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Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

The wizards at Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University are renowned for many things - wisdom, magic, their love of teatime - but athletics is most assuredly not on the list. So when Lord Vetinari, the city's benevolent tyrant, strongly suggests to Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully that the university put forth a football team composed of faculty, students, and staff - or lose the funding that pays for their nine daily meals - the more-than-usually-at-sea UU wizards find themselves in a quandary. To begin with, they have to figure out just what it is that makes this sport of foot-the-ball so popular with Ankh-Morporkians of all ages and social strata. Then they have to learn how to play it. Oh, and on top of that, they must somehow win a football match without using magic. And the thing about football - the most important thing about football - is that it is never just about football.

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