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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Another Good Day for Liverpool’s Burgeoning Trade in Stolen Olympic Bronze Medals

I like to imagine the consortium of world-class larcenists who have spent the last two years availing themselves of the opportunity afforded by the public nature of football match schedules to let themselves safely into Liverpool players’ houses and liberate their car keys and jewelry. What’s it like, speeding away from the escapade in Jerzy Dudek’s Porsche? Do you feel the inner calm that proceeds from having chopped off some of the tentacles of football, tentacles that gripped you in your cradle, strangled your growth, enslaved your weekends, and taunted you with the spectacle of people no different from you being paid millions of pounds to play a game you shouldn’t even care about? Or are you just like, “Wicked Porsche”? Where are you going to fence that Champions League medal? I wonder about this.

On Tuesday Lucas Leiva became the eighth Liverpool player to be burgled since June 2006. He joins a list that includes Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch, Dudek, Dirk Kuyt, Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, and Robbie Keane. From these men has been shifted an inventory that includes rare champagnes, gems of all natures, World Cup shirts, Olympic medals, and a small fleet of opulent cars. In late 2006, 20-year-old James Birch, who marvelously shares his name with a player who scored over 100 goals for QPR in the early years of the last century, was convicted of several of these crimes, as well as of robbing some players from other teams, but I don’t believe he was guilty, because he didn’t have a black mask, a rope ladder, a sharp-tongued girlfriend with a heart of gold, or long-established friendships with the major characters from Snatch.

I guess the really intriguing question about the Liverpool burglaries is whether the perpetrators are football fans, or are planning to sell their acquired memorabilia to football fans, in which case a think-piece about whether we’re all somehow stealing from Liverpool players every time we open the Daily Mail is only a page refresh away. It’s also possible that they’re Everton fans, in which case, whatever. If you’re currently in possession of Alex Curran’s Rolex, I hope you get the right time with it. If you’re looking for a guy to fire the crossbow into the alarm system, I hear John Arne Riise misses the city, and as Chelsea fans might recall, no Liverpool defense has ever managed to keep him out.

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Another Good Day for Liverpool’s Burgeoning Trade in Stolen Olympic Bronze Medals

by Brian Phillips · November 6, 2008

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