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.
I was searching for a way to celebrate our unbeaten season—we completed it, 27 wins and 7 draws, though for reasons I’ll explain later I’m not sure it totally counts—and while I was poking around in the vaults I came across this relic, a badly preserved newsreel clip from Pro Vercelli’s 1911 championship season. It’s in terrible shape—the film is literally falling apart—but it’s now online for anyone who wants to see it. This obviously predates the talkies by a good couple of decades, and its provenance is impossible to trace, but it’s worth a look for anyone who loves silent films or the history of soccer. We’re using it for motivation, as a reminder in our present-day struggles never to lose sight of the glorious shadow of the past.
by Brian Phillips · December 30, 2008