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 didn’t think I was going to, but I am! I am just supremely excited about this. It’s not just the chance to cover the game and see the city. After what happened last year, I am on deck for some redemption, and this is my chance to prove I can go to a Champions League final without falling in love and abandoning my live blog midway through the second half. I’m sure I can do that. I am totally sure I can do that.
I’m ready this year, you know? First of all, I am finally, completely, in-freaking-dubitably over Natasha. It took longer than I wanted to admit for a relationship that lasted through one dinner party for Russian industrial clanlords and an emergency flight to Ibiza, but I am finally at the point where the world looks like a string of sunny days. Anything can happen, and I am not lost in the loneliness of Billie Holiday listeners. I am up for this thing, now.
Second of all, this isn’t Moscow. I know Rome. I spent an entire learning-filled summer there when I was in college. I speak at least eight or maybe even ten sentences of Italian. The odds of me winding up huddled in a pile of forest kindling while a pack of wild dogs savages me are minimal—minimal at best.
So this is going to be a time of being positive and just bulging the auld onion bag of this assignment (gratuitous Tommy Smyth reference). I know there are a few people out there who don’t think I’ve been the ideal MLS Correspondent, supposedly because I almost never write about MLS or describe MLS games. But, look…have you tried going to an MLS game? Here’s the secret of MLS. MLS is not interesting. I go to match after match, and it’s one big glittery dream. MLS is a slow glide down a shopping highway where the sun is shining a little too brightly on a Home Depot parking lot. This isn’t going to be like that.
So get ready for a sustained all-out assault of pertinent on-the-scene Champions League reporting. I am targeting all five senses. I get in tomorrow morning or night or something like that. I am doing this. I am making a fresh start.
My number-one priority over the next week? Not getting stabbed. I know what goes on in that city. They got Julius Caesar; they aren’t going to get me.
Editor’s note: If you want to read about Vandal-prone’s adventures in Moscow, follow the links chronologically here. Or just take my word for it that the entire event was a problem.
by Vandal-prone · May 22, 2009