Michael Davies ’85 Brings Football/Soccer to Your Library with “Encyclopedia Blazertannica”

Lee Owen
Emmy Award-winning television producer Michael Davies ’85—who was the invited speaker at Mercersburg’s Commencement in 2016—has found a true calling as half of the famed soccer/football duo “Men in Blazers.” Davies and colleague/co-host Roger Bennett co-host a weekly television show by the same name on NBC Sports Network as well as a long-running (and similarly titled) podcast series and popular blog.
Now, they’ve added a book to the mix. Encyclopedia Blazertannica, co-written by Davies and Bennett, was released May 15 and is available at major retailers (both online and in many non-suboptimal bookstores near you).

The book (subtitled “A Sub-Optimal Guide to Soccer, America’s ‘Sport of the Future’ Since 1972”) was published by Alfred A. Knopf, which is a division of Penguin Random House.

Encyclopedia Blazertannica is 208 pages chock full of the beautiful game, and arranged (naturally) in encyclopedic form. Readers will even find an entry for Mercersburg Academy, nestled between listings for ex-U.S. national team goalie Tony Meola and current international superstar Lionel Messi.

Of his time at Mercersburg, Davies writes in the book:

“Almost 4,000 miles away from home, the only thing I missed about England was the football scores. I had actually never felt more at home. After spending my first weekend drinking RC Cola, demolishing pepperoni pizza from Romeo’s, listening to go-go music, and bingeing on the wonder that was American television—college football, Miami Vice, Saturday Night Live—I resolved to spend the rest of my life in America.”

Pick up the book for more on Mercersburg, as well as Pelé, the sure-to-be-hotly-debated list of the “Greatest Footballers of All Time,” the definition of “shass” (defined as a shot so poor that it turns into a pass), and even a listing for fellow Mercersburg alum and NBC Sports anchor Rebecca Lowe ’99.

Davies grew up in London and attended Mercersburg on an English-Speaking Union scholarship. He won an Emmy as executive producer of ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and has created, produced, or served as executive in charge for numerous programs, including Bill Nye The Science Guy, Wife Swap, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld.

Davies served two terms on Mercersburg’s Board of Regents and is one of three members of his family to attend the Academy—including his brother, William ’79, and daughter, Brea ’10. He is also a classmate and longtime friend of this year’s Mercersburg Commencement speaker, Benicio Del Toro ’85, who will address the Class of 2018 Saturday, May 26.

Cover image: Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House
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Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236
717-328-6173