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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Those Who Strive

I read an article this morning about how to build an audience on the internet. People on the internet, it said, don’t want a lot of fancy explanations and preambles. They just want to get in, get the information, and get out. People on the internet don’t need to know why you’re introducing something in a certain way, or where you’re thinking about going with it. They just want facts. Sure, you can offer them an extended summary of a point you took in somewhere, or drone on and on about what they want or don’t want, but they don’t want that. Nobody likes being told things, unless those things are about Lindsay Lohan’s nail polish and the title of the blog post is “10 Things You Need to Know About Lindsay Lohan’s Nail Polish.” And that’s how we do things around The Run of Play: no wasted space, no dillying around the point, just 14 words per line in three-line paragraphs that correctly make use of your “F-shaped” scanning patterns to divert your attention to the most important points. Like, maybe Lindsay Lohan’s nail polish has a tiny picture of Che Guevara in it, or maybe she’s using it to pass codes to the Russians. I don’t know. I do not have that information. I have failed you on this one, internet.

But that’s a rare lapse, and there’s a reason for it. To prove my point, here’s some raw data that I’m not going to filter or interpret for you at all. Please, just dive headfirst into this freezing pond of knowledge. It’ll be icy, it’ll be painful, but you won’t care. You’re only here because you know we cater to speed.

So read this: Posting around these parts will be sparse for the next couple of weeks, because we are on vacation, and just as Coleen Rooney can’t be expected to pen brilliant children’s novels while she’s recharging in Barbados, we can’t be expected to care about Alex Ferguson while we’re acting out the lyrics to “Lush Life” in Charleston, SC (or whatever). The world has somehow had to rein in its desire for more novels from Coleen Rooney, and in exactly the same way, you will have to master your longing for more caring about Alex Ferguson from us. In a couple of weeks, when our hot-air-balloon tour of the Pyrenees touches down, we’ll go back to caring, and to giving you the bullet-point lists you crave. It will almost not even feel like reading, I promise.

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Those Who Strive

by Brian Phillips · July 16, 2010

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