He's not a sports writer. He never has been. Hill previously investigated the modern-day underground railroad of Iraq, the blood feuds of Kosovo, and the widespread murder of Philippine journalists. He fell into sports when working on a documentary for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and PBS's Frontline about the links between Russian organized crime and players in the NHL.
"I was having dinner with the guy who the FBI and U.S. Congress said is head of the Russian mafia, Anzor Kikalishvili," Hill described. "So I said to him, 'I guess you like hockey?' as he was closely connected to NHL star Pavel Bure at the time. And he said, 'Yeah, I like hockey mostly because of Pavel, but I love football.' And he began talking about his presence at the World Cup final in 1994 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. But he wasn't just there; he was actually in the VIP section, the box run by FIFA. And he wasn't just in the very, very important persons' box; he was in the front row alongside Jaoa Havelange and Sepp Blatter, the president and future president of world soccer. That really piqued my curiosity."