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 confess, a big part of me was hoping Steven Gerrard would show up for his court date this morning, face the judge, sniff once, and in his best Darren Farley voice say: “Well, yeah, I did it, your honor. Me and the lads, we smashed him up good. What happened was, see, the DJ fella was disrespectin’ me as the captain of the Pewwwwwwul. So, the boys and me, we had to set things straight. We just wanted to see how it goes. I just wanted to kill him for the Pewwwwwwwul.
“What was I thinkin’? Well, I remember advancin’ on him with the mug in my hand, and thinkin’, ‘I’m gonna smash this mug in his ruttin’ face,’ your honor. For the Pewwwwul. I wouldn’t hurt a fly, your honor. I’m not lookin’ to go to jail. But I’d do anythin’—anythin’—for the Pewwwwul.”
What happened instead, of course, was that Gerrard—charged with assaulting DJ Marcus McGee in a bar fight in December—appeared before the North Sefton Magistrates in Merseyside and declared his intention to plead not guilty when the case resumes on March 20. Note from the side of me that does not care about Southport criminal justice: March 20 is less than a week after Liverpool play at Old Trafford and two days before they play Aston Villa at Anfield. Note from the side of me that is amorally unpreoccupied with the health of Marcus McGee’s teeth: March 20 is just 10 days after the second leg of their Champions League tie against Real Madrid.
The court proceeding seems to have been fairly routine, allowing, of course, for the enormous pen of photographers outside. (They were actually kept in a pen.) That said, one serenely surreal detail did emerge from the confusion that opened the scene. I quote from the Daily Telegraph:
Gerrard, the Liverpool captain, was driven to the magistrates’ court in Southport and had jogged up the steps dressed in a dark blue suit.
I’d like to believe that this happened in slow motion, while a synth anthem played, with lots of reaction shots.
by Brian Phillips · January 23, 2009