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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Johnny Metgod Discovers Pure Animal Physics

At some point in the history of televised soccer, someone must have used a stranger phrase to describe a goal than “pure animal physics,” but no example springs instantly to mind. What does it mean? How could anyone say it in such a cheerful and satisfied voice, when it sounds euphemistic and horrifying, like some sinister scheme to power a light bulb with a horse? I guess the goal is legendary enough to excuse any amount of bizarre language: so this is Johnny Metgod, smoking angular moonshine for Nottingham Forest against West Ham in 1986, and this is your historical goal of the week.

The Tuesday Portrait will be a day or two late this week. I’m writing on David Beckham. It’s time.

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Johnny Metgod Discovers Pure Animal Physics

by Brian Phillips · May 6, 2008

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