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.
Here’s the tape of the Buzz Bissinger-Will Leitch contretemps. Watching it again, I wish Leitch had answered more directly in a couple of places (there are some moments that sound like spin, and he seemed to feel that with Braylon Edwards there he couldn’t simply admit that his comedy site mocks athletes). But it was also pretty astonishing to see Buzz Bissinger essentially accuse Leitch of exploiting athletes’ private lives for his own gain. I wonder if anyone in Odessa, Texas ever thought they knew a sportswriter who did that?
Parenthetically—and then I’ll go back to writing about soccer, I promise—I’d like to point out that the religion of the old-time sportswriters that Bissinger starts to proclaim here has gotten a little out of hand. Someday I’ll actually write that essay about Hemingway’s influence on sportswriting and the pulps and its decisive effect on twentieth-century American vernacular. Till then, I’ll just say that despite Bissinger’s contention that bloggers don’t care about sentences, I care about them intensely, much more than I care about sports, and W.C. Heinz is not Virginia Woolf. “Death of a Racehorse” is a great blog post—under 1000 words, written in two hours—but it’s a third-rate piece of literature, and far too easy to feel sentimental about.
Thanks to Awful Announcing for the clip.
by Brian Phillips · April 30, 2008