Four years ago today Brian Phillips brought Run of Play to the internet. At least that’s what Twitter informs me. I didn’t actually have the date marked on my calender, and the RoP-themed shrine I built in my closet out of used chewing gum is characteristically ambiguous on the issue. For four years Brian Phillips has provided the internet his musings. The internet has been a better place for it.
This blog would probably not exist without the Run of Play. Over the years Andy and I have spent hours talking about that site, and the words of Phillips in particular. Its landmark, the David Foster Wallace-referencing Pele as a Comedian, profoundly influenced both of us. Phillips wrote about soccer in a way you didn’t usually see at the time.
Phillips rejected trite cliché and embraced style. He emphasized the art inherent in the game, but rarely came off as corny or overwrought–a tightrope act for the ages, one countless bloggers have been failing to replicate ever since. At Toblerone Jones we’re more preoccupied with fart jokes and fake dialogues, but the sentiment is similar. We may be much less “serious,” but our dedication to create a new(ish) and fresh(esque) take on the game is sincere. I hope the 14 of you reading this get even a fraction of the enjoyment from our site that we have gotten from Run of Play.
Though Phillips has since moved on from Run of Play to ply his trade at the megalith that is Grantland, Run of Play still stands and thrives as a product of his talent.
Happy anniversary, Brian.
[Ed. Note: "I"=Neil. Andy has no closet, and anyway his shrine is dedicated to his pagan god, Donald Duck. As for everything else, cosign.]