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.

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Hundreds and Thousands

We are rolling, and I couldn’t be happier, even if ESPN executives are seeing one-nil behind them in the bathroom mirror. (They turn around; nothing is there. Was it a dream?) Twitter has been absolutely essential, even more than we all guessed when we said it would be at the start of the tournament, and it’s also been a lot of fun, so if you’re not in on this, now’s the time. We’re dropping Victorian quotes and getting to know some sweet Ghanaian pop music. Let’s be friends and sail into the sunset.

This week, the folks at Complex put together a roundtable of soccer experts (Darren Bent, Sacha Kljestan, Jen Chang, etc.) and me (me) to state and defend some predictions for the World Cup. My answers are way longer than everyone else’s (seriously, it’s not clear why I was allowed to keep saying things) and collectively make a good-sized RoP post, so click over there if you want to know who I think will win the tournament and read some suddenly very CW thoughts about Brazil.

I wrote two pieces for Slate, one on American soccer in the 1920s and one on why Americans call the game soccer instead of football. The first one is essential and a kind of nonfiction preface to BAFC (it’s all true, is the message); the second one is full of what you already know but might enjoy remembering, especially if you like nineteenth-century panics about English masculinity (as who doesn’t).

Over at Yahoo!, things have been intense. David Beckham is now my colleague. For reasons I’ll never understand, only he got featured in the Time article, even though I’m also providing “exclusive content.” Well, have it your way, mainstream media. This business cannot be stopped.

Also: Please do not miss Fredorrarci’s thoughts on France, Roswitha’s on Argentina, Tom on miserable old people, Dave on draws, and Richard on old-time Toronto soccer (so key for BAFC). And be sure to check back here, for more, on everything, constantly.

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Hundreds and Thousands

by Brian Phillips · June 13, 2010

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