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.
Last week an English court heard the case of 20-year-old Anthony Lloyd, who was sent off for using foul language in a Sunday League match, then returned to the pitch with a chainsaw and attempted to lop off the hands of one of his opponents, presumably under the theory that with a 45cc gas-powered engine roaring in his arms, no one could hear his curses.
Yesterday, the match between Royston Villa and Mosborough in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup was called off in the 80th minute when an ejected Royston Villa player returned to the pitch with a sword. I have no idea what he did with it, except that he “brandished” it, which basically just means that he held it in a newspaper article. Apparently he also brought a golf club, which would suggest either that he’s been trained in dual-wielding asymmetrical offensive weapons or that he was suffering from a certain confusion of purpose.
Anyway, since two incidents make a trend, I feel a responsibility to speak out on this one. Someone now reading this blog might one day become the third ejected player to return to the pitch with a cutting instrument and a mesmerizing notion of justice. So I want to say this. Stop it, people. Stop returning to the pitch with blades. It isn’t cool, and besides, it undermines the Respect campaign. When will you learn that. When you will finally grow up and realize that attempted murder won’t make you look “big.”
by Brian Phillips · January 2, 2009