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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The Spirit of Draws

I have a piece in The Modern Spectator, Austin Kelley’s brilliant literary sports journal, on the subject of draws in soccer and how they’re perceived by soccer fans and non-soccer fans. It begins as a late-night debate in a typical American bar:

I’m sitting in an American bar, looking and being American, my American self, at a table full of men in gigantic Carolina Panthers jerseys. A faux vintage jukebox, the kind with neon bubbles running up its flanks, is playing “Look Out Cleveland,” by The Band: an honest song, though performed by men of cunning. The grease on our cheeseburger patties glimmers democratically in the unsteady light.

It then follows the subject through some twisting thoughts on differences between America and Europe, the problem of crowd violence, and the implicit militarism of sport. Please take a look, and explore The Modern Spectator while you’re there. If you enjoy The Run of Play, there’s a good chance you’ll want to give it a place in your RSS reader.

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The Spirit of Draws

by Brian Phillips · January 19, 2009

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