Welcome to 'No Grass in the Clouds' 2.0

It looks a heck of a lot like version 1.0

Arsenal spent 'remarkable' £24m to sign Luiz from Chelsea for one ...

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Since soccer stopped back in March, things have been a little weird around here. I’m grateful and lucky that “weird” is the word I get to use, too. I broke down a multi-part fictional soccer tournament that took place on a hollowed-out oil tanker. (The Funk Seoul Brothers got robbed.) I wrote fan-fiction that involved Frank Lampard’s very specific and very annoying rhetorical tic driving Sadio Mane and Christian Pulisic to both attempt to burn Lampard’s house to the ground. (Don’t ask.) I spent at least 20 minutes of my life creating a haiku about Adam Lallana. (Cruyff turn, Cruyff turn, Cruyff turn.) And we raised a little more than $5,000 for coronavirus relief. (Yes, all of your pending requests will be fulfilled.)

The soccer season stopped right as it typically really gets going -- three-fourths of the way through the first knockout round in the Champions League, and with about 25 percent of each domestic-league campaign remaining. It was also right around the first-year mark of No Grass in the Clouds existing as an actual profit-turning business and a significant source of my professional livelihood. Working on this thing -- and creating a little community with a passionate and thoughtful group of subscribers -- has been, by far, the most fulfilling project that I’ve ever worked on. Seeing most of you stick around -- and some of you sign up -- during a stretch without the sport that this newsletter purports to cover was very cool.

But soccer, in its new form, with strict precautions and without fans, is back. The Bundesliga has almost wrapped things up, while things are already moving along in Italy and Spain. Then, there’s the Premier League. On Wednesday, David Luiz reminded us that some things actually haven’t changed at all over the past three months. The rest of the league, meanwhile, starts up today.

And so, we’re going to re-start, too. 

Beginning next week, the publishing schedule is going to return to what it used to be: Free newsletters on Tuesday, and then a Friday edition -- typically a bullet-point list of thoughts on the major storylines in the sport -- for paid subscribers. We’ll still be publishing podcasts and holding chats for everyone, but like there was before, there will be some other perks -- chats, mailbags, quick-hit posts -- for premium subscribers only, too. The cost will run ya $7 a month, or you can pay $70 to get a full year. But for the next two days, I’m gonna lower that to $5/$50. The offer expires on Monday.

On top of that, I’m also introducing a “Founding Member” feature. Substack didn’t have this option when I first started No Grass in the Clouds, but now you can become a Founding Member if you love the newsletter so much that you want to pay more than the subscription cost. If you’re already subscribed and you’d like to become a Founding Member, then just shoot me an email, and we’ll figure it out.

Become a Founding Member

Word of mouth is gold for a project like this, so if you’ve got a friend, enemy, barber, or locksmith who likes soccer, every forwarded email helps. And no, this is not replacing the second email of this week. I’ll have a piece about Liverpool out to all of you tomorrow morning. There’s still so much we don’t know about soccer left to explore, and Pep Guardiola can’t keep wearing Puma-brand hoodies forever. So, let’s get to it.