On the Record with Billy Bragg | Music Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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On the Record with Billy Bragg

Or, Talking with the Folk Singer About Football

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British folk-rocker Billy Bragg plays Mr. Small's Tue., Oct. 1, his first Pittsburgh appearance since 1997. He talked with CP via phone about football (and music; read more on our music blog, FFW>>.

In Pittsburgh, we're fanatical fans of American football, and I know you're a fan of your kind of football. 

Yes, what we call "football." I think we call your football "gridiron."

Around the time you're in Pittsburgh, our gridiron team, the Steelers, will be in London playing an NFL game.

I'll be perfectly honest with you: I'm not a fan of American football, because it stops and it starts too much. If I'm choosing an American sport to watch on TV in a hotel room, I'll probably go for hockey, because it flows more like soccer.

Although, the first bit of promo I did for [my new album] Tooth and Nail, it was in February in New York, on the night of the Super Bowl. And I found it compelling. I think it wasn't just the football, it was everything around it.

With American football, you can get up and do things between plays. You can make dinner while you're watching. 

Whereas with soccer, it's compelling, you have to sit and watch the whole thing. And also, the reason why soccer will always have the edge on gridiron is you don't have to get dressed up to do it. Anybody can put down a couple of T-shirts for goal [markers], grab a soccer ball and play. 

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