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.
I already posted this on Twitter, but some things need to be enshrined for posterity. Like my favorite page from FIFA’s 2009 Financial Report:
PHOTOGRAPHER: Why don’t you lean forward alluringly and stroke your chin? Just graze your index finger across it like only you know the solution to the mystery that you are.
GRONDONA: Really? I…I think I should just do something basic, like sit and look at the camera…
PHOTOGRAPHER: Excuse me, what room is this? Does the sign on the door say “Basic photography of people with no imaginations”? Because I thought it said “FIFA Financial Report 2009 Photoshoot/2010 Sextacular.”
PHOTOGRAPHER: This is the FIFA FINANCIAL REPORT, Julio. That means something in my profession.
GRONDONA: Oh. Well, I guess I could…cock my head a little…like this…
PHOTOGRAPHER: Cock your head a little? Cock your head? You think I’m putting my name on a shot of you tilting your head like a stewardess while Valcke’s posing next door in a tiger skin? Do you know how long he’s been in there, Julio? That bastard McManus has been shooting him for seventeen hours. We have to think BIG.
GRONDONA: Oh, ah, okay. Big. How big?
PHOTOGRAPHER: I want you to look into this camera like you know you are going to make love to every single person who ever sees your face from now until the day you die.
GRONDONA: I’m 79 years old!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Oh, I see, you’re 79 years old. I guess I forgot that means you’re irrelevant. 79 years old — do you know what else you are? You are JULIO F’ING GRONDONA. You are the JEWEL OF ARGENTINA. You are the FERTILE CRESCENT OF THIS SORRY WORLD.
GRONDONA: Oh. I am?
PHOTOGRAPHER: Tell me this. Who achieved a solid equity basis?
PHOTOGRAPHER: Did Issa Hayatou achieve a solid equity basis?
GRONDONA: No…I guess I did that.
PHOTOGRAPHER: You achieved a solid equity basis. YOU ACHIEVED A SOLID EQUITY BASIS. You have earned the right to lower your chin as though you are murmuring into a concealed lapel mic while looking erotically amused at the universe.
GRONDONA: I have!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Say it with me!
GRONDONA: I ACHIEVED A SOLID EQUITY BASIS!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Now dip that shoulder and burn like Valentino!
Some people are just blessed, I guess. Anyway, if you haven’t yet, check out my new Grantland piece on FIFA corruption for the same theme played out in a less visually transfixing way.
Read More: FIFA
by Brian Phillips · August 16, 2011