Thursday, June 17, 2010

Men in Shorts : : Anne McAllister

It’s that time of the summer again – that time of the summer every four years, that  is2010_south_africa_official_logo_World_Cup.  I know you who live in enlightened areas of the world get to see more soccer/football than you probably ever want to see.  But for those of us who live in the US, this is the summer we look forward to.

Yes, we have MLS soccer, and yes, our sons and daughters play AYSO soccer, and yes, even high schools, colleges and universities are getting in on the act at last. But it’s not the same. 

Nothing is the same as watching the World Cup.

I got seriously hooked when I spent most of a summer in Europe 20 years ago.  It seems like yesterday – except the kids I was traveling with now have kids of their own.  But I still look forward to it because, oddly, it’s the only time I get to watch soccer in the US (that I’ve found) where the cameras stay back far enough to watch the action.

Of course the cameras still give us close-ups now and then, but not the way they do in MLS soccer, where you can’t ever tell what’s going on but yhswc1legsou can tell which players shaved that morning.

So I like watching the World Cup for the action. But I also, admittedly,  like it for the men.

I can’t help it.  I like watching fit, agile men run and run and run.   I almost considered putting up a half dozen photos of soccer players’ legs here on the blog because they are, simply, worth ogling.

But so are the men themselves. hswcvfair

I am used to seeing American baseball players or football (American version) or hockey players.  There are occasionally ones worth a second glance. But not nearly as many as there are in every World Cup match.

There are the ones who get all the press like David Beckham (not in this year’s  tournament but certainly still a part of soccer lore) and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo who is gracing this month’s cover of the UK edition of Vanity Fair along with Ivory Coast football star, Didier Drogba.

Lots of ogle-worthy gents in this issue besides  Didier and Cristiano.  But also lots they left out.

hswc1diegoforlanuruguay It’s hard to remember them all.  Just yesterday as I watched Uruguay play South Africa, Diego Forlan crossed my radar. I’ll be keeping an eye on him.

While I wasn’t looking the USA provided Heath Pearce and Benny Feilhaber to go with Carlos Bocanegra. 

I’m looking forward to another glimpse on Friday. 

In the meantime I had Spaniards Cesc Fabrehswc1pearcegas and Iker Casillas to entertain me Wednesday. 

And I have France’s Yoann Gourcuff on Thursday.   There’s no end (well, until July 11) of my enjoyment. 

Are you watching the World Cup?  Got a favorite player?  If not a soccer player, hswc1yanngourcufffrancemidfielderpass on your favorites from other sports.  From the comments, I’ll pick a winner to receive a copy of my very own soccer  book, a Harlequin Presents called McGillivray’s Mistress

  If soccer isn’t your thing, but you still like hot-blooded heroes, check out my most recent Mills & Boon Modern, The Virgin’s Proposition

No soccer – just the Cannes Film Festival, the hot Mediterranean sun, and a sailboat journey to Greece, not to mention  Demetrihswc1cescfabregasspainos Savas, who is seriously sexy and definitely a wounded hero. 

What on earth could a virgin like Anny have to propose to a man like him? 

It will be out in the US in September.  In the meantime, enjoy the World Cup!


Laurie said...

Gabriel Batistuta- Argentina

Ricardo Kaka -Brazil

Rafael Marquez- Mexico

Michael Owen -England

Christiano Ronaldo- Portugal

These athletes are amazing!

Anne McAllister said...

The only one I'm not familiar with is Rafael Marquez, Laurie. I'm off to check him out. Thanks!

Alison said...

Seriously - yik! I could never disassociate the body from the mind - and as many of these football stars seem to have the manners and morals of tomcats, it's hard to get excited about them. Maybe we could try another sport? - golf? Tiger Woods - oops, not that... See, it is difficult!

Denise said...

I'm not big on soccer, but I do love tennis! My favorite players are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - they are both absolutely amazing players, and they both seem like they are good guys off the court.

Also, I read The Virgin's Proposition, and I loved it!! It made me laugh, but it also made me tear up. I've never read McGillivray's Mistress, so thanks for the chance to win a copy!

Anne McAllister said...

Alison, perhaps one of the pluses of living on this side of the pond is that we don't get exposed to the 'yik' side of things -- they are just soccer players with no personalities or bad behavior attached (that we know about, anyway). So we can simply appreciate the male form and good looks and imagine the heroic behavior that would make them men we would want to know -- or write about in books. There must be one or two decent ones, she said hopefully.

Denise, tennis players are worth watching, too! My mother would certainly agree. She has been an avid tennis watcher for years and years and years, and she bases her opinion of players as much for their off-court behavior as their on-court skills. Alison would approve! Also, I'm thrilled that you read he Virgin's Proposition and enjoyed it. Thanks so much for saying so!

Pat Cochran said...

Never have been much into soccer except for the times when several
of my grandsons played for a time.

Not following the World Cup
competition, not even sure where it's being held? South Africa?

We do have a professional team
here in Houston, but only see them on the sports news. I do know they are good!

Pat Cochran

Estella said...

I am not a soccer fan.
I love baseball---my favorite player is Franklin Gutierrez of the Seattle Mariners.

Anne McAllister said...

Pat, Yes, it's being held in South Africa. Makes me want to visit Capetown, which looks amazing.

Estella, I don't know Franklin Gutierrez, but I will have a look on google and find out more about him. I have loved baseball for a lot of years -- and just last night went to watch my oldest son pitch in a semi-pro game. He won, too!

Christina Hollis said...

Your post makes me think I should start taking an interest in football, Anne. You don't know if any of these guys have an IQ of 150+ and are good at household chores as well, do you? If so, let me know if any of them turn up in the Bargain section, come close of transfer season...

Michele L. said...

I haven't watched soccer but love watching football! My husband and I enjoy going to the super bowl parties in our town. It is a big event around here and there are always parties galore! I don't have a favorite player though.

Anne McAllister said...

Christina, you'll be the first to know! And Michele, I enjoy watching the Super Bowl (and American football in general), too, but it's not quite as ogle-worthy as soccer. You have to actually like the game to be interested!

Kathleen O'Brien said...

Anne, just got my chance to look at your post, and I just had to say...yummmm! Thanks!

Anne McAllister said...

Mitch and Micah, my golden retrievers, have picked Denise as the winner of McGillivray's Mistress. If you will go to my blog at, Denise, and click on the "contact Anne" link in the sidebar to send me your snail address, I will put a copy in the post to you.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I hope some of you enjoy watching the matches -- for whatever reasons!

Mary said...

I don't watch sports but after seeing all those pictures you posted...maybe I should!

Denise said...

Awww thank you to Mitch and Micah (and of course you too, Anne)!! I'll send you a message right away!

Anne McAllister said...

Mary, definitely tune in. Worth watching!

Denise, I got your email. The book will go out this afternoon, I hope.

prashant said...

I do love tennis! My favorite players are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal -
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Anne McAllister said...

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are definite winners in my book!