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.
Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra is out for three weeks with a foot injury, sustained, according to the Guardian, while “setting up Rooney’s goal.” Has anyone caught the replay of the goal, though? Evra sends in a brilliant cross, which Rooney pokes into the net through Ashley Cole’s legs. There’s some general scrambling and shouting, and the camera cuts to a decidedly non-injured-looking Evra performing a weird, jubilant goal celebration that’s somewhere between off-balance jumping-jacks and a Cossack peasant dance. The camera cuts back to Rooney, who’s smiling like a four-month-old baby, with no visible teeth. Then it goes back to Evra, who’s now writhing on the ground holding his foot.
He got injured during his goal celebration, didn’t he? Why is no one admitting this?
The Manchester United website claims that “in crossing for Wayne Rooney’s goal,” he—and I quote Sir Alex Ferguson—“just went over on his foot and damaged the ligament in the bottom of his foot—it was so simple really.” Is it, Mr. Ferguson? Is it simple? Or is it an elaborate cover-up designed to prevent the public from learning that the world-champion team’s star left-back sustained self-inflicted ligament damage while trying to execute a Cirque du Soleil-style evil-clown bourrée along the byline at Old Trafford?
I’m open to receiving email on this question from Manchester United employees. Tips@runofplay.com. Your anonymity is semi-guaranteed, unless you’re Gary Neville or something. Together we will find the truth.
by Brian Phillips · January 13, 2009