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.
It’s been the firm conclusion of our very occasional series on footballers’ websites that, of all players, goalkeepers have the friendliest and most welcoming approach to presenting themselves online. Maybe this is because their professional lives are largely based around not being welcoming, or maybe it’s just that strikers gobbled up the most merciless and outré Flash animators before the goalkeepers could get to them. Whatever the reason, where footballers’ websites usually tend to feel alienating and aggressive, like a design draft Coors Lite rejected in 1999, goalkeepers’ sites tend to be actually kind of nice.
A good example of this is Petr Čech’s official site, which has a homey yellow-green color scheme, a personal greeting that may actually have been written by Čech, and a lot of photos of him clowning around in the kitchen with his wife and playing with his dogs. It also has a blog, which only has one entry and hasn’t been updated since July of 2007. Compare this to David Beckham’s blog, which a remote-control-operated wax robot updates with a thought about the team pulling together after every single Galaxy game.
That one entry, which also shows signs of having actually been written by Čech, sets out to be an affectionate overview of life in the Czech Republic, and manages to be…an affectionate overview of life in the Czech Republic. There’s nothing in it that you couldn’t find in ten seconds on Wikipedia, but the whole package is just so amiable that I really enjoyed reading it. It’s not trying to prove anything or impress anybody. It’s just sitting down to talk to you.
I think that the Czech Republic has a lot to offer and show to foreign tourists. We have Prague that belongs among the most beautiful cities of Europe, and a lot of other historic monuments are also outside the capital. In the whole country you may find chateaus, castles, churches or monasteries that are worth visiting. I also like the fact that we have a very diverse countryside – forests, lakes, mountains and lowlands.
He wraps up with a nod to Czech beer, a statement of support for the European Union, and the salutation “With friendly greetings, PETR ČECH (‘Big Pete’)”. I don’t know, I just like this. I hope he’ll update his blog again someday.
by Brian Phillips · October 2, 2008