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.
Micah Richards has been arrested for assault following an incident (it might even count as a situation) outside a nightclub in Manchester. However, like most recent Premier League arrests involving things that go on in and around nightclubs, this one doesn’t live up to the image of the headline, in that, instead of featuring a drunken, insensate Richards being dragged away by police as a horrified crowd looked on in the garish flashing of the sirens, it was actually a pre-arranged meeting in a police station to talk about something that happened on Christmas Eve.
So think I’ll take a pass on this one. I mean, it happened, Micah Richards is an interesting talent, Manchester City is for one reason or another an important team at the moment, fine. But the last thing I want is to get caught up in an update cycle where I have to keep reeling out posts every time anyone releases a statement to the effect that the complete absence of known information about the event is actually highly exculpatory/damaging to their client/future title hopes. (The right side of the slash was an Alex Ferguson mind game, in case you couldn’t tell.)
After all, I’m still busy tracking the Robinho rape case and the Steven Gerrard glass menagerie attack. Actually, what I think we need here is some kind of master narrative that would list all the stages these cases inevitably go through. That way, instead of covering the stories individually, we could just post a link with the generic details for, say, Phase 4. Here’s a rough draft—maybe you can help me flesh it out in the comments.
1. [PLAYER'S NAME] ARRESTED FOR [CATASTROPHIC DEED] IN NIGHTCLUB
1a. It turns out the catastrophic deed happened seven weeks ago.
1b. The Sun runs pictures of broken glass and blood on an unidentified flooring surface within 15 minutes of the first headline.
2. [PLAYER'S CLUB] RELEASES STATEMENT
2a. If the player is a beloved icon at the club, the statement is “very supportive” and the club is “fully aware of what is happening.”
2b. If the player is not a fan favorite, the statement is “concerned” and the club is “doing its best to cooperate” despite “not knowing anything at this time.”
2c. The Sun runs an interview with a man named Jimmy Nine-Irons, who picked up a 1998 Kia Sedona with a tow truck at a building adjacent to the scene. Jimmy describes himself as a “good friend” of the player in question.
3. [PLAYER'S SPOKESPERSON] RELEASES STATEMENT
3a. If the evidence that has appeared in the press is weak or unpersuasive, the player is “100% not guilty” and “vigorously denies any involvement” in the incident.
3b. If the evidence includes fragments of a beer stein used to carve Ludacris lyrics into exposed human flesh, the statement is “unable to say anything more about an ongoing legal case.”
3c. Jimmy Nine-Irons is photographed stealing coins from a parking meter outside a pet-grooming salon thought to be frequented by Abigail Clancy.
3d. The Sun interviews a “prominent Midlands psychologist” who runs an institute named after himself in Solihull.
IF THE PLAYER IS CHARGED WITH A CRIME, SKIP AHEAD TO (5).
OTHERWISE, GO ON TO (4).
4. ALL TRACE OF THE STORY DISAPPEARS AND THINGS GO ON AS IF IT NEVER HAPPENED
4a. The incident may briefly live on in rival supporters’ chants, but you never know, what with ticket prices being what they are these days.
4b. The Sun describes a small ivy plant on the street-facing wall of a local distillery as a “CREEPING TERROR.”
5. [PLAYER] APPEARS IN COURT
5a. Several hundred photographers squeezed into a seething pen outside the courthouse repeatedly reenact the crime the player was charged with in their mad struggle to take a picture of him going up the steps.
5b. Police stand by, bored, indifferent, or, possibly, a little amused. Things are so slow on a Tuesday.
5c (optional). This process continues daily during the entire nine-week trial, during which time the player is not once heard to speak.
5d. A Sun editor accidentally deploys the word HORROR twice in the same headline, is instantly put in charge of HarperCollins by Rupert Murdoch.
GO BACK TO (4)
by Brian Phillips · February 5, 2009