Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Turkish Soccer (or: Being a Treatise on the Footballing Sport in the Far Realms of the Mother Continent)

Run of Play has a new look and a new home on the internet. It still has Brian Phillips and the rest of the aesthete crew, though. They were kind enough to allow me to write an awful lot about soccer in Turkey, and if this seems like something you're in to, you can have your way with it.
Football was bestowed here, as it was in so many other places around the world, by bored Britishers. In 1904, the Istanbul Sunday League was formed between four teams, unsurprisingly named after an English ship, the dockyard neighborhood, the expatriate neighborhood, and a Greek mythological being, respectively. By the 1910’s the familiars Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe would take up trading the championship in their intercontinental derby, save for a two-year period where the wonderfully named Altinordu Idman Yurdu — literally “The Golden Horde’s House of Exercise” — would take the crown. They par would be joined by Beşiktaş in the 1930s and thus, the Turkish league was born.
They didn't hyperlink everything I would've wanted hyperlinked, but there's a decent enough start to get you well on your way to "alt" cred as the guy on your street who knows a lot about the sixth, maybe seventh best league in Europe.