The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Find the Stable; Pull Out the Bolt

This is a kind of purpose: to ask what these things mean. How is it that the story-craving and myth-making parts of our imaginations are able to see greatness and find joy in some arbitrary movements on a field? What does the rhythmic sidestep or the incisive pass echo in human experience? When the ball goes up like a firework about to burst and knocks in off the top corner of the goal, what does it say about the man who sent it there? What does it say about us? A hundred years ago the game made so much sense that crowds filled the terraces almost by instinct; today a billion people can see it and feel the same thing. What is it telling us? What language does it speak?

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Find the Stable; Pull Out the Bolt

by Brian Phillips · February 15, 2008

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