful.

VIII. #PatchAtThePark

More magical #PatchAtThePark submissions this week, including photos from the Hudson River Derby, a Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL game, Paul Kalkbrenner’s Brooklyn rave, and The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (#jealous).

But, the best of the lot, and one of the best of all-time, comes from Nashville’s own Joshua Pardy. He sent us the below picture of his newborn daughter Vivian, wife Emily and himself with a patch. We wish the family, who supports Tottenham, a life of health, happiness and whatever the opposite of Spursy-ness is.

IX. Avoiding the Cuff Bus, With Help From Our Tailors at Freemans

Our history with cuffs is tumultuous, at best. Last week, one GFOP noticed we may’ve been caught under the cuff bus yet again in our After the Pies with Laura Linney. You can decide for yourself by watching HERE. In this edition of The Raven, we ask Kent Kilroe, managing director at Freemans Sporting Club, to get us sorted.

Kent Writes: First off, I’ll preface this comment by reiterating that you are a man wearing a suit, not an actor wearing a costume. Therefore, pay attention but don’t take these so-called rules of dressing too seriously. The length of the jacket sleeve is the key to looking well dressed. With the arm at rest, the jacket sleeve should end where your hand meets your wrist. Make sure your tailor measures from the thumb on each hand because your arms are asymmetrical. If you have the right sleeve length on the jacket, your shirt cuff should fall between 1/4” and 1/2” below your jacket sleeve. Now go off young Padawan learner and knock ‘em dead.

X. Passing Time in the CPOS

What we’re watching, listening to online.

A tieless Kyle Martino’s new Travel Channel show “36 Hours”: WATCH HERE
Charlie is a Red interviews Jesse Lingard for MUTV: WATCH HERE
“Google’s Terrifying Humanoid Robot” from the Daily Mail: WATCH HERE
GFOPs Mumford & Sons' and Jimmy Kimmel’s Boy Band: WATCH HERE

XI. Bournemouth Forever

As we’ve discussed several times since the Cherries earned promotion to the Premier League, their home ground, the Vitality Stadium, has a capacity of just 11,700. That’s smaller than some Texas high school football stadiums. We recently received a Raven about the cathedrals of Friday Night Lights from Forrest McMillan, a Dallas GFOP and self-proclaimed lover of the Premier League. It helped put the comparison into perspective. Forrest crunched the numbers with THIS Texas football resource as his guide. Here’s what he came up with: 62 Texas High School football stadiums are larger than the Vitality Stadium; 78 Texas high school football stadiums have a capacity over 10,000; and 173 have jumbotrons. But how many of those stadiums have adverts from Bournemouth’s Pre-Owned Watch Specialist?

XII. Three Questions With Adrian Healey

This weekend. It’s West Coast vs East Coast. LA vs NYC. Stevie G vs Lamps. A MLS game so big, it will be shown live in primetime in the UK. Calling the game for ESPN [3 p.m. ET Sunday] here in the U.S. is Mr. Adrian Healey. In this edition of Three Questions we ask the man who cut his teeth at Swindon Town to preview this weekend’s game and give us some predictions for the remainder of MLS’s season.

MiB: If you are an American MLS player on the Galaxy or NYCFC ... are you loving the pre-game buzz or a tiny bit resentful?

Healey: If I'm Tommy McNamara from NY or Alan Gordon from LA I'm loving it. A ton of buzz around our game, and a chance to wrestle the spotlight from the superstars. It’s like being offered a chance to open up for the Rolling Stones, and then blowing them off stage...and pinching all the food and drink from their dressing room.

MiB: We've seen some juggernaut signings in MLS this season. Who, in your opinion, will have the biggest impact, and who will be the most sizable bust?

Healey: Giovinco has been a massive success story, and at 28, it’s set to continue. Can do things that have never been seen before in this league, things that commissioner Don Garber didn't even know were legal in soccer.

Other side of the coin: Pretty much anyone Chicago signs as a DP. They have flamed out on about 14 in a row, which really takes some doing. Also, he's not quite there yet, but Jozy Altidore is veering uncomfortably towards bust territory. Six million dollars is a lot of money. Seven goals is not a lot of goals.

MiB: We've talked a lot about the marquee names. But the team with the most points in MLS, as of this writing, is DC United, a team that hasn't made any massive global signing. What does that say about United and the league as a whole?

Healey: DC United remind me a lot of Atletico Madrid 2 seasons ago in Spain when they won the title. No massive stars, but a lot of really hardened professionals who know how to win in the league. They play in the same "With a knife held between clenched teeth" assassins style that Atleti used to usurp Barca and Real. Plus coach Ben Olsen may be our version of Diego Simeone on the sidelines. A smoldering volcano of emotion and kicks every ball for the team he used to play for...and a few opposing players too

MiB: What's the best MLS team no one is talking about. A sleeper that could make a run for MLS Cup?

Healey: New York Red Bulls. The noisy neighbors are attracting all the attention, but almost stealthily, the Red Bulls have completely remade themselves post Thierry Henry and are actually a much more complete team. The only thing that might derail them is the search for the third Wright-Phillips brother.

MiB: Predictions for Sunday's Galaxy-NYCFC game. How's it all going to go down?

Healey: Galaxy 4 NYCFC 2. New York to score first. LA seem contractually obliged to concede first with Steven Gerrard on board. Keane & Dos Santos will be too much for a shaky NYC back line. Poku will outshine Pirlo (except in the glossy mane dept). There will be lots of shots of Lampard’s knee or ankle while he is sat on the bench. Landon Donovan will tweet something about how he wishes he was out there. David Beckham will be sat next to Donald Trump, and wearing one of Trump's "Make America Great" hats.

XIII. Support a GFOP Restauranter

Those of you visiting the Crap Part of Soho this summer. A. You are bonkers. The “Crap” adjective is there for a reason. B. Drop into Union Bar and Kitchen, a restaurant run by GFOP Jonathan Renert who is working hard to grow a business in an area that needs his Fish Tacos very badly.

XIV. A Book for Your Library, If You Still Read

Or even if you don’t read. Jason Polan set out to draw every person in NYC, from celebrities to cab drivers to … Rog. The results can be found in “Every Person in New York.”

XV. A Poem To Gird Your Loins

To mark a weekend that gave us Bizarro Men in Blazers.

That It Will Never Come Again
by Emily Dickinson

That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.
Believing what we don't believe
Does not exhilarate.

That if it be, it be at best
An ablative estate --
This instigates an appetite
Precisely opposite.

XVI. "Plumb our Annals”

Our entire pod archive is available HERE. If you prefer the Cliffs Notes version, check out "Men in Blazers. Unbuttoned: Now That's What I Call Sub-Optimal,” Vol. I (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play) and Vol. II - The Best of 2014 (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play). The albums are the least objectionable of our football "analysis," Ravens and interviews.

You can access all MiB-related content (videos, pods and articles) by visiting

Please forward this to your football curious friends. Let's see if we can bring them over to the dark side. The Ian Darke Side.

“We should be careful / Of each other, we should be kind / While there is still time.”
-Philip Larkin


In this week's podcast, Rog and Davo break down City's bare bottom spanking of Chelsea, Arsenal's emergence from the relegation zone, and Louis Van Gaal's six-point start to the season. LISTEN HERE
The New York Times’ Sam Borden profiles the one and only Arlo White, and delves into the commentator’s affinity for America. READ HERE

Loretta Lynch, FIFA Hunter. A look at the beginning of the Attorney General’s tenure from Emily Bazelon for Vogue. READ HERE

Why “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is such an enduring football anthem. And not just at Liverpool. Graham Ruthven for VICE Sports. READ HERE

How Kingsley, a mascot that looks like “Lisa Simpson on meth,” is reenergizing Scottish club Partick Thistle. Chitra Ramasawamy reports for The Guardian. READ HERE

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Where are they now? Nicola Agius answers the question for The Mirror. Worry not. Article includes both Aunt Vivs. READ HERE

Michael Davies and Roger Bennett believe that soccer is America’s Sport of the Future. As it has been since 1972. Visit, “Like” us on Facebook, follow the show on Twitter and Instagram, or email us at
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