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"Love & Blood"

Jamie Trecker is a trouper.

At the 2006 World Cup in Germany he endured drunken soccer fans, the confiscation of his medications by the German authorities, sleep deprivation, drunken soccer fans, hideously crowded public transportation, the commercialization of the sport he loves, bad music played badly outside his room all night, and drunks who weren't soccer fans.

He saw some soccer, but he concludes in Love & Blood that the quality of the games suffered because too many of the players had played too many games before the action in Germany began. Such, he maintains, is the nature of the contemporary game. Beyond that, he was forced to conclude that what had once been "the world's greatest sporting event" had transmogrified into "the world's greatest party," a circumstance he attributes to the presence of many large t.v. screens in most of the open spaces in Germany.

Love & Blood will discourage some soccer fans. Who wants to hear that the World Cup ain't what it used to be? On the other hand, Trecker includes lots of intriguing information and speculation about some of the players currently delighting fans: Wayne Rooney, for example, Ronaldinho, and Thierry Henry. He cares about the game and writes about it with knowledge and enthusiasm. If he concludes that "the World Cup may well need a complete makeover soon," he's also stalwart (or nuts) enough to be looking forward to covering the next extravaganza in South Africa in 2010.

This program aired on November 8, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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