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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What Everyone Knows About Newcastle

Oh! H-hello. I didn’t see you there. I’ve been sitting here in the d-dark, thinking about selling N-newcastle.

Would you like to b-buy Newcastle? Do you have three hundred million p-pounds?

Oh, I am so d-drunk right now.

What h-happened to those Africans? There were some Africans here who had three hundred million p-pounds. I could tell they were serious because they didn’t try to p-pet me.

P-people like to p-pet me because they th-think I’m adorable.

Is the room spinning? It f-feels like the room’s spinning. I can’t rule anything out b-because I have c-crippling vertigo. It’s a m-medical condition. K-kevin K-keegan used to s-say…

Oh, J-jesus, I think I’m going to be sick.

When I bought N-newcastle I th-thought it would be a good way to m-make everyone like me. I don’t like people to p-pet me unless they l-like me.

I s-suffer from sh-shyness.

For a while there it seemed to be w-working. I’d sit in the stands in my p-precious black-and-white shirt, and after the g-game my security guards and I would go d-drinking with the regular fans. Well, I would d-drink. Dolph and P-pitbull would f-form a perimeter to keep me safe from all the p-people I couldn’t t-trust.

Everyone used to have s-such a wonderful time.

Then, I don’t even know what h-happened. Everyone t-turned on me for no r-reason. My housekeeper says they’re just j-jealous. I pay her six million p-pounds a year, so I think she’s m-motivated to tell me the truth. Also, she’s the only p-person I talk to from Tuesday through F-friday, so I t-trust her representation of the w-world.

Mrs. Entwhistle, her n-name is. She was the one who told me to s-sack K-k-keegan. I think it was a g-good decision. Do y-you?

Sometimes I drink a whole b-bottle of Kahlua. It makes me f-feel so c-cuddly.

I have to go to s-sleep now. Why are you h-here again? To ask about my s-strategy for the club? I have a s-strategy for the club. Don’t let anyone tell you I don’t.

My s-strategy for the club is to sell it for three hundred million p-pounds. Then, I might go to McDonald’s for l-lunch. D-dolph and Pitbull could clear out the children’s play area, and I could s-sit alone amongst the t-toys. That sounds f-fruitful, don’t you th-think?

Where are you going? Don’t you l-like me? The N-news of the World said I was l-lovable! Listen to m-me! You have to—

Oh, dear, I s-seem to have knocked over a l-lamp.

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What Everyone Knows About Newcastle

by Brian Phillips · October 10, 2008

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