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The Blizzard Podcast

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Sunderland, United Kingdom


The Blizzard is a quarterly football publication put together by a cooperative of journalists and authors. These podcasts feature some of the best articles from our back catalogue, and recordings of live Q&A events we hold with our writers around the UK. Our main aim is to provide a platform for top-class writers from across the globe to enjoy the space and the freedom to write what they like about the football stories that matter to them.






In Appreciation Of Angelo Di Livio

"In the summer of 2002, Angelo Di Livio was competing at the World Cup in the shiny new stadiums of Japan and Korea. A couple of months later, he was playing in the Italian fourth division at grounds that held barely 4,000 people. This was not a dramatic fall from grace, however — this was his choice. "Just a year after winning the Coppa Italia, Fiorentina were declared bankrupt. Their miserable final season, 2001-02, ended in relegation from Serie A, which had seemed likely from the...

Duration: 00:10:24

Estadio Azteca

"There have been 836 finals matches in the history of the World Cup, played from Belo Horizonte to Busan. Only 19 of those games have been at the Azteca, yet that tiny sample has provided the amphitheatre for ‘the Game of the Century’, the greatest team goal in World Cup history, one of the biggest controversies in the history of the tournament and ‘the Goal of the Century’. Freakishly high quality, from a tiny quantity." In Episode Ninety Two of the Blizzard Podcast we look at "Estadio...

Duration: 00:12:31

Why Is The World Cup Boring?

"So at a World Cup, what we get is a series of teams intent on defending playing against opponents who, even if they are minded to attack, lack the slickness of a top club side. The result is stodgy football. The 1998 World Cup didn’t feel that special at the time — it was no better than 1994 and no match for 1982 or 1986 — but it stands now as a beacon, as the last good World Cup. Perhaps the institution of the World Cup is too great to disappear, at least in the short term, but sooner or...

Duration: 00:09:24

Location, Location, Location

"Colchester United, Northampton Town, Stoke City, Swansea City: outsiders have to take a detour to visit the town. If you're looking for the stadium and come across something interesting, you've got lost. "It seems as if no club in England these days can build a stadium without the muscle of a major supermarket chain who use the emotional clout of football as a Trojan horse to win planning permission and part-fund the project. So it's not a shock that many new grounds are functional boxes...

Duration: 00:14:13

Bye Bye Bebe

“I am going to be a brilliant player,” Bebé said. He wasn’t. To our surprise, given his mediocre showing for the reserves, he made his United debut six days later in a Carling Cup win at Scunthorpe (Ferguson, scouting Champions League opponents Valencia, didn’t see Bebé play then either). It was the first of seven senior appearances. Two even brought goals, albeit in fortunate fashion; a shot that looped up off the Wolves defender George Elokobi and over the goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and...

Duration: 00:12:42

The Unmarked Grave

"Watson, described by the Scottish Football Association Annual of 1880-81 as “one of the very best backs we have”, represented two of the 19th century’s most prestigious clubs in Queen’s Park and Corinthians, forging a successful career on both sides of the border as he won multiple domestic trophies and attracted widespread admiration for his robust but proficient style of play. Yet until only recently, Watson’s story had been allowed to fade into history’s murky depths, obscured by...

Duration: 00:17:23

Football On TV

"On 14 April 1937, the BBC studios at Alexandra Palace played host to the first television demonstration of snooker, an exhibition of play by Horace Lindrum and Willie Smith. The programme lasted 10 minutes, whereupon it made way for Daffodils (“a display of various types of daffodils from the Daffodil Show” — Radio Times). Another couple of months down the line, and the BBC were off to Wimbledon for the first time. And then, on Thursday 16 September, it was the turn of football, and the...

Duration: 00:22:38

The Race Card

"At some point we probably need to grow up and agree what we will and will not allow in our football grounds. Right now, anything goes, except for racist, anti-Semitic and — but seemingly only if Rangers or Celtic are playing — sectarian abuse. And, at some point, we need to ask ourselves why we ban certain speech in football grounds. Is it to make some sort of social statement? Is it simply a commercial decision, to make our stadiums more inviting and pleasant? Is it to make ourselves...

Duration: 00:16:38

A Game Of Three Halves

"It was at that point that the original referee arrived. According to the Derby Daily Telegraph, Kirkham claimed to have been “misdirected by a ticket collector at Halifax”, resulting in the missed connection. He’d set off from his home in good time, but arrived at Newcastle Road three hours late. As the teams loitered around the clubhouse at what seemed to be half-time, many in the crowd suspected there had been a hitch – and rumours began to spread that the match wasn’t a league game...

Duration: 00:08:22

Setting Sun

“Leyton Orient Football Club is not my life, but it has been the only constant in it. I realise that every major event, every stage, every shifting moment, is connected in some way to this daft, infuriating football team. “It defined my childhood, inspired my education, gave me my sense of humour, united my family. It has brought some joy, but mostly pain. Yet it has always been a wonderful, happy distraction from life’s trials and tribulations. I did not have to support Orient, I could...

Duration: 00:19:03

Issue 25 And An Update

An update on why things have been quiet on the podcast front for the last couple of weeks (aside from a live event and a collaboration with By Association). We've relaunched the website, now with everything we've ever published available online, for free. Listen in for more details, including Jonathan Wilson's editor's note from Issue Twenty Five (which is out now), or just visit to check it out. We'll be back to our regular weekly podcasts from next week.

Duration: 00:04:40

The Silenced Crowd (in Collaboration With By Association)

“There was no fooling the 18,000 spectators at Old Trafford. “Play up, you rotters!” they screamed. The fix was on. They knew it, as Manchester United went through the motions against Liverpool on 2 April 1915, winning 2-0 in a listless performance.” In Episode Eighty Two we revisit ‘The Silenced Crowd’ by Richard Fitzpatrick from Issue Ten, which looks at the greatest scandal in British football in the first half of the twentieth century, as a group of players from two of the country’s...

Duration: 00:19:13

Live in Edinburgh - 2017 (Part Two)

Despite being on a podcast hiatus while we work on some exciting things behind the scenes we still found time to do a live recording of our Q&A event in Edinburgh last week. This is the second half of that discussion. Hosted by football writer Daniel Gray, the panel of Jonathan Wilson, Jonathan Northcroft and Jonathan Liew took questions from the audience, and discussed footballing matters of import.

Duration: 00:48:39

Live in Edinburgh - 2017

Despite being on a podcast hiatus while we work on some exciting things behind the scenes we still found time to do a live recording of our Q&A event in Edinburgh last week. This is the first half of that discussion. Hosted by football writer Daniel Gray, the panel of Jonathan Wilson, Jonathan Northcroft and Jonathan Liew took questions from the audience, and discussed footballing matters of import.

Duration: 00:50:46

The Other Cup

Now glance at the name “Europa League”. What information does it convey? It’s a league for… the abstract concept of Europe? For women who ride off on divine white bulls? Uefa can’t call the competition what it is, since “The Second-Tier Distribution of Teams as Apportioned by Mathematical Coefficients Cup” lacks a certain Heineken Factor." Episode Eighty of the Blizzard Podcast, and Brian Phillips's 'The Other Cup' from Issue Four, first published in March 2012. Uefa's second competition...

Duration: 00:11:43

Live in Dublin #4 (First Half)

The first half of our Q&A event at Dublin’s Sugar Club held on Monday 24th April. The panel of Jonathan Wilson, Philippe Auclair and Iain Macintosh, hosted by Eoin McDevitt, take in a range of topics including the weekend’s Clasico between Real Madrid and Barca, along with a hefty amount of Messi/Ronaldo chat. There’s talk on dynastic teams, whether football is still fun, the benefits of being out of Europe for a title challenge, goings on at Leyton Orient as well as Argentinian...

Duration: 00:55:09

44 Days, Later

"Why Leeds? Well, apart from a rumoured offer from Kuwait, they were the only club that came in for him. Even then, Stein wasn’t the first choice to replace Jimmy Armfield at Elland Road. He wasn’t even second choice. Cussins initially offered the job to Lawrie McMenemy and his suggestion of John Giles was over-ruled by the Leeds board." Episode Seventy Eight of the Blizzard Podcast looks back on "44 Days, Later" by Lawrence Donegan, first published in Issue One back in June 2011. In it,...

Duration: 00:13:48

Where Now For Iceland?

"In some ways Iceland has been lucky. Had the country’s banks collapsed a few years earlier than they did in 2008, there would not have been the same level of investment in football and none of this would have been possible. But by then the pitches were already built, the indoor complexes well established, the coaches already at work. There is even an argument that the crash may have helped the national team by forcing clubs to rely on cheap young talent instead of expensive foreign...

Duration: 00:15:19

Senior Citizen

"At that point the Italian Marco Barlotta, 42, was named as the oldest player still in action. Robert had already turned 48 at that point. Determined to see his own name among the world’s tallest and shortest men, the biggest omelette and the longest beard, he requested his registration from the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF)and began the quest to gain recognition as the sport’s eldest of elder statesmen." In episode Seventy Four of the Blizzard Podcast we look back to Dan Edwards'...

Duration: 00:16:47

Identity Crisis

"But while club identity clings on bravely in this fast-shifting world, rooted in local history and socio-politics as much as what’s happened on the pitch, team identity is at worst a myth; at best a luxury." In episode Seventy Three we look at "Identity Crisis" by Gary Hartley, from the upcoming Issue Twenty Four. For the fans of consistently competent teams that never win anything, perhaps aspiring to an enduring identity becomes unrealistically important. If you have any feedback...

Duration: 00:14:47

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