Brooks Peck is an award-winning soccer blogger whose blog Dirty Tackle gained a large following while at Yahoo! Sports for the better part of five years.
Dirty Tackle is now an independent blog, but Peck says he has some exciting plans in the works with a new outlet that he will announce in the near future. Peck’s zany sense of humor lends itself well to a sport that can bring out the crazy in the most level-headed of fans.
Peck’s blog includes regular features like Future News (an Onion-like feature that predicts “future” stories), a perfectly normal obsession with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and of course, the Dirty Tackle of the Day (a chronicling of the worst tackles from around the world).
The 31-year-old is like many US-based soccer fans, becoming a fan of the game during the World Cup. For him, it was the 1994 World Cup, but a video game also helped stoke the fires for his interest in the game.
“I fell in love with the game in my teens, watching World Cups and club matches in their limited availability back then, and, of course, playing FIFA,” says Peck.
Though his degree is in marketing, Peck’s first job was with a start-up that made mobile applications for PGA tournaments. He wrote commentary that appeared on the screens of the app, but he was also writing for a soccer blog called the World Cup Blog on the side. That eventually fell through and he and his cousin Carter Daly started Dirty Tackle.
“As this was happening, I pestered Jamie Mottram, who was Yahoo’s blog guru at the time, to start a soccer blog and let me run it since it was the one sport they didn’t have a blog for,” says Peck. “Almost a year after DT started, and with the 2010 World Cup coming up, he and Mark Pesavento decided to add DT to Yahoo’s mix of sports blogs.”
With the backing of one of the largest websites in the world, Peck made Dirty Tackle his full-time job. He built a large and loyal following in the years between the 2010 World Cup, but after the 2014 World Cup his run at Yahoo! ended. Since then he’s been running the blog independently, but has had conversations with other outlets.
Peck even considered trying something new, but eventually the support of his readers encouraged him to take Dirty Tackle with him.
“It was definitely time to move on. I did briefly consider writing about the sport in a different format, especially since I wasn’t sure what the fate of DT would be at first, but there was so much interest and support for it,” says Peck. “Plus, there were so many other things I wanted to do with it that I was never able to. So that’s what made me want to stick with it.”
Brooks also gave us some tips about how to survive the silliness of soccer season with your sanity.