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.
The word “WAG” was created to function as a plural: English players’ wives and girlfriends, roving through Germany in a sort of mass or pack, terrorizing shopkeepers, coming out at night to run up horrifying collective restaurant tabs beneath the light of the full moon. Yes, there was an added s as the word was commonly used, but rather than implying a group composed of individual members, it was clearly meant to serve as part of an overall abbreviation: wives and girlfriends, glimpsed by unbelieving townsfolk on the edge of the Black Forest, or near the Hohenbaden Castle ruins.
Soon, however, as was probably inevitable, the WAG concept expanded to invest each member of the WAG social unit with a kind of individual WAG-ness. Overnight, it became possible to be “a WAG” and to view “WAGs” as an abstract class comprising multiple single “WAGs” rather than a marker that arose exclusively when players’ wives and girlfriends came together in a group. The logical infelicities introduced by this development were obvious: Except in certain cases involving John Terry’s supranuclear mating cluster, individual WAGs were seldom both wives and girlfriends; they were one or the other. Victoria Beckham was a W. Abbey Clancy was a G. Turning each indiscriminately into a “WAG” erased that distinction and made the word, which had originated as a lean, purposeful acronym, into a type of smushy nonsense.
It is time to restore semantic integrity to caring about who footballers have sex with. Toward that end, and with God as my witness, I introduce a new word, WORG, short for “wife or girlfriend,” which can meaningfully designate an individual member of the larger WAG ecosystem. (Or the plural could just be WORGs. That would be easy. I don’t really care about that part.)
To get the ball rolling, I now unveil the first-ever Run of Play WORGs Gallery, a steamy, sensual, 100% NSFW romp through the sexy world of WORGs. Get ready. It’s time for some hot WORG action.
Giorgia Palmas, the WORG of AlbinoLeffe midfielder Davide Bombardini. Note how simply using the word “WORG” allows us to perceive her in a different, more semantically rigorous way. Say it out loud. “WORG.” Savor the connotations.
Gemma Atkinson, the former WORG of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo. Like most WORGs, Atkinson is an apex predator throughout her territorial range.
As a committed believer in the virtues of traditional marriage, Victoria Beckham (here seen howling to warn the pack of an approaching storm) is in a position to derive a particular benefit from the word WORG’s preservation of separate logical paths for marriage and other, less monogamous-except-around-certain-nannies relationships. Beckham, who primarily feeds on ungulates such as elk and deer, has been married to former England captain David Beckham since 1999.
Alena Šeredová, who has two children with Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, is frequently—and often unjustly—blamed for livestock depredation in the areas she inhabits. WORGs frequently feature in the folklore and mythology of the human cultures with which they are sympatric.
WORGs like Elena Barolo, the former girlfriend of Milan striker Pippo Inzaghi, and Giorgia Palmas have seen their numbers dwindle over the past century as a result of loss of habitat and indiscriminate hunting by humans. Nevertheless, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature does not list them as an endangered species.
One of the most popular human myths concerning WORGs is the ancient tale that, if a WORG like Abbey Clancy, pictured here on holiday in Ibiza, bites a man on the night of a full moon, he himself will become a WORG, condemned to a life of mindless bloodthirst and dates with Bobo Vieri. No confirmed, scientific record of these “were-WORGs” exists; however, many suspicious footballers have been known to keep silver-bullet-bearing weaponry nearby, just in case.
Cristiano Ronaldo and his WORG, Irina Shayk, photographed by paparazzi outside Manhattan’s Maialino restaurant. [IMAGE CREDIT: Reuter’s.]
by Brian Phillips · January 12, 2011