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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On Hypocrisy and Football Being Ruined

An old Macintosh

There are several things you should know about me before I get into it.

  1. My name is Bert Tiddle. Not Burt Tiddle. That’s an idiot name. Bert. Like the Muppet.
  2. I had a wonderful career as a professional footballer, the highlight of which was winning the 1987 FA Cup with Coventry City and never getting to spend more than a season and a half with one club. My career was cut short by a freak vending-machine accident that cost me my big toe on the 25th of May, 1992, just before this horrid Premier League era began.
  3. I made my fortune off a settlement that followed a second freak vending-machine accident that cost me the top part of my index finger on the 17th of October, 1993.
  4. I have 18 kids, all of them somehow worthless on the black market.
  5. I probably don’t like you.

In the old days, people knew how to enjoy football. They either played it, watched it, or fought over it. Now, you spend all week dreaming about your completely worthless computer-game team, then you bring your drugged-up kids to a Premier League match, then you go home and spend hours writing a long and twunty blog article that Coventry City FC on Blue Peter, 1987 eight mental patients will read. It’s like having a dry wank and then not even spooging on a stranger. What a complete waste. Chalkboards, pudcasts, comparing football to things that aren’t football and making up fantasy conversations between players? All wank. I emailed a bunch of it to Alan Shearer and he didn’t even bother to reply. Probably because I guessed at his email address. Turns out it’s not

Some of this rubbish I’m not even sure if it’s about football. It’s more like junk my brother Smart Tom rambles on about. He’s a uni professor and he refuses to go to the pub with me because he says it’s full of “short-tempered Philippines.” I tell him, “No, Tom, they’re all English.” And then I remind him about the time I got drunk and beat him at Double Jeopardy while pissing myself and I have my kids laugh at him. The point is, this is football. You don’t need “statistics” or a psychology degree or those big words that make Smart Tom laugh like a zoo creature. When you shove all that mess into the beautiful simplicity of football, you sound just like Smart Tom saying you’re too good for those stupid, herpes-infested degenerates at the pub.

Mygraine, one of my 18 kids, can’t play football. He’s dyslexic. Always scores own goals. But he doesn’t sit around typing nonsense about Fabian Capello’s “tactics” or recording his own self-indulgent jabber for people who are too dumb to listen to Rush or actually talk about football with other human beings themselves. We bought him a George Foreman Grill. A technical error.So he does that, plus he plays the video football. He still scores loads of own goals on it, but we don’t let him play online, so who is he hurting? Only himself. And me.

By now you knobs are probably coming up with snappy replies that you’d be too afraid to say to my face. You’re probably shaking your fist at your iPud screen and saying that what I’m doing here is just as worthless as the garbage you pore over. And you’re right. Congratulations on spotting old Bert’s hypocrisy. You win another billion hours trying to overcomplicate the simplest game while the people you think you’re better than—the Sam Allardyces, the Harry Redknapps and the Email Heskeys all laugh at you for the opposite reasons you laugh at them. In fact, I can hear Sam laughing at you right now because he lost his job and he won’t leave me the hell alone. That’s right, Sam—your Snuggie smells like body odor and cats.

Now one of you tell me who I talk to about writing a book.

Bert Tiddle writes The Uneventful Life of a Retired Footballer for Dirty Tackle. You can follow him on Twitter, though he would prefer if you didn’t.

The too-boring-to-blink kind, not the interesting bloody-nose-while-you-shag-a- watermelon kind.

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On Hypocrisy and Football Being Ruined

by Bert Tiddle · January 25, 2011

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