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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Things That Are Happening!

Hey there! Long time no write soccer blog posts for your fleeting amusement, huh? Sorry I sort of abandoned and forgot about you there. Trust me when I say that there’s a good explanation. No, I’m not “moonlighting for the LA Galaxy and increasingly unable to handle the pressure of my life as an international icon in the twilight of his career” (funny, you at the back). What’s happening is that, at the moment, the entire editorial staff of the site is stuck in a small town in Pennsylvania trying to buy a house. And at the end of a long day of small-town Pennsylvania house-hunting, the entire editorial staff has been more inclined to relax near the meaningful end of a whisky and soda than to figure out how to set up a “VPN connection” on an “iPad” back to a “computer” that has Photoshop “on” it. Normal production will resume shortly, and like everything typed on an iPad, that is a “sacred promise.”

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out my new Slate piece on the Old Firm rivalry. Since 80% of the response I’ve gotten has been from people accusing me of being biased toward one side or the other, I should point out that the piece is not about whether Rangers/Celtic are better than, worse than, or the same as Celtic/Rangers, but about all the ways in which the rivalry (and sectarianism in general) have historically been fostered and exploited by outside forces, often the same forces that are now disowning bigotry and blaming the clubs for it. It’s a weird feeling, writing “the clubs are pawns in this game” and hearing back “BUT WHICH CLUB’S FAULT IS IT.” Welcome to soccer, I guess. I could relate some pretty amusing anecdotes about crazy tweets I’ve gotten from outraged fans, but it’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining, and I think I might be paying by the kb for this hotel’s wireless connection.

Agudelo: completely unreal. I can’t wait to see the whole game (it wasn’t a big priority in the public viewing fora of small-town PA for some reason) and maybe, like, have an opinion on 4-4-2 or something. Right now I’m just clobbered by the story of it all.

Anyway, the editorial staff is off to see if there’s any paperwork left in the county for it to possibly sign. I hear there’s an “app for that.”

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Things That Are Happening!

by Brian Phillips · March 27, 2011

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