Unseen Academicals


Football was the preserve of the backstreet districts of Ankh.

Nothing the nobs over in Morpork would be seen dead watching.

Football was far too wild for Lord Vetenari, uncontrolled with matches often leaving the spectators very bruised if not very dead.

Football was officially banned but not even the Watch were silly enough to try and enforce this law.

So if you can't ban a game, you try and take it over, control it. Make sure that the game and its rules are constrained. Separate the spectators from the players...

The wizards at Unseen U have a problem; they're required to play a football match once a year or lose a bequest and while the University might survive, their lunches probably wouldn't, not to mention the suppers, midnight feasts or morning appetisers. But football is illegal, and wizards aren't the most athletic fellows around.

Trev, down in the candle dribbling vats with his workmate Nutt, has a talent with a tin can that's almost magical and Nutt knows all sorts of things that nobody should know (almost everything that's been written, indeed, though he has a bit of a problem with knowing about himself). Add in a girl who's almost as dim as she is beautiful and her work mate who's personal magic is pies and we're all set for a stunning romp through the streets of Ankh-Morpork as the mob is brought under control.

This is truly a magical story, and any parallels between Trev, Juliet and a certain former England football captain and his wife should bit taken with a certain pinch of salt.

As a group, the Wizards have not generally had a particularly good press from Terry, being portrayed as a bunch of incompetents, including Arch Chancellor Ridcully but in this story, Ridcully (and Ponder Stibbons to a lesser extent) are really proper people and Ridcully is given a real sense of menace that some one who has managed to survive to reach his position in a profession where succession is by the death of your predecessor should have.

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