Men in Blazers is a collaboration of the English duo Roger Bennett and Michael Davies that exists as a website, weekly podcast and NBCSN television show about English Premier League and international soccer "driven by the belief that Soccer is America’s Sport of the Future. As it has been since 1972."
The two met at a wedding reception in New York for a mutual friend. The reception was held during the final match of the 2006 World Cup. Bennett mentions in their book, the Encyclopedia Blazertannica, that he had just seen Zinedine Zidane sent off in extra time for headbutting Marco Materazzi but had to leave before the penalty shootout at his wife's urging. When he was at the wedding, he noticed Davies sulking and struck up a conversation. Davies was a contributing writer for ESPN at the time.
The NBCSN television show and podcast are recorded in the SoHo area of New York City. The television show debuted Monday, September 22, 2014 at 10 p.m. ET and streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app.
Explanation of terms and people referred to on the Podcast can be found at fan-driven site: http://meninblazers.wikispaces.com/.
NBCSN television show
For the half-hour television show, the duo recaps the weekend's games, looks ahead at the upcoming weekend and features a guest who is a fan of soccer. They also highlight tweets from fans of "GFOPs" (Great Friend of the Pod). They try to predict game scores by eating pies.
The episode which aired on April 8, 2019 featured a celebration of the 100 Premier League red cards issued by the great (in his own mind) Mike Dean
Episode 2 aired September 29, 2014 and featured Brandon McCarthy of the New York Yankees as the guest. They had McCarthy, a Liverpool fan, compare MLB teams to their English Premier League equivalent.
Episode 102 aired on February 26, 2018 and featured the Swiss international and New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier. They forgot to commemorate their 100 episode in January of the same year. Therefore, the 102nd episode was used to celebrate this landmark.
Men in Blazers have worked with Mini on videos, like NFL kickers trying out for soccer teams, a special with Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee and Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning (who was a guest on the podcast in 2014).
The Golden Blazer
In the Encyclopedia Blazertannica, the Men in Blazers also explain that they give out a golden blazer once a year to someone they credit with helping grow soccer, especially in America. So far, the recipients are:
- 2015 – Julie Foudy, US women's national team captain, FIFA Women's World Cup winner, Olympic gold medalist and ESPN soccer commentator and journalist
- 2016 – Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General and key proponent of the 2015 FIFA corruption case that resulted in the resignation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter
In other media
Davies and Bennett were included in the 2014 FIFA World Cup official game as a channel on EA Sports Talk Radio, where players can choose one of three channels, each featuring a pair of pundits commenting on user-controlled teams' progress and answering e-mails, texts and tweets. The other channels' pairings included Andy Goldstein of TalkSPORT and Ian Darke of ESPN and Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves from Saint and Greavsie on ITV'.
In May 2018, the pair also published their first book together, the Encyclopedia Blazertannica (after the Encyclopedia Britannica), a guide to soccer in their own words, through Penguin Random House.
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- Seven Reasons To Start Your 2014 FIFA World Cup Early EA Sports
- Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America's "Sport of the Future" Since 1972 Penguin Random House