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.
5-3. Can you believe it? Sure, it’s from a hockey game. But we lost to the States. At our own game. A game that they, as a country, don’t really care about. It was awful. So, so awful. I was actually in America when it happened.
Did I mention that already? I was there. In their country. Living openly as a Canadian. It was unbearable. They are unbearable when they beat you. In May, I caught shit for it. In May. Three months after the fact.
“Hey, isn’t hockey your sport? Like, the most important thing to your country? And we beat you? Right? We beat you, right? God, that’s gotta be awful. Does it hurt?”
Yeah. Of course it hurts. Because you know. You know that your country could do better, should do better. Is it because of the global spread of the game? The influx of foreigners into “our league?” Hell, “our league” is run by an American now. Did you know that? He’s from Queens. He worked in basketball. And now he runs the league Eddie Livingstone started in a hotel in Montreal. Sorry, you guys don’t care. You’ve gotta be wondering why this is analogous.
Well, here it is. Look at the American hockey team. Now, you’re English, so maybe you don’t recognize their names. Let me explain something. Almost none of those guys, if they were Canadian, would start on the national hockey team. Got it? Now break out your copy of the American World Cup squad. How many guys make England’s final squad? How many start? Tim Howard, granted. You’ve got goalkeeping trouble, I get that. Anyone else? Does Clint Dempsey beat Joe Cole for a spot in the first XI? Would you take Landon Donovan over Wayne Rooney or Steven Gerrard? You wouldn’t, would you?
But yeah. They might beat you. You feel it, don’t you? They really could beat you. They might catch you on an off day. They could get lucky, because you have to know they’re going to be up for it. They’ve been up for it since the draw, maybe even earlier. And you may very well lose. And it will suck. But hey, it might just work out in the end.
2010 Olympic Ice Hockey Gold Medalists (but only barely)
Gareth Simpson is a Canadian writer and student-on-hiatus. For reasons he will never really understand, you can follow him on Twitter.
by Gareth Simpson · June 11, 2010