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 got this email from Siobhan, who is traveling on the West Coast during this American soccer moment…
Just saw a great exchange over breakfast at the hotel. A couple musing over their USA Today; he: “This World Cup is a big deal, I guess. I heard some of those Indian guys at the restaurant last night talking about it.” She: “I guess America isn’t very good at soccer, though.” At this point a European guy to my left (we know he’s European because he has a shaved head, is eating yogurt, and is concentrating on his iPhone), who has been growing visibly agitated at this talk, breaks in: “Your team is actually very good. You have a good chance.” The couple smile, completely baffled, and go back to their USA Today, looking for basketball coverage. I smile at the European guy, who is disappointed at their response, and say, “We beat Spain, after all.” He says, “Yes, I know.” I ask: “So what’s your team?” He sighs: “Denmark. We’re terrible.” I tell him: “You never know. Good luck.” He goes back to his yogurt. The couple, meanwhile, are talking about “sports that aren’t really sports.” She, as I leave: “Whatever happened to field hockey, though? I used to play field hockey when I was a kid….”
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by Brian Phillips · June 8, 2010